Testing of content addressable memory
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Ever since the invention of the transistor, the semiconductor industry has grown into diverse applications areas. These range from entertainment electronics on one side to space applications on the other. Regardless of the application areas, the quality and reliability demands for semiconductor devices have significantly increased. Increasing system complexity also requires higher quality manufacturing from IC suppliers. On the weak hand, market economics have forced pure digital integrated circuits to incorporate embedded memories, as well as analog blocks. Hence, an IC package might include all the functional blocks of a microcontroller or microprocessor, including memories and analog interfaces. This results in a dramatic change in the case of memories. High packaging density, standard manufacturing process implementation and the dynamic nature of process operations make memories susceptible to a variety of manufacturing process defects. Testing is necessary to assure device reliability and quality.