Welcome to the ITC Nano-Blog

Scott Davidson, ITC Marketing Nano- Blogger

2018 Plenary Awards


Awards presented in the 2018 ITC plenary. it includes the 2017 best paper award, Ned Kornfield award, TTTC lifetime contribution award, newly elevated IEEE fellows, Bob Madge Innovation award, and GW Gordon student participation award

Hardware Security Track

Hardware Security During TestWeek

Hardware security has experienced major growth over the past decade, and is becoming a integral part of design and test of integrated circuits.  You can see below that there are many topics related to hardware security.  Some really interesting applications.

Are you interested in topics in hardware security domain? The  attend this panel:


Monday Evening Panel:

Physical Inspection and Attacks: New Frontiers in Hardware Security


Wednesday Technical Sessions:


Monday, 16:00-17:30, Special Session on Analog Circuit Security:

Invited Talk 1: Using RF Front-End Characteristics for Supply Chain Tracking and Counterfeit Detection

Invited Talk 2: Securing Mixed-Signal ICs via Logic Locking

Invited Talk 3: TBD


Interested in Hardware Trojans, See:

Paper 6.1: Scalable Hardware Trojan Activation by Interleaving Concrete Simulation and Symbolic Execution

Paper 6.2: Detection of low power Trojans in standard cell designs using built-in current sensors

Paper 6.3: Hardware Dithering: A Run-Time Trojan Neutralization Method for Wireless Cryptographic ICs


Interested in Intersection of Test and Security, See:

Paper 8.1: TimingSAT: Decamouflaging Timing-based Logic Obfuscation

Paper 8.2: IJTAG Integrity Checking with Chained Hashing

Paper 8.3: Pre-silicon Formal Verification of JTAG Instruction Opcodes for Security


Trust but Verify?

Paper 10.1: Hardware IP Trust Validation: Learn (the Untrustworthy), and Verify

Paper 10.2: EMFORCED: EM-based Fingerprinting Framework for Counterfeit Paper Detection with Demonstration on Remarked and Cloned ICs

Paper 10.3: Barricade methodology for detecting counterfeits


Security Track Ends with Keynote Address:

Wednesday, 16:00-17:00: Dr. Matthew Casto, Chief, Trusted Electronics, Air Force Research Laboratory



AI Track

2018 ITC offers a comprehensive program on AI, featuring one keynote session, one panel, 14 technical presentations, and 3 TTEP tutorials. 

See the promotion trailer for 2018 ITC AI program. 

We hope this program will facilitate increased dialog about the role of AI in Test during this year’s ITC test week.




AI Keynote Session, Thursday, November 1st, 11:00-12:00, “AI in Test” by speakers:

  • Ken Butler, Founder, Engineering Tools and Analytics Team, Texas Instruments, Dallas, Texas – Semiconductor Test Perspective
  • Anne E Gattiker, Principal Research Staff Member, IBM – Deep Learning Perspective
  • Ira Leventhal, Vice President, New Concept Product Initiative, Advantest America, Inc. – ATE Perspective
  • Xinli Gu, Huawei – System Perspective
  • Cheng-Wen Wu, Tsing Hua Distinguished Chair Professor with the EE Dept., NTHU, Hsinchu, Taiwan. – Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Perspective

 AI Panel, Thursday, November 1st, 13:30-15:00

  • Could AI eliminate the need for test engineering?” Moderated by Rob Aitken

 AI Sessions (8 talks in a two-day AI education track + 6 additional technical presentations)

  • Tuesday, October 30
      • 13:50-14:40: “Safe AI in CPS
      • 14:40-15:30: “The Mismeasure of AI
      • 16:00-16:45: “Seeing faces through the eyes of Artificial Intelligence
      • 16:45-17:30: “Influence-directed explanations for machine learning systems
  • Wednesday, October 31
      • 08:30-09:15: “Machine Learning for Yield Learning and Optimization
      • 09:15-10:00: “Practical Applications of Big Data Analytics in Semiconductor Manufacturing, Assembly and Test
      • 10:30-11:00: “Improving Diagnosis Efficiency via Machine Learning
      • 11:00-11:30: “Artificial Neural Network Based Test Escape Screening Using Generative Model
      • 11:30-12:00: “Concept Recognition in Production Yield Data Analytics
      • 14:00-14:45: “An Autonomous System View To Apply Machine Learning
      • 14:45-15:30: “Design Automation for Intelligent Automotive Systems
  • Thursday, November 1
    • 09:00-09:30: “AI Engineering Assistants for ATE
    • 09:30-10:00: “Is it possible to impact quality of test with machine learning?
    • 10:00-10:30: “Moving Adaptive Test to AI Test

 TTEP Tutorials

  • Sunday Morning, October 28: Learning Techniques for Reliability Monitoring, Mitigation and Adaptation
  • Sunday Afternoon, October 28: Machine Learning for Test, and Test for Machine Learning – A Journey to AI
  • Monday Morning, October 29, From Data to Actions: Applications of Data Analytics in Semiconductor Manufacturing & Test

 More Information on the Two-day AI Education Track with 8 Talks:

Talk day/time Speaker name Email address Title Short Description
Tuesday 13:50 Andre Platzer aplatzer@cs.cmu.edu Safe AI in CPS This talk presents provably safe reinforcement learning that provides the best of both worlds: the exploration and optimization capabilities of learning along with the safety guarantees of formal verification.
Tuesday 14:40 Roy Maxion



maxion@cs.cmu.edu The Mismeasure of AI This talk will examine sources and consequences of a range of biases, how they influence data, how outcomes based on flawed protocols and hence biased data can be invalid, and how the hazards posed by such invalidities can be mitigated.
Tuesday 16:00 Marios Savvides marioss@andrew.cmu.edu Seeing faces through the eyes of Artificial Intelligence Despite common belief, face detection is not a solved problem especially in tough environments that include crowds and occlusion. Face detection using non-deep learning approaches that meet these challenges will be presented.
Tuesday 16:45 Anupam Datta danupam@cmu.edu Influence-directed explanations for machine learning systems Influence-directed explanations shed light on the inner workings of black-box machine learning systems by identifying components that causally influence system behavior and by providing human-understandable interpretation to the concepts represented by these components. This talk describes instances of this paradigm that are model-agnostic and instances that are specific to deep neural networks.
Wednesday 08:30 David Pan dpan@ece.utexas.edu Machine Learning for Yield Learning and Optimization This talk surveys recent results of using various machine learning/deep learning techniques for performance modeling under uncertainty, lithography modeling with transfer/active learning, lithography hotspot detection, and IC mask optimizations. State-of-the-art methods are explained and challenges/opportunities are discussed.
Wednesday 09:15 Ken Harris ken.harris@pdf.com Practical Applications of Big Data Analytics in Semiconductor Manufacturing, Assembly and Test Traditional data gathering and visualization techniques are becoming less and less useful in today’s manufacturing environment.  In this talk, we review the reasons why, along with practical examples illustrating the importance of integrated, automated analysis and triggered actions in the product ramps of today’s advanced products and manufacturing technologies.
Wednesday14:00 Li-C. Wang licwang@ece.ucsb.edu An Autonomous System View To Apply Machine Learning This talk draws an analogy to the autonomous system view of self-driving car for applying machine learning in a test application. Through such a system view it is more intuitive to see where a particular machine learning approach might be applied and what type of learning problem is to be solved. To give a concrete example, a short demo will be included to illustrate how such an autonomous system can be used for production yield data analytics.
Wednesday 14:45 Qi Zhu qzhu@northwestern.edu Design Automation for Intelligent Automotive Systems This talk will discuss the challenges in designing the next-generation autonomous and connected vehicles, and present promising design automation techniques that tackle these challenges.


The Joy of ITC Papers

ITC paper submissions have begun rolling in. They are a trickle now, soon to become a flood. I still remember deadline night when I was Program Chair 12 years ago. I sat with my laptop as midnight approached, and every time I refreshed the program submission screen another six, ten or a dozen papers appeared. The very best part was that they were all so interesting. Back then I could only look at the keywords and abstracts to assign them to the Area Topic Coordinators, but I wanted to look more closely at each one.
If you are an academic, you know all about writing papers. But many of the most interesting papers I’ve read and heard are by engineers telling their testing story. Do you do something a bit better than anyone else? Have you used test to debug a design problem and save the day? A lot of the ITC audience finds this kind of paper really exciting.
I know, I’ve done one. It was about a failure that most consistently showed up when the computer was sitting at the Solaris prompt. It was a story, it was a mystery, and it was fun to relate.
Share your stories and mysteries with ITC and submit a paper today.
Well, you’ll never do it today, you’ll do it on the deadline, April 11. But we’re happy with that.


I’ve taken over the ITC twitter account (look on the bottom of the home page for a link also.) My first tweet was about us being open for paper submissions. The next will be about this new blog entry.
Please retweet if you follow us, and follow us if you don’t. And let me know what you’d like to see.


As you might guess, putting on ITC takes a lot of work. We have a great conference management partner in Courtesy Associates, but the steering committee, program committee and subcommittees do most of the work for free. (Once in a while we get a good dinner out of it.)
We need help! For Program, there are two good ways of helping – writing a paper, or volunteering to review a paper. You know how to submit a paper, we’ll publish a way of volunteering as a reviewer soon.
And we need help in everything else. I’ve put up a link to a Volunteer Page which describes opportunities and gives a link that will open up an email with places for your name, email, affiliation, and volunteer preferences. We’ve got two so far, Exhibits and my favorite, Marketing.
What kind of help do we need in Marketing? Do you love Twitter and Facebook? You can take over the ITC Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Do you think the design of our web page could be better? We’d love to hear suggestions backed up by a commitment to do some work. The current page is written using Ruby on Rails – if you happen to know this we’d like to hear from you.
Are you a Photoshop expert? No, we don’t need you to replace the General Chair with a picture of Donald Trump (though it would be fun to see) but we do need better buttons than the ones I’ve designed. And if you do graphics design as a hobby, we have plenty of opportunities.
But we won’t stop there. If you’d like to help with something else, drop us a line using the Marketing volunteer link on the Volunteer Page . I’ll make sure it gets to the right place.

ITC 2016 Paper Submissions now Open

We’ve just opened ITC for paper submissions, and you’ll notice that things have changed. We’re using EasyChair for program development this year. It is easy to use (I’ve tried it out and it took me only minutes to learn) but you will need a new user id and password.
The old Program Site is still there, but you won’t find much use for it.
If you have any questions use the Contact Us buttons on the bottom of the ITC home page.

The 2016 Call for Papers – October 26, 2015

I just posted the 2016 Call for Papers from 2016 Program Chair Li-C Wang of UC Santa Barbara. On the home page I had to be formal, here I can tell you why you should write and submit a paper.
The obvious reason is to have your work be part of the literature of our field, and to see your name in print. Those of you who have done this before don’t need any reasons from me. But lots of you haven’t.
One objection is that my boring old everyday work isn’t something anyone else cares about. That’s not true. The growth in the problems we face in testing means that many of us are inventing new techniques and facing new problems every day. Some of the most interesting papers I’ve seen have been about solving a very specific test problem. One of the topics we are looking for is the case study. I’ve done a few myself to very positive response.
Another problem might be getting approval from your company. If your company sells test hardware and software, establishing your expertise (while not doing a sales pitch) should be a good reason for a paper. If not, you are probably looking for test engineers or the like. Establishing your company as a place where interesting and challenging work gets done could help. And sending you to ITC is cheaper than an ad.
To be clear, this doesn’t involve soliciting for candidates at ITC. We frown on that. It just puts your company on the radar of interested job seekers.

Two other problems: you’ll have to write it or worse (*shudder*) present it. I can talk about that also, if anyone is interested. Send feedback!

2016 Exhibits – October 21, 2015

Spent way too much of last night updating the Exhibits Page with 2016 exhibitors so far – 34 of them. Click on the Exhibits link above to see their logos, each with a link to a page we create for them. That page has a link to their web sites. Already signed up exhibitors – I have your description from 2015. Please send me updates of your descriptions and contact information. Revising your page is fast and simple. I added links to the Exhibits List and Floorplan also. If you want to reach all those Texas Test Engineers, and have not signed up yet, sign up now to get a good spot on the floor.
I’ve added a mailto link to my name above in case you want to send a comment for posting (you can be the first) or ask for information. You can also use the Contact Us links on the bottom of the page.

Revising the Web Site – October 17

Just added a new banner for 2016 and a new picture to the ITC Website. The picture is of the twice-daily Fort Worth stampede of their herd of long-horn cattle. It’s fun to see.

Never fear – the stockyards are not next to the Fort Worth Convention Center or the ITC Conference Hotels.

I’ll be adding the call for papers soon, as well as adding the 2016 Exhibit Hall Floorplan. We have a bit more space next year, but we have lots of exhibitors signed up already, so if you want to show your wares at next year’s show, sign up soon.

Next Year in Fort Worth

Hope everyone had a good trip home. Next year ITC is November 15 – 17 in Fort Worth. Hope to see you there. The website will be changing real soon to reflect it. Thanks to all the exhibitors who have signed up already. If you are involved with a company who might be interested in exhibiting, head on over to the Exhibiting at ITC tab or fill out the Exhibitor’s Signup Form.
In the next few days the web pages will be updated with our new banner, a picture from Fort Worth, and some updates. Stay tuned.
Feedback always welcome!

Panels 2 and 3

I didn’t get to go to either of these. If anyone has a write-up they would like to share, please send it to me – Scott Davidson and I’ll post it.

The Wednesday and Thursday Keynotes

Andrew Kahng (Wednesday) and Bill Bottoms (Thursday) gave forward-looking keynotes based on their ITRS work. The Internet of Things impact is that most net traffic won’t be people to machines (the original case) or people to people (the case now) but machines to machines. This is the Era of Heterogeneous Integration. The driving force is the demand for real time data all the time.
Bill said that he’s make his slides available. I’ll post them as soon as I get them.
Not much mention of test – except that IoT devices will have to test themselves while running, and degrade gracefully. I suppose we can divide devices into those whose failure won’t matter much (like picture frames,) those which are more critical, like refrigerators, and those whose repair will be a pain, since they are inaccessible.
No one mentioned the impact of the single point of failure of these things – connectivity. I’ve already done a Last Byte about how in the future your connection going down will be like your electricity going out today. But I’ve not seen any real analysis of this. I trust it exists in the right journals.

The 2015 ITC Reception

The reception was a great night on the lawn in perfect California weather.

The reception.

The Beach Toys, a great Beach Boys Tribute Band.

And only the Rooses were brave enough to dance. And they danced well!

Plenary Keynote – Brain-Inspired Computing by Karim Arabi, Qualcomm

I’ve read a lot about this subject, and this talk was about the most enlightening treatment of the subject I can recall.
Dr. Arabi identified four stages of brain-inspired computing.


  1. Multiple Cores, Heterogeneous Cores. Similar to the different modules found in the brain.
  2. Deep Learning.
  3. Approximate Computing and In-Memory Computing
  4. Neuromorphic Computing and the Training of Neuromorphic systems.

About 90% of data processing will be done in the cloud, but 10%, such as understanding a scene well enough to adjust a camera to take an optimal picture, will be done on the edge in a mobile device.
Two interesting points for me. First, memristors seem to be excellent vehicles for modeling neurons, much better than regular transistors.
Second, he explained why deep learning has started to work in the past five to seven years. The answer is the availability of massive computing resources and massive amounts of data. He mentioned that people used to keep their photographs private, now they are posted. Interestingly, an image he used to illustrate GPU image processing was the woman in a hat that was a part of every announcement of a SIGGraph conference back when I was in graduate school, many decades ago. Then digitized images were precious, now there are more than you can possibly use.
Lots to think about.

The Monday Panel

The Monday panel, on whether 1149.1 is on its deathbed, was a bit less controversial than I’d have thought. The consensus of the panelists was that IEEE 1687 would take over in the long run. The consensus of the audience? I’m not sure.
Still, considering that 25 years is an eternity to our field, maybe a better topic would have been why is 1149.1 so healthy? I was part of a roadshow that helped push JTAG back in 1989 – to a massive lack of interest, I must say. That was a pre-Web world where we still worried about overhead, had lots of board test ATE companies, and simpler I/Os. Yeah, boundary scan never replaced in-circuit test (and the board test engineers I knew back then never thought it would) but the people on the committee did a pretty good job.


This blog is a bunch of observations about ITC in the Disneyland Hotel this year. There is no comment feature, but please send comments and contributions to
Scott Davidson, with title ITC Blog. I’ll assume it is okay to publish your contribution. If you want an alias, please include it with a note to use it instead of your email.


Background on me. This is my 36th consecutive ITC. I’ve done lots of activities – reviewed papers, presented papers (one this year,) been on the Program Committee, been Program Chair, been General Chair, been on panels, organized and chaired panels, given a tutorial, and founded some workshops. I’ve also been an exhibitor.
As you might guess, ITC is my favorite conference by far. Over the years I’ve been inspired by it, and have gotten lots of ideas from papers and exhibits. Why not send in your number one ITC-inspired moment or idea?

ITC 2015

This is ITC’s fourth year at the Disneyland Hotel. Next year we are moving to a place to be announced at the Plenary Tuesday morning – but you can get an idea if you look at the back cover of your Final Program. (Hint: it is involved with cattle.) The weather is great, as usual, and Disneyland is jammed with 60th Anniversary celebrations. If you want to eat at Downtown Disney, best to make reservations.
If you are new to Disney, and won’t have time to go into the park, you can get souvenirs at some of the stores near the hotel. (Okay Disney people, I expect 10% for this little ad, in small unmarked Disney Dollars.)

Our first ITC activity for all is Panel 1, Is IEEE 1149.1 on its Death Bed? At 4:45 in Magic Kingdom Ballroom followed by a reception at 6:30 in the Mark Twain Room and Terrace. See you there.