This thesis aims to understand how information coding and the protocol that it
supports can affect the characteristics of electronic circuits. More specifically, it
investigates an on-line test methodology called IFIS (If it Fails It Stops) and its
impact on the design, implementation and subsequent characteristics of circuits
intended for application specific lC (ASIC) technology.
The first study investigates the influences of information coding and protocol on the
characteristics of IFIS systems. The second study investigates methods of circuit
design applicable to IFIS cells and identifies the· technique possessing the
characteristics most suitable for on-line testing. The third study investigates the
characteristics of a 'real-life' commercial UART re-engineered using the techniques
resulting from the previous two studies. The final study investigates the effects of the
halting properties endowed by the protocol on failure diagnosis within IFIS systems.
The outcome of this work is an identification and characterisation of the factors that
influence behaviour, implementation costs and the ability to test and diagnose IFIS
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.