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Publication numberUS20020034112 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/986,883
Publication dateMar 21, 2002
Filing dateNov 13, 2001
Priority dateJun 11, 1998
Also published asUS6333879, US6424142
Publication number09986883, 986883, US 2002/0034112 A1, US 2002/034112 A1, US 20020034112 A1, US 20020034112A1, US 2002034112 A1, US 2002034112A1, US-A1-20020034112, US-A1-2002034112, US2002/0034112A1, US2002/034112A1, US20020034112 A1, US20020034112A1, US2002034112 A1, US2002034112A1
InventorsTetsuo Kato, Kei Hamade
Original AssigneeMitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Semiconductor device operable in a plurality of test operation modes
US 20020034112 A1
Abstract
A circuit generating a test mode instructing signal includes a test mode register circuit which is set to a state disabling instruction of a test mode in a standby state. An intended test mode can be accurately selected even when the test mode is instructed in accordance with a plurality of external signals varied in timing from each other. A semiconductor device allows accurate and efficient execution of the test without requiring increase in area occupied by an array.
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Claims(16)
What is claimed is:
1. A semiconductor device operable in a plurality of test modes, comprising:
circuitry for generating first and second internal test mode instructing signals in response to an externally applied test mode instructing signal;
circuitry for taking in an externally applied address signal and generating a test address signal in response to the first internal test mode instructing signal; and
test mode activating circuitry for operating in accordance with the second internal test mode instructing signal and said test address signal to generate a test mode select signal for activating a test mode designated by said test address signal among said plurality of test modes,
said test address signal generating circuit including a circuitry for initializing said test address signal to a state different from the state of selecting one of said plurality of test modes.
2. The semiconductor device according to claim 1, wherein
said test address signal generating circuitry includes a plurality of latches initialized to signal outputting states of different logical levels from each other.
3. The semiconductor device according to claim 2, wherein
said test address signal generating circuitry includes a plurality of decode circuits provided corresponding to said plurality of test modes, respectively, and
each of said plurality of decode circuits receives an output signal of a latch, among said plurality of latches, initialized to a state different from a state attained by a corresponding test address signal at the time of activation of the corresponding test mode.
4. The semiconductor device according to claim 2, wherein
each of said plurality of latches includes circuitry for generating complementary signals to each other.
5. The semiconductor device according to claim 2, wherein said plurality of latches include latches initialized to different state and receiving a common test address signal bit.
6. A semiconductor device comprising:
tuning signal generating circuitry activated in response to a tuning mode instructing signal to transmit a tuning signal for tuning a voltage between predetermined circuit nodes onto a tuning signal line; and
test mode activating circuitry responsive to a test mode instructing signal for generating onto said tuning signal line a signal for activating a test mode designated by said test mode instructing signal.
7. The semiconductor device according to claim 6, further comprising:
circuitry responsive to the signal on said tuning signal line being active for generating a test mode setting signal for placing said semiconductor device into a state operable in the test mode designated by said test mode instructing signal.
8. The semiconductor device according to claim 6, wherein
said tuning signal is a signal for short-circuiting said predetermined circuit nodes.
9. The semiconductor device according to claim 6, wherein said turning signal generating circuitry includes an output circuit activated in response to said turning mode instructing signal for generating the turning signal corresponding to a signal applied at a pad, and said output circuit enters an output high impedance state when said turning mode instructing signal is deactivated.
10. The semiconductor device according to claim 6, further comprising isolation circuitry coupled between said predetermined nodes and said turning signal line for isolating said predetermined nodes from said turning signal line in response to deactivation of said turning mode instructing signal.
11. A semiconductor device comprising:
a memory array including a plurality of memory cells arranged in rows and columns;
a plurality of bit line pairs provided correspondingly to the columns of said memory cells, each of the bit line pairs connected to the memory cells in a corresponding column;
a plurality of sense amplifiers provided corresponding to said bit line pairs, each of the sense amplifiers activated in accordance with a voltage on a sense drive node to perform differential amplification of potentials on a corresponding bit line pair;
a sense power supply for generating a power supply voltage for the sense amplifiers;
circuitry for internally generating an internal voltage at a level different from said power supply voltage; and
transmission circuitry activated in response to activation of a test mode instructing signal to transmit said internal voltage to said sense drive node.
12. The semiconductor device according to claim 11, wherein
said internal voltage is higher than said power supply voltage.
13. The semiconductor device according to claim 11, further comprising:
a bit line isolation gate arranged between a sense amplifier of the sense amplifiers and a corresponding bit line pair for isolating said sense amplifier from the corresponding bit line pair in response to activation of a bit line isolation instructing signal, and
said bit line isolation instructing signal being held at a level of said internal voltage when inactive,
said transmitting circuitry including a circuit for transmitting said bit line isolation instructing signal to said sense drive node.
14. The semiconductor device according to claim 11, further comprising:
a plurality of word lines provided corresponding to the rows of the memory cells of said memory array, each of the word lines connected to the memory cells in a corresponding row; and
control circuitry for holding said plurality of word lines in an unselected state in response to said test mode instructing signal being active.
15. The semiconductor device according to claim 13, wherein
said transmission circuitry includes:
a first power supply line provided commonly to said plurality of sense amplifiers for transmitting the voltage from said sense power supply;
a second power supply line provided for said plurality of sense amplifiers and coupled to the sense drive nodes of said plurality of sense amplifiers;
a first element for coupling the first and second power supply lines together in response to a sense amplifier activating signal; and
a switching circuit configured to be responsive to said test mode instructing signal for isolating the first power supply line from said sense power supply and connecting a signal line transmitting said bit line isolation instructing signal to the second power supply line.
16. The semiconductor device according to claim 15, wherein
said switching circuit is arranged outside a sense amplifier band including said plurality of sense amplifiers, and is aligned with said sense amplifier band.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a semiconductor device, and particularly to a structure for testing the semiconductor device.

[0003] 2. Description of the Background Art

[0004] For ensuring the reliability of products, various tests are performed on semiconductor devices. The tests of semiconductor device include a test at a wafer level and a test on a packaged device prior to shipment. For operations in various kinds of test modes, the semiconductor device is provided with circuit elements corresponding to the respective test modes. These circuit elements are selectively set to appropriate states in accordance with a designated test mode so that short-circuiting between internal nodes, change of an operation mode and others are performed. The test at the wafer level specifically includes a test for determining whether an internally produced reference voltage is set at a predetermined voltage level or not, and a performance evaluating test for determining whether internal circuits of the semiconductor device satisfy predetermined operation characteristics or not. Final tests after packaging specifically includes a screening test (voltage stress accelerated test) for revealing a latent defect.

[0005] The types of tests made on the semiconductor device increase with increase in integration density and number of functions of the semiconductor device. Increase in number of the types of test modes results in increase in number of corresponding circuit elements and therefore increase in area of the chip occupied by the circuit elements dedicated to the test operations so that the chip area increases, and the cost increases.

[0006] Various test modes are designated by combinations of states of a plurality of signals (e.g., WCBR+super VIH+address key). In this case, a designated test mode must be accurately determined, and the device must be set to the state corresponding to the designated test mode. If the device is set to an erroneous test mode state, an intended test could not be performed and the performance evaluation of the semiconductor device could not be made accurately.

[0007] Voltage acceleration is performed for accelerated tests such as a life test or a screening test of the product In the case of the voltage acceleration, the voltage acceleration must be performed efficiently for reducing a test time. For example, if an internal power supply voltage is changed in accordance with an external power supply voltage in a semiconductor memory device, an internal voltage higher than the internal power supply voltage also rises. Therefore, the internal power supply voltage can be raised only to a restricted level because break down voltage must be ensured in portions receiving the internal voltage. This results in a problem that voltage acceleration on all the internal nodes cannot be performed efficiently.

[0008] Further, screening must be effected on various portions by voltage acceleration for ensuring the reliability.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] An object of the invention is to provide a semiconductor device which allows accurate execution of intended tests without increase in chip area.

[0010] Another object of the invention is to provide a semiconductor device including a test circuit with a high circuit utilizing efficiency.

[0011] A further object of the invention is to provide a semiconductor device allowing accurate setting of intended test modes.

[0012] Still another object of the invention is to provide a semiconductor device in which voltage stress acceleration can be efficiently performed on an intended node.

[0013] According to the invention, a semiconductor device includes a circuit for generating first and second internal test mode instructing signals in response to an externally applied test mode instructing signal; a circuit for taking in an externally applied address signal and generating a test address signal in response to the first internal test mode instructing signal; and a test mode activating circuit for operating in accordance with the second internal test mode instructing signal and the test address signal to generate a test mode select signal for activating a test mode designated by the test address signal among a plurality of test modes.

[0014] The test address signal generating circuit includes a circuit for initializing the test address signal to a state different from the state for selecting one of the plurality of test modes.

[0015] By initializing the test address signal to the state different from the test mode instructing state, an intended test mode can be accurately activated even if the plurality of signals are varied in timing.

[0016] Further, by utilizing a tuning signal line in another test mode, the circuit utilizing efficiency is improved, and the area of the chip occupied by the test circuit is reduced.

[0017] By transmitting an internal voltage other than a sense power supply voltage to a sense power supply node of sense amplifiers, it is possible to perform voltage stress acceleration on each node of the sense amplifiers at a desired speed in a test operation mode.

[0018] The foregoing and other objects, features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019]FIG. 1 schematically shows a whole structure of a semiconductor device according to the invention;

[0020]FIG. 2A schematically shows a structure of a main portion of the semiconductor device according to an embodiment 1 of the invention, and FIG. 2B shows operation waveforms of the circuit shown in FIG. 2A;

[0021]FIG. 3 schematically shows an exemplary structure of a test mode activating circuit shown in FIG. 2A;

[0022]FIG. 4 shows an exemplary structure of a test mode setting signal generating circuit shown in FIG. 2A;

[0023]FIG. 5 shows a structure of a test mode register circuit shown in FIG. 2A;

[0024]FIG. 6 shows another structure of the test mode register circuit shown in FIG. 2A;

[0025]FIG. 7A shows another structure of the test mode setting signal generating circuit shown in FIG. 2A, and FIG. 7B shows operation waveforms of a test mode setting circuit shown in FIG. 7A;

[0026]FIG. 8 shows still another embodiment of the test mode setting signal generating circuit shown in FIG. 2A;

[0027]FIG. 9 shows another structure of the test mode register circuit shown in FIG. 2A;

[0028]FIG. 10 schematically shows a structure of a circuit generating a reset signal shown in FIGS. 3, 5 and 6;

[0029]FIG. 11 schematically shows a structure of a main portion of a semiconductor device according to an embodiment 2 of the invention;

[0030]FIG. 12 shows an exemplary a structure of a trimmable reference voltage generating circuit shown in FIG. 11;

[0031]FIG. 13 shows a structure of a tuning mode setting signal generating circuit shown in FIG. 11;

[0032]FIG. 14 shows a structure of a different test mode instructing signal generating circuit shown in FIG. 11;

[0033]FIG. 15 shows a structure of a different test mode setting signal generating circuit shown in FIG. 11;

[0034]FIG. 16 shows a structure of the trimmable reference voltage generating circuit shown in FIG. 11;

[0035]FIG. 17 shows another structure of the trimmable reference voltage generating circuit shown in FIG. 11;

[0036]FIG. 18 schematically shows another structure of the semiconductor device according to the embodiment 2 of the invention;

[0037]FIG. 19 schematically shows a whole structure of a semiconductor device according to an embodiment 3 of the invention;

[0038]FIG. 20 schematically shows a structure of a main portion of the semiconductor device shown in FIG. 19;

[0039]FIG. 21 shows an exemplary a structure of a sense power supply circuit shown in FIG. 19;

[0040]FIG. 22 shows an exemplary a structure of a control circuit shown in FIG. 19;

[0041]FIG. 23 schematically shows a structure of a burn-in mode instructing signal generating circuit;

[0042]FIG. 24 shows a structure of a sense amplifier shown in FIG. 20;

[0043]FIG. 25 shows another structure of a main portion of a semiconductor device according to an embodiment 3 of the invention;

[0044]FIG. 26 is a signal waveform diagram representing an operation of the semiconductor device shown in FIG. 25;

[0045]FIG. 27 schematically shows a structure of a portion generating a control signal φB shown in FIG. 25;

[0046]FIG. 28 schematically shows a structure of a bit line isolation instructing signal generating portion shown in FIG. 25;

[0047]FIG. 29 schematically shows a structure of a portion generating a control signal φA shown in FIG. 25;

[0048]FIG. 30 schematically shows another structure of the portion generating control signal φA;

[0049]FIG. 31 schematically shows a structure of a modification of a main portion of the semiconductor device shown in FIG. 25;

[0050]FIG. 32 is a signal waveform diagram representing an operation of a modification 2 of the semiconductor device according to the embodiment 3 of the invention;

[0051]FIG. 33 schematically shows a structure of a bit line isolation instructing signal generating portion shown in FIG. 32;

[0052]FIG. 34 schematically shows a structure of a main portion of a modification 3 of the semiconductor device according to the embodiment 3 of the invention;

[0053]FIG. 35 schematically shows a structure of a portion generating a control signal shown in FIG. 34;

[0054]FIG. 36 schematically shows a structure of a portion implementing operation waveforms shown in FIG. 32; and

[0055]FIG. 37 schematically shows a structure of a main portion of a modification 4 of the semiconductor device according to the embodiment 3 of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0056]FIG. 1 schematically shows a whole structure of a semiconductor device according to the invention. In FIG. 1, a semiconductor device 1 includes an internal circuit 1 a implementing predetermined functions, a test mode instructing signal generating circuit 1 b which generates a test mode instructing signal in accordance with an externally applied signal Sext, and a test mode setting signal generating circuit 1 c which generates a test mode setting signal for setting internal circuit 1 a to a test mode instructed in accordance with test mode instructing signal from test mode instructing signal generating circuit 1 b.

[0057] Externally applied signal Sext is usually formed of multiple bits, and designates a specific test mode in accordance with a combination of logic states of the multiple bits. Test mode setting signal generating circuit 1 c generates a test mode setting signal for placing internal circuit 1 a in the test mode designated in accordance with the test mode instructing signal from test mode instructing signal generating circuit 1 b.

[0058] Semiconductor device 1 further includes an internal power supply circuit 1 d which receives an externally supplied power supply voltage Vex and generates an internal voltage Vin. Internal circuit 1 a is supplied with internal voltage Vin from internal power supply circuit id and external power supply voltage Vex. Internal voltage Vin supplied from internal power supply circuit 1 d may be an operation power supply voltage of internal circuit 1 a, a high voltage higher than the operation power supply voltage or a negative voltage.

[0059] In the semiconductor device shown in FIG. 1, external signal Sext is set to a predetermined state, whereby the test mode is specified. Test mode instructing signal generating circuit 1 b generates a test mode instructing signal, instructing the specified test mode to test mode setting signal generating circuit 1 c. Test mode setting signal generating circuit 1 c places internal circuit 1 a in the test state in accordance with the test mode instructing signal, and the test operation of internal circuit 1 a is performed under this state.

[0060] Test mode instructing signal generating circuit 1 b and test mode setting signal generating circuit 1 c form a test mode setting circuit 1 e. Internal circuit 1 a is set to the state in which it can operate in the specified test mode, by test mode setting circuit 1 e in accordance with externally applied signal Sext.

[0061] In this test mode setting circuit 1 e, test mode setting signal generating circuit 1 c arranged therein is commonly used for a plurality of test modes. Test mode setting signal generating circuit 1 c produces the test mode setting signal for accurately setting internal circuit 1 a to the test mode state designated in accordance with the external signal, when test mode instructing signal generating circuit 1 b is active.

[0062] Test mode setting signal generating circuit 1 c sets internal circuit 1 a to the state for efficiently performing the voltage acceleration. Respective structures will now be described below.

Embodiment 1

[0063]FIG. 2A schematically shows a structure of a main portion of a semiconductor device according to an embodiment 1 of the invention. More specifically, FIG. 2A schematically shows a structure of the test mode setting circuit shown in FIG. 1. In FIG. 2A, test mode instructing signal generating circuit 1 b includes a test mode activating circuit 1 ba which asserts a test address setting signal TDS, i.e., a first test mode instructing signal and a test mode address defining signal TMAS, i.e., a second internal test mode instructing signal when externally applied signal EX is set to a predetermined state, a test mode register circuit 1 bb which takes in and latches an externally applied test address signal bit TADB in accordance with test address setting signal TDS from test mode activating circuit 1 ba for generating an internal test address signal bit ADi.

[0064] Test mode setting signal generating circuit 1 c is enabled in response to activation of test mode address defining signal TMAS from test mode activating circuit 1 ba, and generates test mode setting signal MODE in accordance with internal test address signal bit ADi received from test mode register circuit 1 bb. In the test mode, internal test address signal bit ADi is deactivated or deasserted, and test mode register circuit 1 bb is initialized to the state for deactivating test mode setting signal MODE. Now, operation of the test mode setting circuit shown in FIG. 2A will be described with reference to a signal waveform diagram shown in FIG. 2B.

[0065] When external signal EX is set to a super VIH which is a voltage level higher than the H-level of voltage applied in a normal mode, test mode activating circuit 1 ba determines that the test mode is designated, and activates test mode address defining signal TMSA. Upon elapsing of a predetermined time period, test mode activating circuit 1 ba activates test address setting signal TDS in a one-shot pulse form for application to test mode register circuit 1 bb. In accordance with test address setting signal TDS, test mode register circuit 1 bb takes in and latches externally applied test address signal bit TADD for setting internal test address signal bit ADi to the state corresponding to the state of externally applied test address signal bit TADD.

[0066] Since internal test address signal bit ADi is initially inactive, test mode setting signal generating circuit 1 c maintains test mode setting signal MODE inactive even when test mode address defining signal TMSA is activated. When internal test address signal bit ADi is set to a predetermined state in accordance with externally applied test address signal bit TADD, test mode setting signal generating circuit 1 c drives test mode setting signal MODE to the active state.

[0067] Accordingly, even if external signal EX and test address signal bit TADD are made defined at different timings, mode setting signal MODE for setting an intended test mode can be activated accurately as shown in FIG. 2B, and activation of an erroneous test mode setting signal can be prevented.

[0068] Test address signal bit TADD is a signal applied to the address input pad, and is an address signal bit applied to an address input buffer included in an internal circuit (not shown).

[0069]FIG. 3 schematically shows a structure of test mode activating circuit 1 ba shown in FIG. 2A In FIG. 3, test mode activating circuit 1 ba includes a high voltage detecting circuit 10 a for detecting that a specific external signal EXa satisfies the super VIH condition, a set/reset flip-flop 10 b which is set when an output signal TEST of high voltage detecting circuit 10 a is activated and is reset when reset signal RST is activated, an inverting delay circuit 10 c which inverts and delays by a predetermined time the output signal of high voltage detecting circuit 10 a, and an NOR circuit 10d which receives the output signal of inverting delay circuit and output signal TEST of high voltage detecting circuit 10 a. Set/reset flip-flop 10 b generates test mode address defining signal TMAS from its output Q, and NOR circuit 10 d generates test address setting signal TDS.

[0070] High voltage detecting circuit 10 a generates the signal at H-level when externally applied specific signal EXa is set to the voltage condition of a voltage level higher than that in the normal mode. High voltage detecting circuit 10 a is formed of a circuit with a plurality of diode-connected MOS transistors, for example. Set/reset flip-flop 10 b drives signal TMAS from its output Q to the active state of H-level when output signal TEST of high voltage detecting circuit 10 a rises to H-level. Inverting delay circuit 10 c and NOR circuit 10 d form a detecting circuit which generates a pulse of one shot in response to falling of the input signal, and drives its output signal TDS to the active state of H-level for a predetermined time period in response to falling of output signal TEST of high voltage detecting circuit 10 a.

[0071] With the structure shown in FIG. 3, signals shown in FIG. 2B can be produced. In the structure shown in FIG. 3, high voltage detecting circuit 10 a may include a structure of a one-shot pulse generating circuit which generates a pulse signal of one shot when specific external signal EXa is set to the super VIH condition. As an alternative to high voltage detecting circuit 10 a, an ordinary circuit for detecting a WCBR (write enable, CAS before RAS) condition may be used, if the semiconductor device is a dynamic semiconductor memory device. Reset signal RST is driven to the active state when the test mode is completed or before start of the test mode.

[0072]FIG. 4 shows a structure of test mode setting signal generating circuit 1 c shown in FIG. 2A. In FIG. 4, test mode setting signal generating circuit 1 c includes an NAND circuit 11 a which receives test mode address defining signal TMAS from test mode activating circuit 1 ba and internal address signal bit ADi (or ZADi), and an inverter 11 b inverting the output signal of NAND circuit 11 a. Inverter 11 b generates mode setting signal MODE activating a designated test mode. The value (logical level) of internal address signal bit ADi (or ZADi) applied to NAND circuit 11 a depends on the test mode. In the standby state (initialized state), the output signal of test mode register circuit 1 bb shown in FIG. 2A is set to a logical level for placing mode setting signal MODE in the inactive state.

[0073]FIG. 5 shows a structure of a test mode register included in test mode register circuit 1 bb shown in FIG. 2A. In FIG. 5, the test mode register includes a tristate inverter buffer 12 a which is enabled to invert and transmit externally applied address signal bit TADD when test mode address setting signals TDS and ZTDS are active, an inverter 12 b which inverts the output signal of tristate inverter buffer 12 a, an inverter 12 c which inverts the output signal of inverter 12 b for transmission to the input of inverter 12 b, an inverter 12 d which inverts the output signal of inverter 12 c to produce internal test address signal bit ADi, and an inverter 12 e which inverts the output signal of inverter 12 d to produce complemental internal test address signal bit ZADi. Inverters 12 b and 12 c form a latch circuit.

[0074] This test mode register further includes an n-channel MOS transistor 12 f which is turned on in response to reset signal RST to discharge the input of inverter 12 b to the ground potential level, and a stabilizing capacitance 12 g which is formed of a p-channel MOS transistor for stabilizing the voltage on the input of inverter 12 b. For the following reason, the p-channel MOS transistor is used as stabilizing capacitance 12 g. In the initialized state, the input of inverter 12 b attains L-level so that the channel of the transistor is formed and the capacitance is stably formed. The MOS transistor is off and does not form a PMOS capacitor when it receives a signal at H-level from tristate inverter buffer 12 a. Accordingly, the voltage on the input of inverter 12 b can be changed rapidly owing to the employment of the p-channel MOS transistor.

[0075] In the structure of the test mode register shown in FIG. 5, true internal test address signal bit ADi is set to H-level in the initialized state. This state will be referred to as an “H-reset state” hereinafter. The test mode may be activated when test address signal bit ADi is set to L-level, in which case the true address signal bit ADi is used. Alternatively, the test mode may be activated when corresponding test mode address TADD is set to L-level. In this case, complemental test address signal bit ZADi is used. Thereby, erroneous setting of the mode setting signal can be reliably prevented in the initialized state (standby state).

[0076]FIG. 6 shows another structure of the test mode register included in the test mode register circuit shown in FIG. 2A. In FIG. 6, the test mode register includes a tristate inverter buffer 14 a enabled in response to activation of test mode address setting signals TDS and ZTDS, for inverting externally applied test mode address signal bit TADD, an inverter 14 b inverting the output signal of tristate inverter buffer 14 a, an inverter 14 c inverting the output signal of inverter 14 b for application to the input of inverter 14 b, an inverter 14 d inverting the signal on the input of inverter 14 b to produces a true internal test address signal bit ADj, and an inverter 14 e inverting the output signal of inverter 14 d to produces a complemental internal test address signal bit ZADj. Inverters 14 b and 14 c form the latch circuit.

[0077] This test mode register further includes a p-channel MOS transistor 14 f turned on to set the input of inverter 14 b to the level of power supply voltage Vdd when reset signal ZRST is active, and a stabilizing capacitance 14 g formed of a p-channel MOS transistor and arranged at the output of inverter 14 b. In the test mode register shown in FIG. 6, the input of inverter 14 b is initialized to H-level by MOS transistor 14 f, and true internal test address signal bit ADj is set to and held at L-level when test mode address setting signal TDS is inactive. Complemental internal test address signal bit ZADj is held at H-level. The state in which true address signal bit ADj is reset to L-level during standby will be referred to as an “L-reset state” hereinafter.

[0078] When true address signal bit ADj is set to H-level in the above structure, the true internal test address signal bit is applied to the test mode setting circuit setting an operation to a corresponding test mode.

[0079] Referring to FIG. 7A, the test mode setting signal generating circuit includes an NAND circuit 11 aa receiving test mode address defining signal TMAS and test address signal bit ZADi, NAND circuit 11 ab receiving test mode address defining signal TMAS and test address signal bit ADj, an inverter 11 ba receiving the output signal of NAND circuit 11 a, to generate a test mode setting signal MODEA, and an inverter 11 bb receiving the output signal of NAND circuit 11 ab, to generate a test mode setting signal MODEB. Test address signal bit ZADi is applied from the H-reset register shown in FIG. 5, and test address signal bit ADj is applied from the L-reset register shown in FIG. 6. Then, the operation of the test mode setting signal generating circuit shown in FIG. 7A will be described below with reference to a signal waveform diagram of FIG. 7B.

[0080] When test mode address defining signal TMAS attains H-level, NAND circuits 11 aa and 11 ab are enabled. In this state, externally applied test address signal bits TADDi and TADDj are set to predetermined states (L-level), respectively. However, test mode address setting signal TMS is still inactive at L-level, and the corresponding mode register still maintains the initial state (standby state) so that internal test address signal bit ZADi maintains L-level, and test address signal bit ADj maintains L-level. Therefore, even if test mode address defining signal TMAS is asserted in this state, both test mode setting signals MODEA and MODEB are inactive at L-level.

[0081] When test mode setting signal TMS is in the active state of H-level for a predetermined time period, internal test address signal bits ADj and ZADi are set to the states corresponding to externally applied test address signal bits TADDj and TADDi, respectively. Since externally applied test mode address signal bits TADDi and TADBj are both at L-level, complemental internal test address signal bit ZADi rises to H-level, and true internal test address signal bit ADj maintains L-level. Therefore, test mode setting signal MODEA attains H-level, and test mode setting signal MODEB maintains L-level.

[0082] As described above, the logical level of the initial state (standby state) of the mode register is set in accordance with the logic local of the activated state of an address signal bit used for setting the corresponding test mode, whereby an intended test mode can be accurately set even when the external signals vary in timing.

[0083]FIG. 8 shows another structure of the test mode setting signal generating circuit. In FIG. 8, test mode setting signal generating circuit includes an NAND circuit 11 c receiving test address signal bits ADj, ZADj and ZADk, and an inverter 11 d receiving the output signal of NAND circuit 11 c, to generate a test mode setting signal MODEC. Test address signal bit ADi is generated from the L-reset register shown in FIG. 6, and test address signal bits ZADj and ZADk are applied given from the H-reset register shown in FIG. 5. Test mode setting signal MODEC is activated when all test address signal bits ADi, ZADj and ZADk are set to H-level. In the initialized state (standby state), test address signal bits ADi, ZADj and ZADk are set to L-level. Therefore, the initialized state is different from the state in which test mode setting signal MODEC is activated, and erroneous activation of test mode setting signal MODEC can be prevented, as can also be done in the foregoing embodiment.

[0084] In the structure shown in FIG. 8, test address signal bits ADi, ZADj and ZADk are all set to L-level. However, at least one bit of test address signal bits ADi, ZADj and ZADk may be reset to L-level in the initialized state (standby state). For example, test mode address signal bits ADi may be initialized to L-level, and test mode address signal bits ZADj and ZADk may be initialized to H-level. Test address signal bits ADi, ZADj and ZADk are only required to be in the states of which combination is different from that of the signal states activating test mode setting signal MODEC.

[0085] In this structure, it is not required to provide the H-reset register and L-reset register for each test address signal bit for all the test mode setting signals. Therefore, the mode registers can be small in number, and the area occupied by the circuit can be reduced.

[0086]FIG. 9 shows another structure of test mode register circuit 1 bb. In FIG. 9, L-reset register 14 and H-reset register 12 are provided for test address signal bit TADDi. Internal test address signal bit ADi from L-reset register 14 is used for designating a test mode D. Complemental internal test address signal bit ZADi from H-reset register is used for designating a test mode A.

[0087] As shown in FIG. 9, L-reset register 14 and H-reset register 12 are provided for one test mode address signal bit TADDi, and test address signal bits ADi and ZADi therefrom are used, whereby one address signal bit can be used for two test modes (A and D), and the test mode can be accurately designated, as can also be done in the foregoing case.

[0088]FIG. 10 schematically shows a structure of the reset signal generating portion. In FIG. 10, the reset signal generating portion includes a power-on detecting circuit 16 for generating a pulse signal of one-shot when the power supply voltage becomes stable after power-on, a test mode end detecting circuit 18 detecting whether a signal representing the end of a test mode is applied or not, and an OR circuit 19 receiving an output signal POR of power-on detecting circuit 16 and an output signal EOT of test mode end detecting circuit 18. OR circuit 19 generates reset signal RST. Power-on detecting circuit 16 stops the operation of the internal circuitry until the power supply voltage becomes stable after power-on, and generates a power-on reset signal POR for resetting at the time of power-on so that the respective nodes for the operation of the internal circuitry may be set to the initial states. In the chase where the semiconductor device is, for example, a semiconductor memory device, test mode end detecting circuit 18 detects the CBR (CAS before RAS) condition, and generates a test mode end detection signal EOT of a one-shot pulse. Accordingly, upon power-on and the end of test mode, reset signal RST is set to the active state of H-level for a predetermined period, and mode register circuit 1 bb is reset to the predetermined state (i.e., is initialized).

[0089] The reset signal generating portion of the structure shown in FIG. 10 may include a test mode entry detecting circuit so that the reset signal may be generated every entry into the test mode. In this case, the test mode entry detecting circuit may be configured to determine that the test mode entry is instructed when the WCBR condition is satisfied, to generate the reset signal, if the semiconductor device is a semiconductor memory device. Each mode register can be reliably set to the initial state.

[0090] The description has been given on the structure for designating the test mode. However, the mode register may be used for designating a specific operation mode of the semiconductor device.

[0091] According to the embodiment 1 of the invention, as described above, the initial states of the internal address signal bits used for setting an operation mode are different from the activated states of internal address signal bits. Therefore, the timing conditions can be relaxed, and an intended operation mode can be accurately set.

Embodiment 2

[0092]FIG. 11 schematically shows a structure of a main portion of a semiconductor device according to an embodiment 2 of the invention. In the semiconductor device shown in FIG. 11, internal circuit 1 a includes a trimmable reference voltage circuit 1 aa generating a reference voltage Vref.

[0093] The voltage level of reference voltage Vref generated by trimmable reference voltage generating circuit 1 aa can be adjusted by fuse elements, i.e. blowable link elements.

[0094] Test mode setting circuit 1 e includes a tuning mode setting signal generating circuit 21 a for generating a tuning mode setting signal TUNE representing designation of a tuning mode when external signal Sext is set to a predetermined state, a tuning signal generating circuit 21 b enabled in response to activation of tuning mode setting signal TUNE from tuning mode setting signal generating circuit 21 a, to take in the signal applied to a pad 21 d for application onto an internal tuning signal line 21 c as a tuning signal SW, a different test mode instructing signal generating circuit 21 e which determines that a different test mode is instructed when external signal Sext is set to a predetermined state, to generate a the test mode instructing signal onto tuning signal line 21 c, and a different test mode setting signal generating circuit 21 f which generates a different test mode setting signal MODE for activating the different test mode in accordance with the signal applied onto tuning signal line 21 c when tuning mode setting signal TUNE is inactive. Different test mode instructing signal generating circuit 21 e is set to the output high impedance state when it is not selected. Tuning signal SW from tuning signal generating circuit 21 b is applied to a tuning element included in tenable reference voltage generating circuit 1 aa. Different test mode setting signal MODE generated from different test mode setting signal generating circuit 21 f may designate any test mode operation.

[0095] Tuning mode setting signal generating circuit 21 a and different test mode instructing signal generating circuit 21 e may have the structures of the embodiment 1 or other structures, provided that the signal instructing the tuning mode or the different test mode is generated when external signal Sext is set to the predetermined state.

[0096] Tuning signal generating circuit 21 b takes in the signal applied via pad 21 d, and generates tuning signal SW, and the voltage level of reference voltage Vref generated by trimmable reference voltage generating circuit 1 aa is controlled in accordance with tuning signal SW. The voltage level of reference voltage Vref is externally monitored while switching tuning signal SW among different states, whereby reference voltage Vref is set to the predetermined voltage level. The tuning test is a test at the wafer level. If the semiconductor device is a semiconductor memory device, this tuning test is performed before a redundant test made for redundant replacement of a defective memory cell. When a defective memory cell is replaced with a redundant memory cell, programming of fuse elements is performed based on the state of the tuning signal. After this, tuning signal line 21 c is no longer used for the tuning test. A plurality of tuning signals are present, and one tuning signal line is provided for each tuning signal. Tuning signal lines 21 c are also used as signal lines for setting the different test, whereby the signal lines for test are reduced in number, and an area occupied by interconnection lines is reduced.

[0097]FIG. 12 shows an exemplary a structure of trimmable reference voltage generating circuit 1 aa. FIG. 12 shows an arrangement for producing an internal operation power supply voltage in accordance with reference voltage Vref generated by trimmable reference voltage generating circuit 1 aa.

[0098] In FIG. 12, trimmable reference voltage generating circuit 1 aa includes a constant current source 23 coupled to an external power supply node 22, resistance elements 24 a, 24 b, 24 c and 24 d connected in series between constant current source 23 and the ground node, a fuse element 25 a having one end connected to an end of resistance element 24 a, a fuse element 25 b having one end connected to an end of resistance element 24 d, a switching transistor 26 a turned on in response to a tuning signal SW1, to connect the other end of fuse element 25 a to the other end of resistance element 24 a, and a switching transistor 26 b turned on in response to a tuning signal SW2, to connect the other end of fuse element 25 b to the other end of resistance element 24 d. Although FIG. 12 shows a reduced number of resistance elements for simplicity reason, the numbers of the resistance elements and fuse elements can be determined appropriately.

[0099] The resistance values of switching elements 26 a and 26 b in the on state are set to extremely small, ignorable values, as compared with the resistance values of resistance elements 24 a-24 d.

[0100] For externally monitoring reference voltage Vref, a switching element 27 a is arranged, which is turned on to transmit reference voltage Vref to a pad 27 b in response to tuning mode setting signal TUNE.

[0101] The internal power supply circuit id shown in FIG. 1 produces internal power supply voltage Vin based on reference voltage Vref. Internal power supply circuit 1 d includes a comparator 28 for comparing reference voltage Vref with internal power supply voltage Vin, and a current drive transistor 29 formed of a p-channel MOS transistor and having a conductance controlled in response to the output signal of comparator 28, to supply a current from external power supply node 22 to an internal power supply node. Comparator 28 is formed of a differential amplifier, and has a positive input receiving internal power supply voltage Vin and a negative input receiving reference voltage Vref.

[0102] When reference voltage Vref is higher than internal power supply voltage Vin, the voltage level of output signal of comparator 28 lowers, and the conductance of current drive transistor 29 increases so that a current is supplied from external power supply node 22 to the internal power supply node, and the voltage level of internal power supply voltage Vin rises. Conversely, when internal power supply voltage Vin is higher than reference voltage Vref, the output signal of comparator-28 is at H-level, and current drive transistor 29 is off and to cut off the current path from external power supply node 22 to the internal power supply node. Therefore, internal power supply voltage Vin is set substantially to the voltage level of reference voltage Vref. The internal circuit uses internal power supply voltage Vin as one operation power supply voltage. For ensuring the operation characteristics of internal circuitry, the voltage level of internal power supply voltage Vin must be accurately set within a predetermined voltage range, and reference voltage Vref must be accurately set to the predetermined voltage level.

[0103] In the case where internal power supply voltage Vin produced in accordance with reference voltage Vref is applied to a sense amplifier power supply circuit to be described later, data at H-level of internal power supply voltage Vin is written into a memory cell. When the voltage level of reference voltage Vref is low, the voltage level of H-level written into the memory cell is low. Therefore, when a test is made for determining charge retention characteristics or the like of memory cells with reference voltage Vref lower than the predetermined level, a normal memory cell may be determined as a defective memory cell.

[0104] In the case where a substrate bias voltage is generated in accordance with internal power supply voltage Vin, if reference voltage Vref is low, the voltage level of internal power supply voltage Vin is also low so that a oscillating frequency of an oscillator included in a substrate bias voltage generating circuit is low, and the substrate voltage cannot be produced with a sufficiently large charge supply capability, resulting in a shallow substrate bias voltage (small in absolute value). In this case, a leak current from a memory cell to the substrate decreases. Conversely, when reference voltage Vref is set to a higher voltage level, the oscillating frequency of the oscillator rises so that the substrate bias becomes deep, and the leak current from the memory cell to the substrate increases. Therefore, the test for determining whether the memory cell is defective or not must be performed after performing trimming for setting reference voltage Vref to the predetermined voltage level.

[0105] When reference voltage Vref is trimmed with link (fuse) elements 25 a and 25 b, the operation of determining whether the memory cells are defective or not will be performed again. After this determining operation, the program operation for replacement of the defective memory cell(s) is performed and, in this programming operation, the fuse(s) must be blown off for programming a defective address. This increases the number of steps of blowing the fuses. A blown off fuse element cannot be restored to the initial state. For preventing increase in number of the fuse blowing steps and for accurately setting the voltage level of reference voltage Vref to the predetermined value, reference voltage Vref is measured, and the switching elements provided corresponding to the fuses to be blown off are turned off based on the measured data. For example, the test for determining whether a memory cell is defective or not is performed in this state. Thereafter, the fuse elements provided for the resistance elements are selectively blown off based on the trimming signal upon address programming of the defective memory cells, i.e., programming for replacement with the redundant memory cell(s). In this case, the fuse blowing steps can be reduced in number. Following operations are performed in the step of the tuning mode test for specifying a fuse element(s) to be blown off.

[0106] Tuning mode setting signal generating circuit 21 a identifies a test mode in accordance with known timing conditions such as WCBR+address key condition, and more specifically determines whether the tuning mode is instructed or not. When the tuning mode is instructed, tuning mode setting signal generating circuit 21 a drives tuning mode setting signal TUNE to the active state. Tuning mode setting signal generating circuit 21 b takes in the signal applied from pad 21 d in response to activation of tuning mode setting signal TUNE, and applies tuning signal SW onto tuning signal line 21 c. Tuning signal SW applied onto tuning signal line 21 c corresponds to tuning signal SW1 or SW2 shown in FIG. 12. A signal corresponding to each tuning signal is externally applied through the pads. When tuning mode setting signal TUNE is active, different test mode instructing signal generating circuit 21 e is kept in the output high impedance state, and different test mode setting signal generating circuit 21 f is disabled (test mode setting signal MODE is kept inactive).

[0107] As shown in FIG. 12, reference voltage Vref is transmitted to specific pad 27 b in accordance with tuning mode setting signal TUNE, and is externally measurable. In this tuning mode, it is determined through pad 27 b whether reference voltage Vref is at the predetermined voltage level or not. When reference voltage Vref is at the voltage level different from the predetermined voltage level, which of a switching element between switching elements 26 a and 26 b is to be turned on or off for setting reference voltage Vref to the predetermined level, is determined. In accordance with the result of this determination, the tuning signal is applied again through pad 21 d (FIG. 11). The voltage level of reference voltage Vref generated from trimmable reference voltage generating circuit 1 aa is changed, and the voltage level of reference voltage Vref is measured again. The foregoing operations are repeated until reference voltage Vref reaches the intended voltage level.

[0108] In the above tuning test, tuning mode setting signal TUNE may be continuously maintained active during the tuning mode, and the signal for tuning may be applied through pad 21 d. Also, such a structure may be employed that tuning mode setting signal TUNE is activated every time the tuning signal is applied. For example, tuning signal SW generated from tuning signal generating circuit 21 b is latched by a latch circuit (not shown), and reference voltage Vref generated from trimmable reference voltage generating circuit 1 aa is held at the intended voltage level during the redundant test. After the redundant test, programming of fuse elements 25 a and 25 b shown in FIG. 12 is performed. After the programming of fuse elements 25 a and 25 b, tuning signals SW1 and SW2 are fixed in the state of H-level.

[0109] In this tuning test, different test mode instructing signal generating circuit 21 e is set to the output high impedance state because the test mode assigned thereto is different from the currently instructed test mode. Therefore, different test mode instruction signal generating circuit 21 e exerts no influence on tuning signal SW transmitted onto tuning signal line 21 c. Different test mode setting signal generating circuit 21 f is disabled when tuning mode setting signal TUNE is active, and therefore the different test mode is not selected.

[0110] If the different test mode is not used for the redundant cell replacement, no problem arises even if tuning signal line 21 c is commonly used. Tuning signals SW1 and SW2 shown in FIG. 12 must be held at H-level during the function test and the test at the chip level after the redundant test. In this case, it is necessary that the signal from different test mode instructing signal generating circuit 21 e does not exert an influence on the tuning signal. Specific structures of the respective portions will be described below.

[0111]FIG. 13 shows a structure of tuning signal generating circuit 21 b shown in FIG. 11. In FIG. 13, tuning signal generating circuit 21 b includes an inverter 21 ba inverting a signal applied to pad 21 d, an NAND circuit 21 bb receiving tuning mode setting signal TUNE and the output signal of inverter 21 ba, an inverter 21 bc inverting tuning mode setting signal TUNE, an NOR circuit 21 bd receiving the output signals of inverters 21 ba and 21 bc, a p-channel MOS transistor 21 be turned on to drive tuning signal SW to H-level when the output signal of NAND circuit 21 bb is at L-level, and an n-channel MOS transistor 21 bf turned on to generate tuning signal SW at L-level when the output signal of NOR circuit 21 bd is at H-level. In the structure shown in FIG. 13, p-channel MOS transistor 21 be has a source connected to external power supply node 22. However, it may be connected to an internal power supply node.

[0112] When tuning mode setting signal TUNE is at L-level, the output signal of NAND circuit 21 bb is at H-level, and p-channel MOS transistor 21 be is off. Also, the output signal of NOR circuit 21 bd is at L-level, and n-channel MOS transistor 21 bf is off. In this state, tuning signal generating circuit 21 b is set to the output high impedance state.

[0113] When tuning mode setting signal TUNE attains H-level, NAND circuit 21 bb and NOR circuit 21 bd operate as inverters, to drive tuning signal SW to H- or L-level in accordance with the signal applied to pad 21 d.

[0114]FIG. 14 shows an example of the structure of different test mode instructing signal generating circuit 21 e shown in FIG. 11. In FIG. 14, different test mode instructing signal generating circuit 21 e includes a different test mode detecting circuit 21 eb for which driving different test mode detection signal TEST to the active state when external signal Sext designates the different test mode, an inverter 21 ec for inverting the signal applied to a pad 21 ab, an inverter 21 ed for inverting different test mode detection signal TEST received from different test mode detecting circuit 21 ea, an NAND circuit 21 ee receiving the output signal of inverter 21 ec and different test mode detection signal TEST, an NOR circuit 21 ef receiving the output signals of inverters 21 ec and 21 ed, a p-channel MOS transistor 21 ed turned on to drive a different test mode activating signal TMACT to H-level when the output signal of NAND circuit 21 ee is at L-level, and an n-channel MOS transistor 21 eh turned on to drive different test mode activating signal TMACT to L-level when the output signal of NOR circuit 21 ef is at H-level.

[0115] Different test mode detecting circuit 21 ea determines whether the WCBR condition is satisfied or not, in accordance with external signal Sext, for example. Pad 21 eb is supplied with, e.g., the address signal bit. When different test mode detection signal TEST from different test mode detecting circuit 21 ea is in the inactive state of L-level, the output signal of NAND circuit 21 ee is at H-level, and the output signal of NOR circuit 21 ef is at L-level so that different test mode instructing signal generating circuit 21 e attains the output high impedance state. When the different test mode is designated, different test mode detection signal TEST attains H-level, and NAND circuit 21 ee and NOR circuit 21 ef operate as inverters. In this state, when the signal applied to pad 21 eb is at H-level, different test mode activating signal TMACT maintains the inactive state of L-level. When the signal applied to pad 21 eb is at L-level, MOS transistor 21 eg is turned on, and different test mode activating signal TMACT is driven to H-level.

[0116] In different test mode instructing signal generating circuit 21 e shown in FIG. 14, different test mode detecting circuit 21 ea detects, e.g., the WCBR condition or WCBR+super VIH condition, and also determines whether the different test mode is designated or not, in accordance with the logical value of the address signal bit applied from pad 21 eb. Different test mode detecting circuit 21 ea may have the same structure as that of the embodiment 1. In the structure in which the tuning mode is designated, different test mode detecting circuit 21 ea is adapted to detect the different test mode based on the state of external signal Sext different from the state for designating the tuning mode, and enters the output high impedance state so that no conflict occurs between the signals even if tuning signal line 21 c is commonly used.

[0117]FIG. 15 shows a structure of different test mode setting signal generating circuit 2 if shown in FIG. 11. In FIG. 15, different test mode setting signal generating circuit 21 f includes an inverter 21 fa receiving tuning mode setting signal TUNE, an NAND circuit 21 fb receiving the output signal of inverter 21 fa and different test mode activating signal TMACT, and an inverter 21 fc inverting the output signal of NAND circuit 21 fb to generate test mode setting signal MODE. In accordance with test mode setting signal MODE from inverter 21 fc, the internal circuit is set to the state for executing a corresponding test operation.

[0118] When tuning mode setting signal TUNE is at H-level and the tuning mode is executed, the output signal of inverter 21 fa is at L-level, and test mode setting signal MODE is held at L-level. When tuning mode setting signal TUNE is at L-level, the output of inverter 21 fa is at H-level, and NAND circuit 21 fb operates as an inverter In this state, test mode setting signal MODE is activated/deactivated in accordance with the state of test mode activating signal TMACT

[0119]FIG. 16 shows a specific structure of a portion of trimmable reference voltage generating circuit 1 aa. In this trimmable reference voltage generating circuit shown in FIG. 16, tuning signal lines 21 c (21 ca and 21 cb) are commonly used by another test mode activating circuit. For this common use, switching transistors 32 a and 32 b, which are turned off when tuning mode setting signal TUNE is inactive, are provided for tuning signal lines 21 ca and 21 cb, respectively. Further, there are arranged switching transistors 31 a and 31 b formed of p-channel MOS transistors and turned on when tuning mode setting signal TUNE is inactive, to couple the voltage applied from external power supply node 22 to tuning switching transistors 26 a and 26 b, respectively.

[0120] In the tuning mode, tuning mode setting signal TUNE attains the active state of H-level so that switching transistors 31 a and 31 b are turned off. Switching transistors 32 a and 32 b are turned on, and tuning switching transistors 26 a and 26 b are set to the on/off states in accordance with tuning signals SW1 and SW2 transmitted through tuning signal lines 21 ca and 21 cb, respectively.

[0121] When the tuning mode is completed, tuning mode setting signal TUNE attains L-level so that switching transistors 32 a and 32 b are turned off, and switching transistors 31 a and 31 b are turned on. Thereby, tuning switching transistors 26 a and 26 b receive the gate voltages at the level of external power supply node 22, and are continuously kept on. In the structure shown in FIG. 16, programming of fuse elements 25 a and 25 b is performed after completion of the tuning mode. During the test of the redundant circuit, the switching transistor connected to the unblown fuse element maintains the on state so that the reference voltage at the intended voltage level is accurately produced for performing the redundant test.

[0122] In the case where programming of fuse elements 25 a and 25 b is performed after completion of the tuning mode test, switching transistors 31 a and 31 b may be replaced with pull-up elements of high resistances.

[0123] Owing to provision of switching transistors 32 a and 32 b, the data signal at H-level is not transmitted onto tuning signal lines 21 ca and 21 cb even if tuning signal SW2 is held at H-level, when tuning mode setting signal TUNE is inactive. Therefore, activation of the different test mode can be prevented.

[0124]FIG. 17 shows another structure of the trimmable reference voltage generating circuit. In the structure shown in FIG. 17, tuning switching transistors 26 a and 26 b have their respective gates coupled to latches 33 a and 33 b, which in turn take in and latch the signals transmitted onto tuning lines 21 ca and 21 cb in response to a tuning signal set instructing signal TNSET. The tuning signal set instructing signal TNSET is produced from a one-shot pulse generating circuit 34 responsive to tuning mode setting signal TUNE. When latches 33 a and 33 b are in the latching state, they are in the high input impedance state (i.e., the gates in the input stages thereof are off) so that the latched data does not affect tuning signal lines 21 ca and 21 cb. Therefore, if the test mode setting signal generating circuit connected to tuning signal lines 21 ca and 21 cb is in the output high impedance state, tuning signal lines 21 ca and 21 cb maintain the high impedance state when latches 33 a and 33 b are in the latching state. Therefore, the latched data of latches 33 a and 33 b does not adversely affect other test modes.

[0125] In the structure shown in FIG. 17, tuning switching transistors 26 a and 26 b can be turned on/off in accordance with the data latched by latches 33 a and 33 b, respectively. Therefore, reference voltage Vref can be produced in accordance with the latched data of latches 33 a and 33 b, and the redundant test can be performed. In this case, fuse elements 25 a and 25 b can be programmed in the same process as the programming of redundant cells.

[0126] When tuning mode setting signal TUNE is produced in the form of a one-shot pulse, it is not necessary to provide one-shot pulse generating circuit 34. Latches 33 a and 33 b are in the through state and take in the received tuning signal when tuning signal set instructing signal TNSET is at H-level. When instructing signal TNSET attains L-level, latches 33 a and 33 b attain the latching state, to isolate their input nodes from the output nodes.

[0127]FIG. 18 schematically shows a whole structure of the test mode setting circuit. In FIG. 18, the tuning signal generated from tuning signal generating circuit 21 b is applied to trimmable reference voltage generating circuit 1 aa through a tuning signal bus 40. Tuning signal bus 40 includes a plurality of signal lines. Different test mode instructing signal generating circuits 41 ea, 41 eb and 41 ec are connected to the signal lines of tuning signal bus 40, respectively. Different test mode instructing signal generating circuits 41 ea-41 ec are set to the output high impedance state when they are inactive. For tuning signal bus 40, there are arranged test mode setting signal generating circuits 41 fa, 41 fb and 41 fc activated to generate corresponding test mode setting signals MODEA, MODEB and MODEC respectively when corresponding test mode instructing signals are active (tuning mode setting signal is inactive).

[0128] In the structure shown in FIG. 18, it is not necessary to provide signal lines corresponding to the respective test modes, and an area occupied by the interconnection lines is significantly reduced. In accordance with the interconnection layout of tuning signal bus 40, the test mode instructing signal generating circuits and the corresponding test mode setting signal generating circuits can be arranged at appropriate positions so that a degree of freedom of layout is increased.

Embodiment 3

[0129]FIG. 19 schematically shows a structure of a main portion of a semiconductor device according to an embodiment 3 of the invention. In FIG. 19, the semiconductor device is a semiconductor memory device, in which internal circuit 1 a includes a plurality of memory cells. More specifically, internal circuit 1 a includes memory arrays 50 a and 50 b each including a plurality of dynamic memory cells arranged in rows and columns, a sense amplifier band 52 arranged between memory cell arrays 50 a and 50 b and including a plurality of sense amplifiers provided corresponding to the columns of memory arrays 50 a and 50 b, respectively, for sensing and amplifying data in each column of the memory array including a selected memory cell when activated, a bit line isolating circuit 54 a arranged between the respective columns of memory array 50 a and the corresponding sense amplifiers included in sense amplifier band 52 for isolating the columns of memory array 50 a from the sense amplifiers included in sense amplifier band 52 under the control of a control circuit 60 a, and a bit line isolating circuit 54 b arranged between sense amplifier band 52 and memory array 50 b for isolating memory array 50 b from sense amplifier band 52 under the control of a control circuit 60 b.

[0130] Control circuit 60 a maintains bit line isolating circuit 54 a in the inactive state for connecting memory array 50 a to sense amplifier band 52 when memory array 50 a includes a selected memory cell. When a selected memory cell is included in memory array 50 b, control circuit 60 a activates bit line isolating circuit 54 a, to isolate memory array 50 a from sense amplifier band 52.

[0131] Control circuit 60 b activates bit line isolating circuit 54 b to isolate sense amplifier band 52 from memory array 50 b when the selected memory cell is included in memory array 50 a. When the selected memory cell is included in memory array 50 b, control circuit 60 b deactivates bit line isolating circuit 54 b to connect sense amplifier band 52 to memory array 52 b. During standby, control circuits 60 a and 60 b maintain bit line isolating circuits 54 a and 54 b in the inactive state so that sense amplifier band 52 is connected to both memory arrays 50 a and 50 b.

[0132] Internal circuit 1 a includes a row decoder 56 a provided for memory array 50 a to drive an addressed row to the selected state, a row decoder 56 b provided for memory array 50 b to drive the addressed row in memory array 50 b to the selected state, and a high voltage generating circuit 62 for applying a high voltage Vpp, which is to be transmitted onto a selected row (a word line), to row decoders 56 a and 56 b. Since high voltage Vpp is transmitted to a selected row, it is possible to prevent loss of written voltage (stored data at H-level) which may be caused by a threshold voltage of an access transistor in a dynamic memory cell to be described later.

[0133] Internal power supply circuit 1 d includes a sense power supply circuit 64 for producing one operation power supply voltage Vca for each sense amplifier included in sense amplifier band 52, and a peripheral power supply circuit 66 for producing one operation power supply voltage Vcp for peripheral circuits such as row decoders 56, column decoder 58 and a control circuit (not shown). Sense power supply circuit 64 and peripheral power supply circuit 66, of which structures will be described later, produce internal voltages Vca and Vcp by lowering the externally applied power supply voltage, respectively.

[0134]FIG. 20 shows more specific structures of bit line isolating circuits 54 a and 54 b as well as sense amplifier band 52 shown in FIG. 19. In FIG. 20, memory cells MC in memory array 50 a are arranged in rows and columns, and memory cells MC in memory array 50 b are arranged in rows and columns. In memory array 50 a, word lines WL are arranged corresponding to the rows of memory cells MC, respectively, and bit line pairs BL and /BL are arranged corresponding to the columns of memory cells MC, respectively. Bit line pairs BL and IBL are arranged corresponding to the columns of memory cells MC, respectively. In memory array 50 b, bit line pairs BL and IBL are arranged corresponding to the columns of memory cells, respectively, and word lines WL are arranged corresponding to the columns of memory cells, respectively. FIG. 20 representatively shows word lines WLa and WLb, arranged in memory arrays 50 a and 50 b, respectively, and each corresponding to the memory cells in one row.

[0135] Memory cell MC includes a memory capacitor MQ for storing information, and an access transistor MT formed of an n-channel MOS transistor and connecting memory capacitor MQ to corresponding bit line BL (or /BL) in response to the signal potential on corresponding word line WL (WLa, WLb).

[0136] Bit line isolating circuit 54 a includes bit line isolating gates BIGa provided corresponding to bit line pairs BL and /BL in memory array 50 a, respectively, and selectively turned on in response to a bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa from control circuit 60 a shown in FIG. 19. Bit line isolating circuit 54 b includes bit line isolating gates BIGb provided corresponding to bit line pairs BL and /BL in memory array 50 b, respectively, and selectively turned on in response to a bit line isolation instructing signal BLIb from control circuit 60 b shown in FIG. 19. These bit line isolation instructing signals BLIa and BLIb are at the level of high voltage Vpp when they are inactive.

[0137] Sense amplifier band 52 includes sense amplifiers SA arranged corresponding to the columns (bit line pairs) in memory arrays 50 a and 50 b, respectively. A sense power supply line 72 is arranged commonly to these sense amplifiers SA. Using the power supply voltage on sense power supply line 72 as one operation power supply voltage, sense amplifier SA performs the differential amplification. Sense power supply line 72 is provided with a switch circuit 70, for transmitting one of bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa and sense power supply voltage Vca to sense power supply line 72 in response to an accelerated mode instructing signal BRNT. In the accelerated mode, the operation power supply voltage of the semiconductor device is raised from that in the normal operation mode, and each circuit operates based on the raised voltage.

[0138] The accelerated mode test is, e.g., a burn-in mode test, and will be merely referred to as a “burn-in test” hereinafter.

[0139] In the burn-in test mode, the internal voltage is raised for providing severe operation conditions, and the electric fields applied to gate insulating films and pn junctions are accelerated so that defects which were not detected in prior tests are revealed, and defective products are removed. Thereby, the reliability of outgoing products is improved.

[0140] In the burn-in test mode, switch circuit 70 selects and transmits bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa onto sense power supply line 72 in accordance with burn-in mode instructing signal BRNT. Bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa is at a level of high voltage Vpp. High voltage Vpp is produced by a charge pump operation, and the voltage level thereof depends on the level of the actually used power supply voltage. In the burn-in test mode, high voltage Vpp rises with the external power supply voltage. By applying a higher voltage to sense power supply line 72, voltage stress acceleration of sense amplifier SA can be efficiently performed (if the voltage level is low, the time for voltage application must be increased for applying a sufficient voltage stress).

[0141] Accordingly, the test time can be reduced, and the stress accelerated test can be efficiently performed.

[0142]FIG. 21 shows a structure of sense power supply circuit 64 shown in FIG. 19. In FIG. 21, sense power supply circuit 64 includes a differential amplifier 64 a for differentially amplifying sense power supply voltage Vca on internal power supply line 65 and reference voltage Vref, a current drive transistor 64 b formed of a p-channel MOS transistor and supplying a current to internal power supply line 65 from external power supply node 22 in accordance with the output signal of differential amplifier 64 a, a p-channel MOS transistor 64 c turned on to connect electrically external power supply node 22 to internal power supply line 65 when burn-in mode instructing signal ZBRNT is active (at L-level), and a p-channel MOS transistor 64 d turned on to connect electrically external power supply node 22 to the output node of differential amplifier 64 a when burn-in mode instruction (setting) signal ZBRNT is active.

[0143] In the normal operation mode, burn-in mode instructing signal ZBRNT is at H-level, and MOS transistors 64 c and 64 d are off. In this state, differential amplifier 64 a comparing sense power supply voltage Vca with reference voltage Vref controls a conductance of current drive transistor 64 b in accordance with the result of comparison, and a current is supplied from external power supply node 22 to internal power supply line 65. Therefore, sense power supply voltage Vca attains the voltage level of reference voltage Vref.

[0144] When burn-in mode instructing signal ZBRNT is activated, MOS transistors 64 c and 64 d are turned on, and sense power supply voltage Vca attains the level of external power supply voltage applied to external power supply node 22. At the same time, the output node of differential amplifier 64 a attains the level of external power supply voltage applied to external power supply node 22, and current drive transistor 64 b maintains the off state. In this state, sense power supply voltage Vca is at the level of external power supply voltage, and the voltage level of external power supply voltage is raised during the burn-in test mode for performing the voltage stress acceleration of internal circuitry. Sense power supply voltage Vca is used for producing a precharge voltage applied to a bit line equalize/precharge circuit (not shown) and others.

[0145] It is considered that, in the burn-in mode, switch circuit 70 shown in FIG. 20 is not used, and sense power supply voltage Vca is used as one operation power supply voltage of sense amplifier SA. In this case, bit lines BL and /BL are driven to the external power supply voltage level. At the same time, word line WL (WLa, WLb) is driven to the selected state, and access transistor MT is turned on. For the voltage conditions for the voltage stress acceleration, it is required to prevent breakdown of the gate insulating film of access transistor MT. Therefore, the level of voltage applied to word line WL (Wa, Wb) cannot be increased so that the upper limit of sense power supply voltage Vca in the burn-in mode is determined by the level of voltage which can be transmitted to word line WL (WLa, WLb). Accordingly, the test time must be increased for sufficiently performing the voltage stress acceleration for sense amplifier SA. However, by transmitting bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa at the level of high voltage Vpp instead of sense power supply voltage Vca, the voltage stress acceleration of bit lines BL and /BL as well as the internal node of sense amplifier SA can be further enhanced, and the voltage stress can be further accelerated so that the voltage stress acceleration can be performed efficiently.

[0146]FIG. 22 shows structures of control circuits 60 a and 60 b shown in FIG. 19. In FIG. 22, control circuit 60 a includes an NAND circuit 60 aa receiving an array activating signal ACT and an array designating signal φb. Control circuit 60 b includes an NAND circuit 60 ba receiving array activating signal ACT and an array designating signal φa. NAND circuit 60 aa uses high voltage Vpp as one power supply voltage, and generates bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa at the level of high voltage Vpp. NAND circuit 60 ba uses high voltage Vpp as one its operation voltage, and generates bit line isolation instructing signal BLIb at the level of high voltage Vpp.

[0147] Array designating signal φa is activated and driven to H-level when a selected memory cell is included in memory array 50 a. Array designating signal φb is activated and driven to H-level when the selected memory cell is included in memory array 50 b. Array activating signal ACT is held active at H-level while memory array 50 a or 50 b is active (word line is in the selected state). Array activating signal ACT corresponds to an internal row address strobe signal RAS in a standard DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory).

[0148] During standby, array activating signal ACT is at L-level, and both bit line isolation instructing signals BLIa and BLIb are at the level of high voltage Vpp. When a memory cell selecting operation is to be started, array activating signal ACT is first driven to H-level. Then, a row decoder (not shown) decodes a row address signal so that an array designating signal for the memory array including a selected memory cell is driven to H-level. When memory array 50 a includes the selected memory cell, array designating signal φb maintains L-level so that bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa is at H-level of high voltage Vpp. Conversely, when array designating signal φa is at H-level, bit line isolation instructing signal BLIb from NAND circuit 60 ba is at L-level of the ground voltage, and all bit line isolation gates BIGb are off so that sense amplifier band 52 is isolated from memory array 50 b.

[0149] The purpose of driving bit line isolation instructing signals BLIa and BLIb to the level of high voltage Vpp is to ensure reliable transmission of data at the level of array power supply voltage Vca to one of bit lines BL and /BL during the sensing operation of sense amplifier SA (for avoiding an influence which may be exerted on the written data at H-level by threshold voltage loss across the bit line isolation gate).

[0150] In the burn-in mode, the voltage levels of external and internal power supply voltages are raised. A high voltage generating circuit 62 is usually formed of a charge pump circuit using a capacitor. In the case where the charge pump circuit is used, the voltage level of produced high voltage Vpp-depends on the circuit structure, but is usually given by a function (e.g., 2 *Vcc-Vth) of operation power supply voltage Vcc and the threshold voltage of the MOS transistor at the output stage. Accordingly, as the voltage level of power supply voltage Vcc rises, the voltage level of high voltage Vpp rises, and it is possible to accelerate the voltage stress even for the bit line isolation gate in the burn-in test mode. Since high voltage Vpp is transmitted onto a selected word line through the row decoder, the voltage stress acceleration of the selected word line and the access transistor is also performed.

[0151] In the burn-in test mode, a plurality of word lines in the selected memory array are simultaneously driven to the selected state. In this burn-in test mode, the word lines selected simultaneously are arbitrary in number.

[0152]FIG. 23 schematically shows a structure of a mode setting circuit for setting the burn-in test mode. In FIG. 23, the test mode setting circuit includes a burn-in detecting circuit 65 for identifying that the burn-in mode is designated, to generate burn-in mode instructing signals BRNT and ZBRNT when multi-bit external signal Sext is in the predetermined state. Burn-in detecting circuit 65 detects the designation of the burn-in test mode in accordance with the condition of WCBR+super VIH+address key, for example. Burn-in detecting circuit 65 may have a structure similar to that of the test mode setting circuit of the embodiment 1. Burn-in mode instructing signals BRNT and ZBRNT are complementary with each other.

[0153]FIG. 24 shows a structure of sense amplifier SA shown in FIG. 20. In FIG. 24, sense amplifier SA includes p-channel MOS transistors PQ1 and PQ2 having their gates and their drains cross-coupled, a p-channel MOS transistor PQ3 electrically connecting sense power supply line 72 to sources (sense drive nodes) of MOS transistors PQ1 and PQ2 in response to a sense amplifier activating signal φSP, n-channel MOS transistors NQ1 and NQ2 having their gates and their drains cross-coupled, and an n-channel MOS transistor NQ3 turned on to connect sources (sense drive nodes) of MOS transistors NQ1 and NQ2 to the ground line in response to activation of sense amplifier activating signal φSN.

[0154] Sense amplifier activating signal φSP is at L-level of the ground voltage when it is active. Sense amplifier activating signal φSN is at H-level when it is active, but is not required to be at the voltage level of high voltage Vpp because it is required only to discharge the node at a lower potential to the ground voltage level.

[0155] According to the structure of sense amplifier SA shown in FIG. 20, high voltage Vpp is transmitted onto sense power supply line 72 during the burn-in test mode, and MOS transistor PQ3 and one of MOS transistors PQ1 and PQ2 transmit high voltage Vpp to the corresponding bit line through the sense node.

[0156] Owing to the above, the voltage stress acceleration of bit lines BL and /BL as well as the transistors included in sense amplifier SA can be performed efficiently by transmitting high voltage Vpp to sense power supply line 72.

[0157] Another reference voltage may be used instead of voltage Vpp.

Modification 1

[0158]FIG. 25 schematically shows a structure of a modification of the semiconductor device according to the embodiment 3 of the invention. In FIG. 25, a sense drive line 70 c and a sense power supply line 70 d extending in the row direction are arranged in sense amplifier band 52 for switching the sense power supply voltage. Sense drive line 70 c is connected to a signal line 71 transmitting bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa through a switching transistor 70 a turned on when a control signal φA is active. Sense power supply line 70 d receives sense power supply voltage Vca through switching transistor 70 b selectively turned on in response to a control signal φB. Switching transistor 70 a is formed of an n-channel MOS transistor, and switching transistor 70 b is formed of a p-channel MOS transistor.

[0159] Sense activating transistors PQ4 a. . . PQ4 n formed of p-channel MOS transistors, which are turned on in response to sense amplifier activating signal φSP, are arranged in parallel between sense drive line 70 c and sense power supply line 70 d.

[0160] A P-sense amplifier PSA formed of cross-coupled p-channel MOS transistors PQ1 and PQ2 is arranged corresponding to each bit line pair BL and /BL. P-sense activating transistors PQ4 a-PQ4 n may be arranged corresponding to P-sense amplifiers PSA, respectively, or may be arranged such that each P-sense activating transistor PQ4 is arranged for a predetermined number of P-sense amplifiers PSA. Sense drive line 70 c is coupled to the sources (sense operation nodes) of MOS transistors PQ1 and PQ2 in each P-sense amplifier PSA. Now, the operation of the semiconductor device shown in FIG. 25 will be described below with reference to an operation waveform diagram of FIG. 26.

[0161] In the normal operation, sense activating transistors PQ4 a-PQ4 n couple sense drive line 70 c to sense power supply line 70 d in response to activation of sense amplifier activating signal φSP, and the sensing operation is performed (control signals φA and φB are at L-level, and sense power supply line 70 d receives voltage Vca).

[0162] When burn-in test mode is selected, burn-in mode instructing signal BRNT attains the active state of H-level. In accordance with burn-in mode instructing signal BRNT, control signal φB attains H-level, and switching transistor 70 b is turned off so that sense power supply line 70 d is isolated from the sense amplifier power supply circuit.

[0163] In this state, the externally applied power supply voltage is raised so that all the internal power supply voltages are raised. The memory cell select instruction is given. Responsively, array activating signal ACT attains H-level, and bit line equalize instructing signal BLEQ attains L-level so that bit lines BL and /BL attain the electrically floating state at an intermediate voltage level. Then, a predetermined number of word lines WL are selected, and data of the memory cells connected to the selected word lines are read onto corresponding bit line pairs BL and /BL.

[0164] Then, control signal φA is driven to H-level for performing the sense operation, and bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa at the level of high voltage Vpp is applied to sense drive line 70 c. The sense drive line 70 c is connected to the sense drive node of P-sense amplifier PSA (i.e., a connection node between MOS transistors PQ1 and PQ2) so that P-sense amplifier PSA is activated to differentially amplify the potentials on corresponding bit lines BL and /BL. When a predetermined period elapses, array activating signal ACT attains the inactive state of L-level, word lines VVL are driven to the unselected state, and control signal φA is driven to the inactive state of L-level. Sense drive line 70 c is isolated from bit line isolation instructing signal line 71. Bit line equalize instructing signal BLEQ returns from L-level to H-level, and each bit line pair is precharged and equalized to the intermediate voltage level, so that one operation cycle is completed. The above operation is repeated until all the word lines are driven to the selected state while burn-in test mode instructing signal BRNT is active.

[0165] In the structure shown in FIG. 25, merely bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa is transmitted to sense drive line 70 c instead of sense power supply voltage Vca, but high voltage Vpp can be accurately transmitted by the simple circuit structure.

[0166]FIG. 27 schematically shows a structure of a portion generating control signal φB. In FIG. 27, control signal φB is produced from a switching control circuit 80 buffering burn-in mode instructing signal BRNT. Therefore, control signal φB is set to H-level when the burn-in mode is selected and burn-in mode instructing signal BRNT attains the active state of H-level.

[0167]FIG. 28 schematically shows a structure of the bit line isolation instructing signal generating portion. In FIG. 28, the bit line isolation instructing signal generating portion includes an NAND circuit 81 receiving array activating signal ACT, array designating signal φb and burn-in mode instructing signal ZBRNT. NAND circuit 81 generates bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa. A similar structure is provided for bit line isolation instructing signal BLIb. Thus, bit line isolation instructing signal BLIb is produced by merely using array designating signal φa instead of array designating signal φb.

[0168] In FIG. 28, when the burn-in mode is designated, burn-in mode instructing signal ZBRNT attains the active state of L-level, and both bit line isolation instructing signals BLIa (and BLIb) from NAND circuits 81 are held at H-level of high voltage Vpp. When the burn-in mode is designated, both the memory arrays using the common sense amplifier band are connected to the sense amplifier band. In the burn-in test mode, the purpose is to accelerate the voltage stress of each circuit, and fast writing and reading of the memory cell data are not required so that no problem substantially occurs.

[0169]FIG. 29 schematically shows a structure of a portion generating control signal φA. In FIG. 29, the portion generating control signal φA includes a sense amplifier activating circuit 82 for delaying array activating signal ACT by a predetermined time to produce sense amplifier activating signal φSP, and an NOR circuit 83 receiving sense amplifier activating signal φSP from sense amplifier activating circuit 82 and burn-in mode instructing signal ZBRNT. NOR circuit 83 generates control signal φA. Sense amplifier activating signal φSP is driven to the active state of L-level when a predetermined period elapses after activation of array activating signal ACT. Burn-in mode instructing signal ZBRNT is at L-level when it is active. Therefore, control signal φA is driven to the active state of H-level upon each activation of sense amplifier activating signal φSP, and the bit line isolation instructing signal is coupled to the sense drive line. During the sensing operation, sense activating transistors PQ4 a-PQ4 n may be in either the on or off state.

[0170]FIG. 30 schematically shows another structure of the sense amplifier activating circuit. In FIG. 30, the structure includes an inverter 84 receiving a sense amplifier activating signal φSPO from sense amplifier activating circuit 82, an NAND circuit 85 receiving the output signal of inverter 84 and burn-in mode instructing signal ZBRNT, to generate sense amplifier activating signal φSP, and an NOR circuit 86 receiving sense amplifier activating signal φSPO and burn-in mode instructing signal ZBRNT, to generate control signal φA.

[0171] In FIG. 30, the burn-in mode is designated, sense amplifier activating signal φSP from NAND circuit 85 is fixed to H-level. Control signal φA is activated and attains H-level in accordance with sense amplifier activating signal φSPO from the sense amplifier activating circuit In this state, sense amplifier activating signal φSP is not activated, and sense amplifier activating transistors PQa-PQn maintain the off state. The structure shown in FIG. 30 can also achieve the voltage stress acceleration of MOS transistors PQ1 and PQ2 included in P-sense amplifier PSA.

[0172]FIG. 31 shows a structure of a modification of the sense power supply switching portion. In the structure shown in FIG. 31, a switching transistor 70 e formed of a p-channel MOS transistor is arranged between a bit line isolation instruction signal line 71 and sense drive line 70 c. Switching transistor 70 e receives on its gate a complemental control signal /φA. In the structure shown in FIG. 31, high voltage Vpp on bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa can be transmitted onto sense drive line 70 c without causing a loss of threshold voltage, and the voltage acceleration can be achieved further efficiently.

Modification 2

[0173]FIG. 32 shows an operation of a modification 2 of a semiconductor device according to an embodiment 3 of the invention. In FIG. 32, when the burn-in mode setting signal is activated, bit line equalize instructing signal BLEQ attains the inactive state of L-level, and each of bit lines BL and /BL is held in the electrically floating state. In this state, control signals φB and φA are successively driven to H-level. Thereby, sense drive line 70 c (see FIG. 25) is supplied with bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa so that P-sense amplifier PSA is activated and performs the sense operation. Array activating signal ACT is held in the inactive state of L-level so that word line WL is not selected, and maintains the inactive state of L-level. One of bit lines BL and /BL is driven to the level of high voltage Vpp in accordance with the characteristics of P-sense amplifier. The other bit line holds the intermediate voltage level. When burn-in mode instructing signal BRNT attains the inactive state of L-level, bit line equalize instructing signal BLEQ attains H-level again, and control signals φA and φB attain L-level so that bit lines BL and /BL are held at the voltage level of intermediate voltage (Vca/s) again.

[0174] According to the operation shown in FIG. 32, the word line is unselected, and high voltage Vpp is not transmitted to the memory cell capacitor so that breakdown of the capacitor insulating film due to application of high voltage Vpp can be prevented. The voltage stress acceleration can be executed on the source/drain junctions of p-channel MOS transistors PQ1 and PQ2 included in P-sense amplifier as well as the contacts between the source and drain regions, the gate contact portions between the transistors and the bit lines. This mode is a voltage stress acceleration mode dedicated to the P-sense amplifier PSA. Thereby, a contact resistance failure at the contact portion and others can be revealed, and the pn junction failure can be revealed. In particular, the P-sense amplifier flows large charging current during operation. Therefore, if the contact failure occurred at the contact portion, an interconnection line might be broken due to heating caused by such large charging current of the bit line, and therefore a failure might occur in the semiconductor device during actual operation. Owing to provision of the voltage stress acceleration mode dedicated to the P-sense amplifier PSA, a latent defect in the P-sense amplifier portion can be revealed, and the reliability of the semiconductor device can be improved.

[0175]FIG. 33 schematically shows a structure of a bit line equalize instructing signal generating portion. More specifically, FIG. 33 schematically shows a structure of a bit line equalize/precharge circuit. A bit line equalize/precharge circuit 94 in FIG. 33 includes an n-channel MOS transistor NT1 turned on in response to bit line equalize instructing signal BLEQ to electrically short-circuit bit lines BL and /BL, and n-channel MOS transistors NT2 and NT3 turned on in response to bit line equalize instructing signal BLEQ to transmit a bit line precharge voltage Vb1 to bit lines BL and /BL, respectively.

[0176] The bit line equalize instructing signal generating portion includes a bit line equalize control circuit 90 for producing a bit line equalize control signal φC in response to array activating signal ACT, and an AND circuit 92 receiving bit line equalize control signal φC from bit line equalize control circuit 90 and burn-in mode instructing signal ZBRNT, to generate bit line equalize instructing signal BLEQ. Bit line equalize control circuit 90 is formed of an inverter circuit, and inverts array activating signal ACT to produce bit line equalize control signal φC.

[0177] In the structure shown in FIG. 33, when burn-in mode instructing signal ZBRNT attains the active state of L-level, bit line equalize instructing signal BLEQ attains L-level, and bit line equalize/precharge signal 94 is deactivated so that bit lines BL and /BL are electrically floated at the voltage level of their precharge voltage Vb1 (=Vca/2). In the normal operation mode, burn-in mode instructing signal ZBRNT is at H-level, and bit line equalize instructing signal BLEQ is produced in accordance with bit line equalize control signal φC from bit line equalize control circuit 90.

[0178] In the structure shown in FIG. 33, the array designating signal may be further applied to AND circuit 92, and array bit line equalize instructing signal BLEQ for the unselected memory may be held at H-level (in the normal operation mode).

[0179] In the structure of the modification 2 described above, both the memory arrays using the common sense amplifier band are connected to the sense amplifier band, and are simultaneously subjected to the voltage stress acceleration of the bit lines.

[0180] In the structure of the modification 2, the P-sense amplifier is activated after bit lines BL and /BL are electrically floated at the level of intermediate voltage Vb1. In this case, one of bit lines BL and /BL is driven to H-level owing to the characteristics of P-sense amplifier. Therefore, the contact portion which is always subjected to the voltage stress acceleration is determined by the characteristics (offset of the threshold voltage) of the P-sense amplifier. In order to avoid this, such a structure may be employed that column-related circuits are activated to write data of 1 or 0 into the sense node of the sense amplifier through the write/read circuit when burn-in mode instructing signal BRNT is active, and thereafter the voltage stress acceleration is performed. In this case, the voltage stress corresponding to the data can be reliably applied to bit lines BL and /BL. The above structure can be accomplished by merely carrying out the logical OR operation on array activating signal ACT and burn-in mode instructing signal BRNT, and using the resultant signal as the column-related circuit enable signal (usually, in semiconductor memory device, the column selection is enabled only when array activating signal ACT is activated). In a synchronous semiconductor memory device or the like, column-related circuits operate independently of row-related circuits. In this case, a data write command may be externally applied when burn-in mode instructing signal BRNT is active, and thereby data of 1 or 0 may be written into the sense node. Thereafter, the voltage level of external power supply voltage is raised.

Modification 3

[0181]FIG. 34 schematically shows a structure of a modification 3 of the embodiment 3 of the invention. In the structure shown in FIG. 34, sense drive line 70 c is supplied with bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa through a switching transistor 70 y formed of a p-channel MOS transistor and turned on in response to a control signal /φAa, and is also supplied with bit line isolation instructing signal BLIb through a switching transistor 70 z formed of a p-channel MOS transistor and turned on in response to a control signal /φAb. Sense power supply line 70 d is supplied with sense power supply voltage Vca through a switching transistor 70 x formed of a switching p-channel MOS transistor and selectively turned on in response to control signal φB.

[0182] In the structure shown in FIG. 34, bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa for the array including a selected memory cell maintains H-level. One of bit line isolation instructing signal BLIb maintains L-level. In the burn-in test mode, control signal /φAa or /φAb for the switching transistor, which is provided corresponding to bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa or BLIb maintaining H-level, is driven to L-level. Therefore, when bit line isolation instructing signals BLIa and BLIb are, for example, at H- and L-levels, respectively, control signal /φAa is at L-level, and control signal /φAb is at L-level. Sense drive line 70 c is supplied with bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa at H-level. When bit line isolation instructing signals BLIa and BLIb are at L- and H-levels, respectively, switching transistor 70 z is turned on, and switching transistor 70 y is kept off. In either case, sense drive line 70 c is supplied with the bit line isolation instructing signal at the level of high voltage Vpp. In the structure shown in FIG. 34, the burn-in test can be performed by a memory array at a time. Even when a word line is held in the unselected state, the voltage stress acceleration of the bit line can be performed by a memory cell array at a time. When one of memory arrays 50 a and 50 b includes the selected memory cell, the corresponding bit line isolation instructing signal is driven to H-level.

[0183]FIG. 35 shows an example of the structure of the control signal generating portion shown in FIG. 34. In FIG. 35, control signal /φAa is generated from an NAND circuit 96 a receiving burn-in mode instructing signal BRNT and memory array designating signal φA. Control signal /φAb is generated from an NAND circuit 96 b receiving burn-in mode instructing signal BRNT and memory array designating signal φB. Control signal φB is produced by an OR circuit 96 c receiving array designating signals φA and φB as well as an NAND circuit 96 d receiving the output signal of OR circuit 96 c and burn-in mode instructing signal BRNT.

[0184] When burn-in mode instructing signal BRNT is in the inactive state of L-level, control signals/Aa and/Ab are at H-level. Switching transistors 70 y and 70 z shown in FIG. 30 are off. Control signal φB is at L-level, and sense power supply line 70 d receives sense power supply voltage Vca.

[0185] When burn-in mode instructing signal BRNT attains H-level, control signals/φAa and/φAb are selectively driven to the active state in accordance with array designating signals φA and φB. For example, when array designating signal φA attains H-level, control signal. φAa attains L-level so that switching transistor 74 y shown in FIG. 30 is turned on to transmit bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa to sense drive line 70 c. At this time, control signal φB is at H-level, and switching transistor 70 x is off.

[0186] Bit line isolation instructing signals BLIa and BLIb are produced from the same circuit structure as that already described with reference to FIG. 28.

[0187] In the structure shown in FIGS. 34 and 35, therefore, the burn-in test can be performed by an array at a time.

[0188] The above structure can be applied to such a device, in which a plurality of memory arrays are aligned in the column direction, and sense amplifier bands arranged between the adjacent memory arrays are large in number. In this case, only a required sense amplifier band can be operated so that flow of large sense charging/discharging currents can be prevented. In the case where the shared sense amplifiers are in the alternate arrangement, the sense amplifier bands at the opposite sides of one memory array can be connected to the selected memory array for performing the burn-in test.

[0189] In the structure shown in FIGS. 30 and 35, memory array designating signals φa and φb must be produced. When the word lines are to be held in the unselected state, the row selecting operation must be inhibited in accordance with burn-in mode instructing signal BRNT. This can be accomplished merely by such a structure that burn-in mode instructing signal BRNT is applied to the row decode circuit for stopping the decoding operation. Only the memory array designating signal is produced. At this time, the sense amplifier activating signal may be produced (see FIG. 36).

Modification 4

[0190]FIG. 37 schematically shows a structure of an array portion of a semiconductor memory device according to a modification 4 of the embodiment 3 of the invention. In FIG. 37, a memory mat is divided into a plurality of (four) memory arrays MA#0-MA#3. Sense amplifier bands SAB#0-SAB#2 are arranged between memory arrays MA#0-MA#3. Each of sense amplifier bands SAB#0-SAB#2 is commonly used by the memory arrays on the opposite sides thereof.

[0191] Row decoders RD#0-RD#3 are arranged corresponding to memory arrays MA#0-MA#3, respectively. Switching circuits SWC#0-SWC#2 are facing to sense amplifier bands SAB#0-SAB#2, respectively, and are arranged alignedly with row decoders RD#0-RD#3. Each of switch circuits SWC#0-SWC#2 includes the switching transistor and the control circuit for switching the sense voltage. In the arrangement shown in FIG. 37, the switch circuits are arranged corresponding to sense amplifier bands SAB#0-SAB#2 and are located between the row decoders. Generally, the region facing to the sense amplifier bands SAB#0-SAB#2 is occupied only by the sense amplifier control circuits, and a relatively large empty region is present therein. By utilizing this region for arranging switch circuits SWC#0-SWC#2, switch circuits SWC#0-SWC#2 for switching the sense power supply voltage can be arranged without increasing the memory mat area.

[0192] In the foregoing description, the bit line isolation instructing signals are selectively used as the sense power supply voltage. Alternatively, the circuit generating the bit line isolation instructing signal may be supplied with high voltage Vpp, and high voltage Vpp may be transmitted instead of sense power supply voltage Vca.

[0193] This can be achieved merely by using high voltage Vpp instead of bit line isolation instructing signal BLIa.

[0194] According to the embodiment 3 of the invention, as described above, the sense power supply voltage is set to a signal at the internal high voltage level during the accelerated test mode such as a burn-in mode. Therefore, the voltage stress acceleration of the sense amplifier can be performed efficiently, and the test time can be reduced. Further, acceleration on the necessary portions (contact holes and junction regions in the sense amplifier portion) can be performed efficiently so that screening of the sense amplifier portion having a latent defect can be reliably performed, and the semiconductor memory device of high reliability can be achieved.

[0195] In the structure shown in FIG. 37, the sense amplifier band is used merely by the adjacent memory arrays. Sense amplifier bands SAB#0-SAB#2 may have a structure of a so-called “alternately arranged shared sense amplifier arrangement”.

[0196] As described above, the invention can provide the semiconductor device which allows accurate execution of intended tests without requiring increase in chip area.

[0197] Although the present invention has been described and illustrated in detail, it is clearly understood that the same is by way of illustration and example only and is not to be taken by way of limitation, the spirit and scope of the present invention being limited only by the terms of the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6879534 *Nov 1, 2002Apr 12, 2005Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.Method and system for minimizing differential amplifier power supply sensitivity
US6907378 *Sep 26, 2002Jun 14, 2005Agilent Technologies, Inc.Empirical data based test optimization method
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Classifications
U.S. Classification365/201
International ClassificationG11C11/401, G11C11/407, G11C29/14, G11C29/12, G11C29/50, G01R31/28, G01R31/3185, G11C29/46, G11C29/02
Cooperative ClassificationG11C29/02, G11C29/50, G11C29/028, G11C29/46, G11C2029/5004, G11C29/12
European ClassificationG11C29/12, G11C29/02H, G11C29/50, G11C29/02, G11C29/46
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