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RF_testing - 1 RF Testing D Gizopoulos Editor Advances in...

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1 RF Testing © D. Gizopoulos, Editor, Advances in Electronic Testing: Challenges and Methodologies , Springer, 2006, pp. 337-369. RF Testing Randy Wolf, Mustapha Slamani, John Ferrario and Jayendra Bhagat IBM 10.0 INTRODUCTION Today’s wireless communication products are increasingly complex and more integrated than ever before. The low prices that consumers pay for wireless phones in a competitive market demand low-cost Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RF ICs). The test cost has become an important factor in determining the profit margin. To economically test high volumes of RF ICs at a fraction of the IC cost, we must adjust our existing test methods and define new test strategies. As pointed out in International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) 2003 [1], “ Customer requirements for form factor and power consumption are driving a significant increase in design integration levels. Test complexity will increase dramatically with the combination of different classes of circuits on a single die or within a single package. In particular, for System-in-Package (SIP) increased focus on known good die and sub-assembly test will be driven by the cost issue ”. The commercial wireless industry has driven a need for very low cost RF IC’s built with very low cost packages and manufacturing processes. A key contributor to the cost of manufacturing an RF IC packaged part is the module final test. Up until that step in the manufacturing process, the components can be handled in a batch mode with standard high volume wafer fabrication and package part assembly equipment. Once the part hits RF test, it must be individually placed in a precision socket with precision pressure, and electromagnetic isolation, and tested at a very narrow band, ________________________________________________________ b Chapter 10
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2 RF Testing high frequency and low signal level. The ability to mechanically handle individual components and place them in a precision socket quickly and repeatable has been addressed by the commercial handler manufacturers with a range of efficiencies. The actual RF ICs are electrically tested with either of a rack and stack bench top equipment connected to a PC, or with commercially available Automatic Test Equipment (ATE). Usually, the most costly and complex component in these systems are the RF receiver, or spectrum analyzer/digitizer, and the RF source(s). Figure 10-1, gives an idea of how basic ATE test cost increase when incorporating mixed signal and RF options to it. Most systems are configured to handle only one receiver per system and up to four optional sources. Receivers must handle a frequency range between 100MHz and 6GHz and have a very high dynamic range capable of measuring stringent two tone signals such as Adjacent Channel Power (ACPR) or Third Order Intercept Point (IP3). These signals are difficult to measure because they consist of a primary high power frequency or tone at 900MHz to 6GHz which is adjacent to a very low level noise tones 10MHz away which must be measured repeatable to 0.1dB accuracy. The high susceptibility of the Device Under
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