, Volume 74, Issue 1, pp 175-192
Date: 11 Nov 2012

A test and calibration strategy for adjustable RF circuits

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Abstract

A test and calibration strategy suitable for adjustable RF circuits is presented in this paper. Certain performance-affecting circuit elements are designed to be digitally controllable, providing the capability to adjust the performance characteristics of a circuit’s instance around their post-fabrication values, throughout a set of discrete states of operation. The alternate test methodology is adopted for test and calibration and a set of optimally selected test observables is used to develop regression models for the prediction of the circuit’s performance characteristics in every state of operation. In the test phase, measurements of the test observables are obtained from a subset of the circuit’s states. The processing of these observables provides accurate prediction of the RF circuit’s performance characteristics in all available states and enables the discrimination of defect-free from defective circuits. The latter is further accomplished by the exploitation of an extended superset of the test observables, the use of which intends to maximize fault coverage. Moreover, the predicted performance characteristics are also used to examine compliance with the specifications and to allow calibration of the RF circuit by identifying the appropriate state of operation at which all specifications are met and, consequently, by forcing the circuit to operate in this specific state. The efficiency of the proposed technique has been validated by its application to a typical differential RF Mixer designed in a 0.18 μm CMOS technology. Simulation results have been obtained and assessed.