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.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Acar, E., & Ozev, S. (2005). Defect-based RF testing using a new catastrophic fault model. In Proceedings of the IEEE international test conference (ITC) (pp. 429–437).
Banerjee, A., Sen, S., Devarakond, S., & Chatterjee, A. (2011). Accurate signature driven power conscious tuning of RF systems using hierarchical performance models. In Proceedings of the IEEE international test conference (ITC) (pp. 1–9).
Counts, L. (2007). Analog and mixed-signal innovation: The process-circuit-system-application interaction. In Proceedings of the IEEE international conference on solid-state circuits (pp. 26–32).
Das, T., Gopalan, A., Washburn, C., & Mukund, P. (2005). Self-calibration of input-match in RF front-end circuitry. IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II, 52(12), 821–825.
Dufrene, K., & Weigel, R. (2006). A novel IP2 calibration method for low-voltage downconversion mixers. In Proceedings of the IEEE international symposium on radio frequency integrated circuits (RFIC) (pp. 292–295). San Jose, CA, USA.
Ferrario, J., Wolf, R., & Moss, S. (2002). Architecting millisecond test solutions for wireless phone RFICs. In Proceedings of the IEEE international test conference (ITC) (pp. 1151–1158).
Friedman, J. H. (1991). Multivariate adaptive regression splines. Annals of Statistics, 19, 1–141
Garcia-Moreno, E., Suenaga, K., Picos, R., Bota, S., Roca, M., & Isern, E. (2009). Predictive test strategy for CMOS RF mixers. Integration, the VLSI Journal, 42, 95–102.
Goering, R., & Wilson, R. (2003). Yield, packages hang up design below 100 nm, EE Times, http://www.eetimes.com.
Goyal, A., Swaminathan, M., & Chatterjee, A. (2009). A novel self-healing methodology for RF amplifier circuits based on oscillation principles. In Proceedings of the IEEE design automation & test in Europe (DATE) (pp. 1656–1661).
Goyal, A., Swaminathan, M., & Chatterjee, A. (2009). Self-calibrating embedded RF down-conversion mixers. In Proceedings of the IEEE Asian Test Symposium (ATS) (pp. 249–254). Taichung, Taiwan.
Han, D., Kim, B. S., & Chatterjee, A. (2010). DSP-driven self-tuning of RF circuits for process-induced performance variability. IEEE Transactions on VLSI Systems, 18(2), 305–314.
Hastie, T., Tibshirani, R., Friedman, J. (2001). The elements of statistical learning. New York: Springer.
Khereddine, R., Abdallah, L., Simeu, E., Mir, S., & Cenni, F. (2010). Adaptive logical control of RF LNA performances for efficient energy consumption. In Proceedings of the IFIP/IEEE international conference on very large scale integration (VLSI-SoC) (pp. 518–525).
Kupp, N., Drineas, P., Slamani, M., & Makris, Y. (2008) Confidence estimation in non-RF to RF correlation-based specification test compaction. In Proceedings of the 13th European test symposium (ETS) (pp. 35–40).
Kupp, N., Huang, H., Makris, Y., & Drineas, P. (2011). Improving analog and RF device yield through performance calibration. IEEE Design and Testing of Computers, 28(3), 64–75.
Leung, B. (2011). VLSI for wireless communication. New York: Springer.
Liaperdos, I., Dermentzoglou, L., Arapoyanni, A., & Tsiatouhas, Y. (2011). Fault detection in RF mixers combining defect-oriented and alternate test strategies. In Conference on design of circuits and integrated systems (DCIS).
Liaperdos, I., Dermentzoglou, L., Arapoyanni, A., & Tsiatouhas, Y. (2011). A test technique and a BIST circuit to detect catastrophic faults in RF mixers. In Conference on design and technology of integrated systems in the nanoscale era (DTIS).
Maas, S. A. (1993). Microwave mixers. Boston: Artech House Publishers.
Najibi, T. (2003). How designers can increase parametric yield, EE Times http://www.eetimes.com.
Nassif, S. R. (2000). Design for variability in DSM technologies. In Proceedings of the IEEE 1st international symposium on quality of electronic design (ISQED) (pp. 451–454). San Jose, CA, USA.
Natarajan, V., Sen, S., Banerjee, A., Chatterjee, A., Srinivasan, G., & Taenzler, F. (2010). Analog signature-driven postmanufacture multidimensional tuning of RF systems. IEEE Design and Testing of Computers, 27(6), 6–17.
Natarajan, V., Sen, S., Devarakond, S. K., & Chatterjee, A. (2010). A holistic approach to accurate tuning of RF systems for large and small multiparameter perturbations. In Proceedings of the 28th VLSI test symposium (VTS) (pp. 331–336).
Park, J., Shin, H., & Abraham, J. A. (2008). Parallel loopback test of mixed signal circuits. In Proceedings of the IEEE VLSI test symposium (pp. 309–316).
Razavi, B. (1997). RF microelectronics. Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall Inc.
Rodriguez, S., Rusu, A., Zheng, L. R., & Ismail, M. (2008). Digital calibration of gain and linearity in a CMOS RF mixer. In Proceedings of the IEEE international symposium on circuits and systems (ISCAS) (pp. 1288–1291). Seattle, USA.
Safran, J., Leslie, A., Fredeman, G., Kothandaraman, C., Cestero, A., Xiang, C., Rajeevakumar, R., Deok-Kee, K., Zun, L. Y., Moy, N. R. D., Kirihata, T., & Iyer, S. (2007). A compact e-FUSE programmable array memory for SOI CMOS. In Proceedings of the IEEE symposium on VLSI circuits (pp. 72–73).
SIA—The international technology roadmap for semiconductors. http://public.itrs.net.
Stratigopoulos, H. G., Mir, S., Acar, E., & Ozev, S. (2009). Defect filter for alternate RF test. In Proceedings of the IEEE European test symposium (pp. 161–166).
Suenaga, K., Picos, R., Bota, S., Roca, M., Isern, E., & Garcia-Moreno, E. (2005). Built-in test strategy for CMOS RF mixers. In Conference on design of circuits and integrated systems (DCIS).
Variyam, P., Cherubal, S., & Chatterjee, A. (2002). Prediction of analog performance parameters using fast transient testing. IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, 21(3), 349–361.
Zhang, C., Gharpurey, R., & Abraham, J. A. (2007). Built-in test of RF mixers using RF amplitude detectors. In Proceedings of the international conference on quality of electronic design (ISQED) (pp. 404–409).
About this article
Cite this article
Liaperdos, J., Arapoyanni, A. & Tsiatouhas, Y. A test and calibration strategy for adjustable RF circuits. Analog Integr Circ Sig Process 74, 175–192 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10470-012-9981-x
- Defect-oriented RF testing
- Performance prediction
- RF alternate test
- RF mixer testing