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BIST/Digital-Compatible Testing of RF Devices Using Distortion Model Fitting


Testing of Radio Frequency (RF) circuits for nonlinearity specifications generally requires the use of multiple test measurements thereby contributing to increased test cost. Prior RF test methods have suffered from significant test calibration effort (training for supervised learners) when using compact tests or from increased test time due to direct specification measurement. On the other hand, due to aggressive technology scaling, there are plenty of digital transistors available that can be used to simplify testing of Analog/Mixed-Signal (AMS) and RF devices. In this paper, an RF test methodology is developed that: (a) allows RF devices to be tested for several distortion specifications using distortion model fitting algorithms in test time comparable to what can be achieved using supervised learning techniques while retaining the accuracy of direct specification measurement, (b) allows multiple RF specifications to be determined concurrently from a single data acquisition and (c) allows digital-compatible testing/BIST to be performed using digital testers or on-chip built in self-test (BIST) circuitry. With regard to (a), a key benefit is that no training of supervised learning algorithm is necessary. The proposed method based on distortion model fitting is shown to give excellent results across common RF performance metrics while providing ~10× improvements in test time compared to previous methods.

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This work was funded in part by NSF CCR 0916270 and GSRC-2009-DT-2049.

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Correspondence to Shreyas Sen.

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Responsible Editor: M. Sachdev

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Sen, S., Banerjee, A., Natarajan, V. et al. BIST/Digital-Compatible Testing of RF Devices Using Distortion Model Fitting. J Electron Test 28, 405–419 (2012).

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  • RF test
  • Low-cost test
  • RF testing on digital tester
  • Nonlinearity model
  • Model fitting
  • Alternate test
  • Built in Self Test (BIST)