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Low-cost parametric test and diagnosis of RF systems using multi-tone response envelope detection

Low-cost parametric test and diagnosis of RF systems using multi-tone response envelope detection

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Because of aggressive technology scaling and multi-GHz operating frequencies of radio frequency (RF) devices, parametric failure test and diagnosis of RF circuitry is becoming increasingly important for the reduction of production test cost and faster yield ramp-up. A low-cost test and diagnosis method is proposed for multi-parametric faults in wireless systems that allows for the accurate prediction of the end-to-end specifications as well as the specifications of all the embedded RF modules. The procedure is based on application of an optimised test stimulus and extraction of its transient test response envelopes at RF signal nodes using a simple diode-based envelope detector. The test response is down-converted to lower frequencies compared to the operating frequency, thus eliminating the need to make RF measurements using expensive instrumentation. The specifications as well as the diagnostic information are computed from the test response of the envelope detector using statistical models. It is shown that the resulting information (features) in the transient envelope can accurately predict a host of test specifications using a single test configuration and test response capture event. Hardware measurement data from a 1.575 GHz transceiver shows that the test specifications of the system as well as the modules can be predicted with a high degree of accuracy using this method.

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