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Using Signal Envelope Detection for Online and Offline RF MEMS Switch Testing

VLSI Design
Publication Date
  • Computer Science


The test of radiofrequency (RF) integrated circuits at their ever-increasing operating frequency range requires sophisticated test equipment and is time-consuming and, therefore, very expensive. This paper introduces a new method combining low-frequency actuation signal as test stimuli and signal envelope detection applied on the RF output signal in order to provide a low-cost mean for production testing of RF MEMS switches embedded in system-in-package (SiP) devices. The proposed approach uses the principle of alternate test that replaces conventional specification-based testing procedures. The basic idea is to extract the high-frequency characteristics of the switch from the signal envelope of the response. Output parameters like “on” and “off” transition time are extracted at low frequency and used in a regression process to predict RF conventional specifications like S-parameters. The paper also provides a set of recursive estimation algorithms suitable for online testing. In this context, “on” and “off” transition time estimated from the output low-frequency envelope is used as test metrics and is concurrently updated using recursive algorithms. Validation results obtained on a capacitive RF switch model are presented.

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