Today cmWave (3-30 GHz) and mmWave (30-300 GHz) applications have become mainstream. The wafer is becoming the new final test package. Testing automotive radar on wafer at 80 GHz and 150 °C was previously a fantasy, but is now a reality. With high tech electromagnetic simulation tools and 110 GHz VNA’s it’s possible to design and fabricate hardware for these extremely high frequency, extreme temperature applications.
The latest semiconductor applications continue to present test challenges which require innovative solutions to reach the required level of technical performance whilst delivering low cost of test and decreasing the time to develop and deploy test in production.
Over-the-Air (OTA) measurements are defined as standardized methods to evaluate performance of wireless semiconductors / transceivers / systems. In this paper, we will focus upon in-tester OTA measurement challenges in the upcoming fifth generation (5G) semiconductor designs which support the backbone of these wireless systems.
As we follow the Long Term Evolution (LTE) roadmap to 5G, we know for certain that 5G will be faster than 4G. Increasing speed with a need to reduce cost is motivating cell phone makers to use Antenna in Package (AiP) ICs. The result is increased development and deployment of AiP. AiP is the integration of all the complex RF components in one IC package with the baseband circuitry. This makes for a complete and self-contained module at the IC package level that significantly reduces the work of the system integrator.
This presentation/paper will take you on a journey of testing cmwave/mmWave devices in High Volume semiconductor Manufacturing (HVM). Many believe that testing high frequency devices with contacted test will be too expensive. Others believe that Over The Air (OTA) test for devices with Antenna in Package (AiP) will not cover enough parameters to ensure product quality. Both points have merit while cmWave/mmWave devices bring unknown parameters and fear due to a new paradigm.
This poster will walk through test cell challenges of testing 5G devices with integrated antennae and explore some unique solutions for performing this testing in production. The 5G Antenna in Package (AiP) devices require OTA test solutions at the lab and/or production level depending on Cost of Test (CoT) budget and correlation.
As device operating frequencies increase, the demand for reliable, production-worthy, high-frequency contactors is also increasing. High bandwidth has historically been the standard by which frequency performance is measured, and has typically been achieved by making the path through the contactor as short as possible, keeping it to a fraction of the shortest wavelength.
Today the semiconductor test market is very competitive. This is especially true in the consumable contactor market.
Low operating costs and low average selling prices create low barriers to entry. Micro-organizations plant themselves next to their sole customer and provide fast turn times at competitive prices and onsite support. Although this is acceptable for some it is a risky business model. Furthermore the depth of knowledge of the product and therefore the value add from these micro-organizations is limited.
There are numerous challenges to contacting 5G devices for test. These challenges are driven by devices becoming available before the standards are ratified, evolving test methods and tester resources, trends toward devices with antenna in package (AiP), and the range of test frequencies over the cmWave bands (3 GHz to 30 GHz) and mmWave brands (30 GHz to 100 GHz). Contacting solutions for these challenges require special considerations for the full path between the DUT and tester resource rather than limiting the focus to the interconnect between DUT and PCB.
For new markets like 5G, Satellite internet, and automotive radar, contactor RF characterization has become more critical. Physical features in the contactor design can drastically change the RF performance. Beyond contactor design, the semiconductor device must be considered as it also has a major impact on RF performance. For instance, the device pinout and signaling type can result in drastically different performance even when using the same contacting technology. This paper will describe the RF parameters critical to defining contactor performance for new 5G, mmWave, automotive radar, WiGig and other high frequency applications. The tools necessary to measure and simulate these critical parameters will be described and finally the critical parameters will then be used to compare RF performance across various pinouts and contacting technologies.