PhD Thesis

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« Alternative test technique for RF MEMS switch ».

Author: H.N. Nguyen
Advisor: S. Mir
Co-advisor: E. Simeu
President of jury: B. Courtois
thesis reviewer(s): P. Nouet, J. Machado da Silva,
These de Doctorat Grenoble INP
Speciality: Electronique, électrotechnique, automatique
Defense: July 06 2009
ISBN: 978-2-84813-133-7


This work aims at finding a fast and low-cost test technique for RF MEMS switches embedded in SiP (System-in-Package). The complexity of RF SiP requires a test strategy leading to a design-for-test (DFT) solution that helps to overcome the necessity of sophisticated test equipment, as well as the access difficulties to measure embedded points. 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. Features such as rise-time, fall-time, ON and OFF peak amplitude can be extracted from this low frequency signal. These features are then used in a regression process to predict RF conventional specifications like S-parameters. A test set-up was configured and used to evaluate some samples of a commercial switch. Experimental measures are executed with an industry-developed evaluation board and a developer’s kit. Low frequency measures like ON and OFF transition times and the ratio between peak amplitude of RF input and output signals are used as regressors. These low frequency characteristics provide important data for the multivariate regression algorithm that builds a nonlinear mapping between the low frequency switch features and the RF performances. Thus, conventional performances, such as S-parameters, are predicted from these measurements by the nonlinear regression. The results exhibited a good correlation between low frequency and RF measurements. The experimental validation has only been performed for a reduced population sample. Simulation results have also been used to evaluate this correlation.

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