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10-2016

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Fachzeitschrift für Hochfrequenz- und Mikrowellentechnik

RF & Wireless Software

RF & Wireless Software Low-Frequency Noise Measurements in Wafer Level Solution Platform Keysight Technologies Inc. announced the newest release of its high-performance, Advanced Low- Frequency Noise Analyzer (A-LFNA), which is designed to make fast, accurate and repeatable lowfrequency noise measurements. Keysight Technologies www.keysight.com The release features a new user interface and tight integration with Keysight’s WaferPro Express software – a platform that performs automated waferlevel measurements of semiconductor devices. As part of this larger framework, the platform provides engineers with a deeper understanding of the noise in their devices and circuits, surpassing dead-end noise measurements on a standalone system. Today’s semiconductor device characterization engineers often want a noise measurement system that is flexible and expandable. In particular, they require one that integrates advanced low-frequency device noise measurement and analysis with wafer-level measurements in a single, powerful platform that is capable of managing full wafer-level characterization. The seamless integration of Keysight’s A-LFNA with Wafer- Pro Express software offers just that functionality. This integrated solution facilitates noise measurements on components, individual devices and integrated circuits; both packaged and at the wafer level. Just as before, engineers using WaferPro Express can program and sequence highspeed DC, capacitance and RF S-parameters measurements, all the while automating wafer prober control. Now with the noise measurement module, they can add noise measurements and analysis to the test suite. The A-LFNA’s built-in measurement routines make DC and noise measurements turnkey. To measure noise on an N-Type MOSFET, for example, the system automatically chooses the source and load impedances that will best expose the intrinsic device noise. The engineer can accept these recommended settings or make changes, and a noise measurement is initiated. The A-LFNA then measures noise power spectral density (1/f noise) and noise in the time domain (RTN). Resulting data is plotted using a multiplot data display window. Various windows tabs help facilitate common tasks like evaluating device DC operating point and measuring the slope of the power spectral density curve. Noise data may also be analyzed and represented in device models using device modeling tools like Keysight’s Model Builder Program (MBP) and IC-CAP. Circuit designers can use these device models to ensure highly accurate RF and analog low-noise circuit design. Keysight’s A-LFNA features industry-leading noise sensitivity (-183 dB/Hz) that allows device modeling and circuit characterization engineers to quickly and accurately characterize devices at high voltages (to 200 V) and down to ultralow frequencies (to 0.03 Hz). Such capabilities make it ideal for process design kit development by semiconductor foundries and for statistical process control during device manufacturing. IC manufacturers of operational amplifiers and linear voltage regulators can also use the A-LFNA to characterize the output voltage noise specification in their datasheets. ◄ 56 hf-praxis 10/2016

RF & Wireless Test & Measurement Performing Accurate Spectrum Analysis at Terahertz Frequencies with a Vector Network Analyzer Device characterization can be challenging and complicated when venturing into the terahertz frequency range. To further complicate the situation, achieving an insightful understanding of component performance and behavior often requires two instruments: a vector network analyzer (VNA) and a spectrum analyzer (SA). Figure 1: Adding mmWave controllers and frequency extenders to a PNA microwave network analyzer creates a single-sweep measurement system that reaches into the terahertz range During a typical measurement session, the need to frequently connect, disconnect and reconnect the device under test (DUT) is both inconvenient and timeconsuming. It can also introduce measurement errors, extend measurement time, and damage the probes, the test cables and even the DUT. One solution is to incorporate VNA and SA capabilities into a single instrument. Recently, faster digitizers, digital signal processors (DSPs) and central processing units (CPUs) have enabled Keysight to implement an SA capability that is fast enough to accelerate crucial - and oftentimes tedious - measurements such as the search for spurious signals. In the analog portion of the block diagram, the next step forward is extending the SA capabilities into the terahertz region while retaining the expected functionality, performance and accuracy of VNA and SA measurements. Reaching terahertz frequencies VNA test solutions that measure below 67 GHz are usually implemented as a single, integrated instrument. Extending VNA capabilities to higher frequencies is typically achieved by using what is called a distributed architecture. This requires the use of frequency extenders that upconvert stimulus signals and downconvert response signals to support DUTs that operate into the terahertz range. Suren Singh, Keysight Technologies www.keysight.com Figure 2: The addition of solution-partner frequency extenders enables creation of a banded terahertz solution A millimeter-wave (mmWave) VNA can be implemented as a preconfigured solution or as a user-integrated system built around an existing VNA. For example, Keysight offers an integrated system under a single model number, the N5251A mmWave network analyzer. This configuration covers 10 MHz to 110 GHz and currently offers extensions to 1.1 THz. hf-praxis 10/2016 57

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