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Low Cost Test Technique for RF Interconnects in MCM Substrate
Keywords: RF Interconnect Testing, MCM Substrates, Power loss study
This paper describes a low cost test technique for RF Interconnects that is capable of detecting process related defects such as open and short defects in multichip module (MCM). This method is developed to perform tests on RF boards which are used in Automatic Test Equipment (ATE). The proposed test technique uses a stimulus on one end of the interconnects and detection of power loss across the interconnects. The method is also extended to studying the behavior of the power loss across the interconnects due to missing components or misplaced components. Electronic packages provide a means for interconnecting, powering, cooling and protecting (IC) chips. Since semiconductor chips are expensive a testing scheme is necessary to ensure the integrity and performance of all the package interconnection paths. To perform testing generally an Automatic Test Equipment is used. But the load boards used in the Automatic Test Equipment itself are not fault free and can sometimes lead to faulty measurement. Hence it is necessary to test the load boards before using them to test the semiconductor chips. The present test techniques for RF boards are cumbersome and time consuming. Automatic Test Equipments are low cost equipments and hence do not have sophisticated equipments such as spectrum analyzers for performing RF board testing. Hence this limits us to study the power loss of the RF interconnects using the RMS detector on the receiver side of the tester system. The power loss across the RF interconnects and the behavior of the power sweep at a desired frequency range to study the effect of missing or misplaced components are some of the tests that can be performed. This paper introduces a low cost test technique for latent opens and shorts testing in the ATE which offer significant advantage over the present techniques. A quality comparison look up table is created at a desired frequency range using a RF simulation tool and then validation of this technique is performed on the Very Low Cost Test equipment (VLCT). Further this test technique is also being integrated into a software environment to automate the test generation process by generating a functional test program.
Sukeshwar Kannan, Graduate Research Assistant
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL


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