Keysight Makes Advancements in Low-Frequency Noise Measurements of Electronic Devices

Keysight has reached a new milestone in low-frequency noise measurements through its work with leading research centers in Europe, Middle East, Africa and India (EMEAI). Using the new Advanced Low-Frequency Noise Analyzer (A-LFNA) and WaferPro Express software, designers can now measure noise more accurately in an even broader range of electronic devices.

Noise is one of the main limiting factors in electronic devices, including sensitive parts such as sensors and memories. As a result, the ability to monitor noise using a statistical approach on a large number of samples and different devices is more critical than ever before. Since introducing the advanced low-frequency noise analyzer, Keysight has actively engaged with research centers that are world-renowned in the field of noise measurements. These collaborations have driven developments into a broad range of applications, allowing the analyzer to increase its versatility in flicker-noise and random telegraph noise measurements. They also helped strengthen the use of the analyzer for devices used in industrial electronics and in 5G and IoT-based devices.

The cornerstone of Keysight's collaboration with research centers, such as Sweden's Chalmers University, Germany's Fraunhofer EMFT, Belgium's IMEC and France's LAAS-CNRS is the addition of WaferPro Express software, a measurement framework that benefits from Keysight's years of experience in device modeling. The Keysight A-LFNA now provides designers the flexibility to transform their low-frequency noise measurements into mathematical models.

By controlling A-LFNA with WaferPro Express, Fraunhofer EMFT, significantly improved its ability to set up sequences to characterize extremely low-noise devices, while also gaining the flexibility to drive the whole measurement system effortlessly. The system can mathematically post-process their raw results in an automated way, allowing them to very quickly get insight into the noise figure improvement of newly developed devices.

LAAS-CNRS has extensive and wide-ranging experience in the field of high- and low-frequency noise measurements, with two low-frequency experimental setups currently available, 400 mA max and 1 Hz - 1 MHz, as well as robust software for spectra extraction. With the new analyzer solution proposed by Keysight within the framework of the Low-Frequency Noise European Center, it will now be possible to address emerging challenges they face, like the number of samples and quiescent point under test. Using the automated solution, they save both time and measurements.

Researchers at Chalmers University have also found success with the new A-LFNA solution. Using the analyzer, they were able to significantly improve the throughput of their high-quality, flicker noise measurements. Also beneficial to researchers are the A-LFNA's high-power capability and low noise floor, as well as its ability to flexibly switch between voltage and current amplifier operation—a capability that enables characterization of very different types of devices.

Other achievements resulting from the ongoing collaboration include an extension of the A-LFNA to enable noise measurements on CMOS sensors down to ultra-low frequencies (0.030 Hz) and on power devices with a 200-V bias voltage. In support of bulk silicon and silicon on insulator (SOI) technologies, the A-LFNA also now asserts a state of the art noise floor (2E-27 A2/Hz). Additionally, it has been upgraded to measure noise power densities up to 40 MHz.

Low-Frequency Noise Measurements—Key Features / Benefits:

  • Collaboration means greater functionality and flexibility for researchers needing to accurately measure noise in new electronic devices
  • Low-frequency noise significantly impacts performance of electronic devices such as sensors and memories
  • Keysight's new advanced low-frequency noise analyzer (A-LFNA) functionality enables designers to transform their low-frequency noise measurements into mathematical models of new devices.