RF Test Gage R&R Improvement

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  • Author: James Oerth and Mike Downs

Advanced cell phone architectures require high performance multi-throw RF switches. Reliably measuring the very low RF power levels of the third harmonic signal of these switches is a significant challenge. This paper discusses the use of Gage studies to identify and measure the sources of variation in RF probe measurements. Tester Gage study results are presented. Evaluations of factors including test instrument repeatability, probe card wear, probe tip planarity, probe pressure, and probe placement within the bond pad are presented. The data indicated the repeatability of the test instrumentation was very good. However, the reproducibility needed improvement. The most significant factor in achieving reproducible RF measurements is sufficient probe contact. A method to provide probe operators feedback of sufficient probe contact was developed and implemented. As a result, the Gage study passed. Further, the percentage of die requiring re-test was reduced significantly.

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