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Lecture Hall A1 productronica Forum
11:30-12:00 h | Hall A1 productronica Forum, A1, booth 220
Subjects: Test and measurement, quality assuranceSpeaker: Alexander Thaler
When it comes to functional testing of mass-produced IoT and 5G devices, a lot of challenges arise that did not use to be a problem in the past. This especially with regards to probing printed circuit boards assemblies, also known as PCBA’s inside an FCT fixture. In this presentation, we present ideas and concepts how to successfully use passive coaxial test probes for applications such as power level tests and other RF measurements. Previous discussions about usage of RF probes mainly dealt with general sub-6 GHz applications for Bluetooth, WiFi and LTE applications. While IoT devices are usually in that range, the new challenge is the extremely low power level. 5G devices can go significantly higher in the spectrum and cover frequencies in the 28 GHz range as well as 39 GHz and even beyond. In the past, probing with such devices would have been very difficult if not impossible in that area. One would have needed very short, on-wafer probing architectures to accomplish that task (such solutions can cover tests up to the Terahertz range – but are not meant to be used for high volume production testing). Asides from low power challenges with IoT and rising frequency demands for 5G, manufacturers are also challenged with cost pressure – not so much for 5G but most certainly for IoT applications. This comes at the risk of not being able to successfully perform an end of line test, because if architectures are used that are not well impedance-defined due to cost pressure, then how can we actually test these devices without major signal deterioration? Spring-loaded probes at microwave frequencies would have different challenges – as the mechanical properties of the probe would interfere with the electrical performance – and that needs to be mitigated. We are presenting novelty solutions that cover all these tasks.