Low Cost Universal Reliability System On-A-Chip for Multi-Channel Characterization

Period of Performance: 08/01/2013 - 11/03/2015


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

16955 Via Del Campo Array
San Diego, CA 92127
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: Nu-Trek will be designing a reliability assessment system for testing RF devices, systems , and subsystems. The reliability system features a System-on-Chip (SoC) that provides high frequency (X-band and L band) test signals to the Device Under Test (DUT). The SoC also receives the signal at select test points in the DUT signal chain, and converts the amplitude of the signal at each point in the DUT to a DC signal through the use of an RF peak detector. The URel SoC measures the DC current, gain, and compression point of each test point in the DUT signal chain and sends the test data to a data acquisition card and a PC for further analysis. In Phase I Nu-Trek developed system and sub-block requirements, designed key SoC blocks, and developed a specification and top level design for the entire reliability assessment system. Upon completion of the development effort, the URel Sys will be offered in a rack mounted chassis. Each chassis will be able to test 8 DUTs. The user can rack mount as many chassis as desired, testing tens of parts simultaneously. It will be offered with custom and commercial reliability software. BENEFIT: Automatic Test Equipment (ATE) typically used to test RF devices, components, and sub systems are very large and cost between tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. This constrains the amount of testing that is affordable, slowing progress on new processes and process nodes, such as GaN and small feature size CMOS. In the proposed work, Nu-Trek is developing a System-on-Chip (SoC) based reliability assessment system that will be offered in conjunction with custom and commercially available reliability software. The compactness, robustness, and the low price point ($500 in volume for a baseline model) of the SoC-based reliability assessment system makes reliability testing much more affordable, accelerating process and device commercialization.