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Measure and Model Device Noise across Wafers
24 August 2016 – Keysight Technologies announced the newest release of its high-performance, Advanced Low-Frequency Noise Analyzer (A-LFNA), which is designed to make fast, accurate and repeatable low-frequency noise measurements. The release features a new user interface and tight integration with Keysight’s WaferPro Express software—a platform that performs automated wafer-level measurements of semiconductor devices.
As part of this larger framework, the platform provides engineers with a deeper understanding of the noise in their devices and circuits, surpassing dead-end noise measurements on a standalone system.
Today’s semiconductor device characterization engineers often want a noise measurement system that is flexible and expandable. In particular, they require one that integrates advanced low-frequency device noise measurement and analysis with wafer-level measurements in a single, powerful platform that is capable of managing full wafer-level characterization. The seamless integration of Keysight’s A-LFNA with WaferPro Express software offers just that functionality. This integrated solution facilitates noise measurements on components, individual devices and integrated circuits; both packaged and at the wafer level. Just as before, engineers using WaferPro Express can program and sequence high-speed DC, capacitance and RF S-parameters measurements, all the while automating wafer prober control. Now with the noise measurement module, they can add noise measurements and analysis to the test suite.
The A-LFNA’s built-in measurement routines make DC and noise measurements turnkey. To measure noise on an N-Type MOSFET, for example, the system automatically chooses the source and load impedances that will best expose the intrinsic device noise. The engineer can accept these recommended settings or make changes, and a noise measurement is initiated. The A-LFNA then measures noise power spectral density (1/f noise) and noise in the time domain (RTN). Resulting data is plotted using a multiplot data display window. Various windows tabs help facilitate common tasks like evaluating device DC operating point and measuring the slope of the power spectral density curve. Noise data may also be analyzed and represented in device models using device modeling tools like Keysight’s Model Builder Program (MBP) and IC-CAP. Circuit designers can use these device models to ensure highly accurate RF and analog low-noise circuit design.
“Our device characterization and modeling customers have diverse test needs, ranging from GaN reliability and CMOS modeling to magnetic sensors tests,” said Todd Cutler, vice president and general manager of Keysight Design and Test Software. “With our new software user interface for the A-LFNA, we have given our customers the unique ability to measure and model device noise across their wafers, while still providing them full and flexible measurement options from DC to capacitance to S-parameters at microwave frequencies.”
Keysight’s A-LFNA features industry-leading noise sensitivity (-183 dBV2/Hz) that allows device modeling and circuit characterization engineers to quickly and accurately characterize devices at high voltages (to 200 V) and down to ultra-low frequencies (to 0.03 Hz). Such capabilities make it ideal for process design kit development by semiconductor foundries and for statistical process control during device manufacturing. IC manufacturers of operational amplifiers and linear voltage regulators can also use the A-LFNA to characterize the output voltage noise specification in their datasheets.
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