Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
VLSI Design
Volume 2008 (2008), Article ID 294014, 10 pages
Research Article

Using Signal Envelope Detection for Online and Offline RF MEMS Switch Testing

1TIMA Laboratory, 46 Avenue Félix Viallet, 38031 Grenoble Cedex, France
2NXP Semiconductors, 2 Rue de la Girafe, BP 5120, 14079 Caen Cedex 5, France

Received 16 October 2007; Revised 19 February 2008; Accepted 7 April 2008

Academic Editor: José Machado da Silva

Copyright © 2008 E. Simeu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The test of radiofrequency (RF) integrated circuits at their ever-increasing operating frequency range requires sophisticated test equipment and is time-consuming and, therefore, very expensive. This paper introduces a new method combining low-frequency actuation signal as test stimuli and signal envelope detection applied on the RF output signal in order to provide a low-cost mean for production testing of RF MEMS switches embedded in system-in-package (SiP) devices. The proposed approach uses the principle of alternate test that replaces conventional specification-based testing procedures. The basic idea is to extract the high-frequency characteristics of the switch from the signal envelope of the response. Output parameters like “on” and “off” transition time are extracted at low frequency and used in a regression process to predict RF conventional specifications like S-parameters. The paper also provides a set of recursive estimation algorithms suitable for online testing. In this context, “on” and “off” transition time estimated from the output low-frequency envelope is used as test metrics and is concurrently updated using recursive algorithms. Validation results obtained on a capacitive RF switch model are presented.