Noise measurement, LO substitution, receiver stress testing, power measurement, CCDF and PAPR characterization, and antenna-pattern measurement play critical roles in link budget, bit-error rate, and SNR requirements.
Test and Measurement Tips
What is de-embedding and how do I perform it (part 2)?
When testing a device in a fixture, you can use transfer scattering parameters (T-parameters) to help remove the fixture’s contribution from your measurement result.
How test executives automate equipment and processes
Working through test-program sets and drivers, test executives let engineers organize tests into logical sequences. They provide user interfaces for test technicians and store test results for analysis. Manufacturers of electronic and electromechanical devices rely on test instruments to generate stimuli and measure responses. While manually performing tests on the engineering bench might work for […]
How modularity benefits test systems
By understanding the key issues at every phase of the product lifecycle, engineers can make decisions that result in flexible, reliable, and scalable test systems. Taking a modular approach to test system development can accelerate development and mitigate risk throughout the entire product lifecycle. When it comes to designing and building automated test systems, today’s […]
What is de-embedding and how do I perform it (part 1)?
It’s a tenet of the test-and-measurement industry that you should concentrate on looking for defects in your device under test (DUT) — not in your test equipment. Figure 1 illustrates a common problem. An instrument presents an incorrect reading; in this case, an LRC meter or multimeter presents a resistance reading that’s about 5% low. […]
What are insertion loss and return loss and how can I measure them?
These basic RF measurements often uncover system problems in wired and wireless communications. If you observe a signal traveling from a source to a load through a passive system of some sort, you will notice that the signal attenuates by the time it reaches the load, and you will also notice that some of the […]
What is the MIPI I3C interface and where might I use it?
I3C improves on I2C through higher speeds and backward compatibility You’ll often want to interconnect two chips on a circuit board, and a standard interface can help you design efficiently. Engineers working at a division of Philips thought so back in 1982, so they developed the Inter-Integrated-Circuit interface, which they dubbed I2C. Of course, things […]
Functional tester covers bench, production, and service applications
The midUTS from Bloomy contains a multimeter, data-acquisition, switching, and power supplies for testing boards and systems. Automating tests — whether for bench testing new designs, in production, or for service — increases productivity but comes at a price. If you’re going to build an automated test system all yourself, expect to specify the instrumentation, […]
What is an instrument driver and why do I need one?
Instrument drivers take some of the sting out of controlling test instruments by adding an abstraction layer. Almost everyone who uses computers has had experiences with drivers, and probably not good ones. In the olden days, if you had wanted to hook an old printer up to a new computer, you would have searched through […]
What is a Smith chart and why do I need one? (Part 2)
Take a journey around a Smith chart to find capacitance and inductance values in a matching network. Before computers became ubiquitous, the Smith chart simplified calculations involving the complex impedances found in RF/microwave circuits such as the one shown in Figure 1. That circuit includes a source with impedance Zs, transmission line with characteristic impedance […]