Table 1 Mixed-Signal Test course major topics. Mixed-signal Test and Measurement Concepts ENCT 351 What are Mixed-signal circuits

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1 Mixed-Signal Test Emphasis in Engineering Technology Rainer J. Fink, Jay Porter, Yong-Kyu Jung, B. Ben Zoghi Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution Texas A&M University College Station, TX Abstract SESSION ETD 325 Mixed signal circuits are a large and rapidly growing semiconductor business within the state of Texas as well as on a national level. In response to the increasing need for qualified entry level test and product engineers in mixed-signal electronics, a set of high level courses are being developed with the goal of teaching students the art of mixed-signal testing. External industrial support was acquired to develop course material, renovate and equip the new Mixed-Signal Test Laboratory, support faculty and staff, and attract high caliber students to the program. Two Mixed Signal Testing courses are being developed in conjunction with Texas Instruments, covering topics from basic mixed-signal Integrated Circuit (IC) testing through Radio Frequency IC testing. The Texas Instruments Mixed Signal Test Laboratory facility was developed to support the new courses. Equipment available to the students in lab includes state of the art bench equipment such as spectrum analyzer, arbitrary waveform generator, and Network Analyzer along with a Teradyne A567 Advanced Mixed-Signal IC tester. Furthermore, ten test simulation stations comprised of 400 MHz Pentium II computers and individual bench test components are networked into the Teradyne to allow offline simulation, data analysis and correlation experiments. As a capstone course in the Mixed-signal emphasis, students work in teams on projects that are sponsored by industry to integrate analog and digital electronics in a system level approach to real life technology problems. The new mixed-signal laboratory will also be available to support these projects. Introduction The Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering Technology Program at Texas A&M University is currently pursuing an emphasis in Mixed-Signal Testing (MST). Traditionally mixed-signal test engineers have been educated in Electrical Engineering departments, yet the demand for qualified entry level test and product engineers has greatly outstripped the supply of graduating students coming from traditional departments. In order to increase the number and level of competence of graduating students, Texas Instruments has committed to an initial three year support for the development of a new curriculum in the Department of Engineering Technology, which will address both problems simultaneously. Traditionally, Engineering Technology students have had a low placement rate at Texas Instruments; therefore a yet untapped source of potential entry-level engineers, along with a targeted curriculum to increase the level of knowledge in MST offers a solution to the increasing need for qualified employees. New Course Development The basic electronics courses have been enhanced substantially as feeder classes to the new MST courses. Course topics have been updated to include not only semiconductor devices (resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, transistors, operational amplifiers) but several new topics such as the fundamentals and design of analog-to-digital converters and active filters. Traditional analog electronics topics such as DC circuits, AC circuits, transistor theory and operational amplifiers are being taught with an emphasis on real life characteristics of components and circuits. As a logical extension of traditional

2 analog topics, mixed-signal circuits incorporate concepts from both the analog and the digital electronics theories. Early recognition of the lack of an acceptable book on the topic of Mixed-Signal Test, prompted Texas Instruments to support the writing of Introduction to Mixed-Signal Test and Measurement a text book for use in course supported by Texas Instruments. Table 1 summarizes the major topics being covered the book as well as in both MST courses. Table 1 Mixed-Signal Test course major topics. Course Mixed-signal Test and Measurement Concepts ENCT 351 What are Mixed-signal circuits Introduction to Test Specifications Mixed-Signal Test DC and Parametric Tests and Measurement Measurement Accuracy Tester Hardware Sampling Theory DSP Based Testing Fourier Transforms Analog Channel Testing Sampled Channel Testing ENTC 452 Advanced Mixed- Signal Test and Measurement Focussed Calibrations DAC Testing ADC Testing DIB Board Design Design for Test (DfT) Built in Self Test (BIST) Data Analysis Statistical Process Control Test Economics To enhance the new material being presented in the lectures, the laboratories are also being changed. Laboratory exercises are being developed to explore the intricacies in automated testing of mixed-signal chips. Test principles such as random noise, test time reduction and correlation are emphasized to help students become better test engineers upon graduation. Laboratory Modernization The laboratory that supports all analog classes has been remodeled and outfitted with new equipment. The original lab consisted of nine benches with a very basic oscilloscope, power supply, function generator, and multimeter. Through a donation from Texas Instruments and Hewlett Packard, new equipment has been purchased to support ten identical workstations and a single, high-end workstation to support feeder courses into the MST emphasis (See Table 2). The new lab will support a maximum class size of twenty students with two students per station. The Teradyne Tester and the highend bench station will be dedicated to the Mixed-Signal Test courses. Each of the individual workstations used in the feeder DC and AC courses includes a mixed signal oscilloscope, a digital multimeter, an arbitrary waveform generator, a power supply, and a Pentium II personal computer (PC) with a National Instruments data acquisition card.

3 Table 2- Summary of the equipment and software being installed in the new laboratory. 10 Individual Workstations Two analog channel, sixteen digital channel 100MHz Mixed-Signal Oscilloscope (HP54645D) Triple Output Power Supply (HP E3631A) 15 MHz Arbitrary Waveform Generator (HP33120A) 6.5 Digit Digital Multimeter (HP34401A) 400MHz Pentium II Computer w/ GPIB Interface LabVIEW, OrCAD Pspice, MS Word DAQ Board Dedicated State of the Art Workstation 9kHz 22GHz Microwave Spectrum Analyzer (HP8592L) Network Analyzer (HP8712) 225 MHZ RF Counter (HP53181A plus OPT 124) 150 MHz Pulse Generator (HP8110A / HP81103A) 8.5 Digit Digital Multimeter (HP3458A) 16ch 500Msu Color Logic Analyzer (HP54620C) 2 Channel, 500 MHz, Oscilloscope (HP54615B) Tripple Output DC Power Supply (HP3631A) Arbitrary Waveform Generator (Techtronix AWG 520) 400MHz Pentium II Computer w/ GPIB Interface LabVIEW, OrCAD Pspice, MS Word DAQ Board Figure 1 shows the new dedicated state of the art workstation. All of the bench equipment is networkable to the PC via a GPIB (IEEE-488) bus to allow the computer to perform remote instrument control and data collection. This allows students to perform much more sophisticated automated measurements to be compared to results obtained from the Teradyne tester. Furthermore, a suite of software packages, including National Instruments LabVIEW, OrCAD Pspice, and Microsoft Office will enhance the laboratory curriculum, thus improving simulation, control and presentation capabilities of graduating students. Figure 1 The new State of the Art Bench equipment station. Students obtain individual measurements using professional quality equipment.

4 The centerpiece of the Texas Instruments Mixed-Signal Test Laboratory is the Teradyne A567 Advanced Mixed-Signal Automated Tester (Figure 2). Laboratory exercises are being developed in conjunction with McGill University, Canada and the University of Arkansas to emphasize issues related to automated testing. Test Projects will include circuits ranging from voltage regulators to Analog to Digital converters. Class exercises will develop test protocols, emphasizing test time reduction and test sequencing. Students will be expected to develop and write both C based test programs to be implemented on the tester and LabView based programs to be implemented on the bench equipment. Timing issues will be explored and emphasized using correlation between bench and tester results. Figure 2 The Teradyne Advanced Mixed Signal Tester. This instrument allows the students to program an automated sequence of tests to be performed by the tester. Components to be tested include voltage regulators to advanced mixed-signal chips. Summary The Electronics Engineering Technology program at Texas A&M University is currently developing a new Mixed-Signal Test emphasis to support the integrated circuit testing industry. The development of the Texas Instruments Mixed-Signal Test Laboratory allows instruction if high tech automated testing using the most current instruments available today. The ability to offer specialized instruction in automated test and measurement is limited to only several universities. The Mixed-Signal Test emphasis allows real world, high tech problems to be solved during the student s university education. Therefore, students will be very well suited as entry level test and product engineers. Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank Texas Instruments for their support in the creation of the new Texas Instruments Mixed-Signal Test Laboratory. They would also like to thank Hewlett Packard and National Instruments for their generous hardware and software donations.

5 Biographies Rainer Fink was born in Speyer, West Germany in He received the BS degree in biomedical engineering (1988), the MS degree in biomedical engineering (1992), and the Ph.D. in biomedical engineering (1995) from Texas A&M University. After finishing his Ph.D., he was a lecturer in the Bioengineering Program and the Department of Engineering Technology at Texas A&M University. In August 1996, he joined the Electronics Engineering Technology faculty at Texas A&M University. His research activities include mixed-signal testing, analog circuit design and biomedical electronics. Yong-Kyu Jung is an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University in College Station. He received his B.S.E.E. from Korea University (Seoul) in 1985, an M.S.E.E. and a Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta) in 1997 and in 2001 respectively. He was a senior research engineer at Central Research & Development center in LG Electronics ltd. ( ) and a vice president of VLSI technology ( ) at VP Technologies Inc. His research interest is reconfigurable and reliable DSP/embedded computing system design and automation for wireless communication. Jay Porter received the BS degree in Electrical Engineering (1987), the MS degree in Physics (1989), and the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (1993) from Texas A&M University. He is currently the Program Coordinator for the Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering Technology Programs in the Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution Department at Texas A&M University. His research areas include mixed-signal testing, software defined radio, and medical imaging. B. Ben Zoghi received the BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering (1982, 1986), and the Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering (1993) from Texas A&M University. He has been with Texas A&M Engineering Technology and Industrial distribution since He has served the department as Industrial Distribution Program Coordinator, Executive Director of Thomas and Joan Read Center and Associate Department Head for Research. His research activities include RFID/Sensor Convergence and leadership development.

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