Test Connections - May 2023

One Common 5G Semiconductor Test Platform: Sub 6 GHz to mmWave


5G semiconductor devices span a broad range of operating frequencies, from sub 6 GHz to 53 GHz (mmWave) and beyond, that often result in the design and fielding of multiple test systems specific to certain frequency bands.

One solution involves developing a common test platform capable of addressing all 5G semiconductor device use cases, or alternatively adopting a modular open-platform approach permitting the substitution of instrumentation when frequency demands change.  Additionally, the application software and test executive must easily adapt to changing test needs to simplify implementation and speed deployment.

Implementing a common test platform, such as the TS-900e-5G which is based on a modular open-system design philosophy, combines both approaches into a flexible solution that can address most use cases without changes to the instrumentation or internal components.  While this is the most versatile approach, it does require careful planning during the design and implementation process.

GENASYS Semi

When developing a system for mmWave device test, where frequency delivery to the device under test (DUT) and instrumentation now reaches 53 GHz, careful attention to interconnects, cabling and manufacturing processes is essential.  These concerns are typically not critical when fabricating low band (<6 GHz) test systems, but they can significantly impact the signal quality at higher frequencies, and must be considered when the goal is testing across the entire 5G band.

The TS-900e-5G, a member of the GENASYS Semiconductor family, delivers exceptional 5G test performance from sub 6 GHz to mmWave.  Leveraging Keysight’s modular vector network analyzers (VNAs), these test systems provide unmatched RF phase and amplitude measurements and can be tailored to specific frequency bands.  MTS’ multichannel device power supplies (DPS) and high-speed dynamic digital I/O solutions with programmable logic levels and per pin PMUs further enhance the utility of these systems.

Additionally, the modular architecture provides MTS’ customers with headroom to address future test challenges without sacrificing test performance.  VNA instrumentation can be selected that covers the entire range from 100 KHz to 53 GHz (mmWave), or substituted for lower frequency options that are drop-in compatible and can be easily upgraded at any time.  All variants are supplied with MTS’ ATEasy® Development Studio and Test Executive, as well as SemiEasy, an add-in specifically designed for semiconductor test.