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Programmable high Frequency Probing Systems Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014443D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19

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With the ever changing of power and signal placement on electronic packages used in computer systems including mainframes, it becomes more and more difficult to provide accurate measurement of operational parameters such as switching noise, signal integrity, jitter measurements, measurements of differential signals, or of differential measurements of voltage to ground disturbances in a unified manner. Present techniques use either fixed hard wired return paths to connect the test probes to the device under test (DUT). All have required some type of holding structure for the probes, and the repeatability of the measurement has been questionable at times. Every bench test and system test have required the use of a dedicated test fixture for measurements, which leads to costly and multiple test apparatus. Solution: A single fixture is proposed that is completely programmable is respect to the system ground returns, so that they are in close proximity to the test signals. As shown in the figure, a metal plate and insulation board are fabricated with a polarity of holes that match the periodicity of the DUT I/O layout. The dimensions for the holes are selected as to provide a sliding fit for the ground pogo pins as well as the resilient coaxial connector. The grounds are programmed by first inserting pogo pins into the metal plate and insulation board at the required locations. They are then retained through the use of another insulation cover board. This cover has drilled holes at the required locations for measurements that match the DUT. Once this is completed the full assemblies adapted to the DUT by use of clamping devices such as screws. The size of the fixture can be optimized to cover a large number of DUT layouts, such as single chip and multi chip components. catia009.tif 1