Scanner surveys RF fields near ICs, detects hot spots

March 30, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
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The device is designed to be used together with the vendor’s ICR near-field micro probe to measure the fields above integrated circuits (ICS 105 GND set) and small modules (ICS 105 UH set). The analysis of an IC's near fields provides a better understanding of what happens inside the IC at high frequencies. The measurements help analyse an IC's emission problems and pinpoint its areas which are responsible for the emissions.

Depending on the ICR near-field microprobe used, a magnetic or an electric field is measured in an area of 50x50x50 mm and shown on the PC with the CS scanner software. The ICR near-field microprobe can be rotated automatically by 360 degrees with the rotary axis to determine the direction of the magnetic field. A video microscope helps position the near-field microprobe above the object to be measured. Thanks to the ICS 105 scanner's minimum increment of 10 µm, the measurement offers a high resolution (Figure 1).

The ICR near-field microprobes measure RF fields in the frequency range between 1.5 MHz and 6 GHz and achieve a measurement resolution of approximately 50 µm. The near-field microprobes for magnetic field measurements come in two different basic designs. ICR HV near-field microprobes have a vertical measurement coil and ICR HH near-field microprobes have a horizontal measurement coil. The probe head of the ICR E near-field microprobe contains a horizontal electrode to measure electric fields. The portfolio of near-field microprobe types allows the user to make an optimum choice for a wide range of practical measurement purposes.

The near-field microprobes can be used to carry out surface scans over ICs in accordance with IEC61967-3, volume scans over ICs, and PIN scans. During the measurement process, the microprobes move just a few µm above the object to be measured and enable an exact detection of the near fields. A pre-amplifier which is supplied with power via a bias tee is integrated in the near-field microprobe housing.