Characterizing the Immunity of Integrated Circuits against Electrical Fast Transient Disturbances

Characterizing the Immunity of Integrated Circuits against Electrical Fast Transient Disturbances
Characterizing the Immunity of Integrated Circuits against
Electrical Fast Transient Disturbances
Bernd Deutschmann
austriamicrosystems AG
Schloß Premstätten
A-8141 Unterpremstätten
[email protected]
Gunter Langer
Langer EMV-Technik
Nöthnitzer Hang 31
D-01728 Bannewitz
[email protected]
Abstract – The constant growth of microelectronic
components in our modern electronic systems makes
great demands on the electromagnetic compatibility
(EMC) of the integrated circuits (ICs). To determine the
electromagnetic compatibility of ICs the IEC
(International Electrotechnical Commission) is just
working on two new standards to characterize their
electromagnetic emission and their susceptibility.
Unfortunately, the current version of the susceptibly
standard does not include measurement methods to
characterize the susceptibility of ICs to electrical fast
transient disturbances. In this paper a new measurement
method, which was developed especially for this kind of
characterization is introduced.
and their customers defined measurement methods, which
can be used as a basis for the characterization.
To test the immunity of ICs, the IEC 62132 describes
several measurement methods. At present only the
immunity against amplitude modulated and continuos
wave radio frequency signals is suggested. The
susceptibility against transient disturbances, such as fast
transients (bursts) is currently not included in this
standard. As testing against transient disturbances is a
very important part in the immunity characterization, a
measurement method like the one which will be
introduces in this paper should also be implemented for
IC testing.
During the last years the operating frequencies as well
as the integration density of ICs have increased
significantly. On the other hand the supply voltage levels
as well as the channel length of IC has decreased.
Therefore engineers have to deal with higher
electromagnetic emissions and lower immunities to
electromagnetic interferences of their developments. As
the susceptibility of a final product might only depend on
just one single IC, the characterization of the EMC at the
IC level is getting more important. A lot of electronic
system designers therefore ask for electromagnetic
emission measurements and susceptibility tests of the ICs
they are going to use in their application.
With IC level EMC measurement results from
standardized measurement procedures a system designer
will be able to estimate the EMC behavior of his product
and figure out if it will satisfy the necessary EMC
requirements. For this reason, efforts have started years
ago to define standardizes measurement methods for the
EMC characterization of ICs.
The work group 9 of the IEC subcommittee 47A is
currently working on two new standards (IEC 61967 and
IEC 62132) for the characterization of the
electromagnetic emission and the immunity of ICs. These
two standards provide the semiconductor manufacturers
Günther Auderer
Motorola GmbH
Geschäftsbereich Halbleiter
Schatzbogen 7
D-81829 München
[email protected]
Fast transient immunity test at systemlevel
Over the past 20 years testing the immunity against fast
transient disturbances (bursts) is an inherent part of the
susceptibility characterization of electric and electronic
devices. The first standard (the IEC 801-4) on this topic
was published in 1984. Later, this standard was changed
without technical modifications to IEC 1000-4-4. Since
1995 the standard circulates under IEC 61000-4-4 [2].
The IEC 61000-4-4 defines immunity requirements
and test methods for electrical and electronic equipment
to repetitive electrical fast transients such as those
originating from switching transients (interruption of
inductive loads, relay contact bounce…). The standard
also defines the test voltage waveform, the range of the
test levels as well as the test equipment and setup for
coupling transients into power supply, control and signal
ports of electrical and electronic equipment.
Figure 1 shows a general graph of these fast transients.
The waveshape of a single test pulse has a rise time of
about 5ns and an impulse duration of 50ns (50% value).
The repetition period of this single pulse depends on the
test voltage level and is indicated in table 1. The burst
duration is defined with 15ms and repeats every 300ms.
The duration of the test should be not less than 1 minute
and both (pos. and neg.) polarities have to be tested.
used in which the DUT is placed via a chip adapter board
(see figure 2).
Depending on the kind of measurement, different burst
generators (probes) can be used. These probes are placed
on the reference plane and are electrically connected to it.
A pin contact is used to couple the bursts into the IC pin.
This measuring setup, especially the usage of a reference
plane, guarantees that correct measurements up to the
GHz range can be performed.
Figure 1: General graph of fast transients.
In table 1 the test levels for testing power supply ports
and for testing I/O signal, data, and control ports are
given. The test levels should be selected in accordance
with installation and environmental conditions.
Open Circuit output voltage and repetition rate
Power supply
I/O ports
Table 1: Test levels.
A coupling clamp is used to couple the fast
transients/bursts to the device under test (DUT). Two kind
of coupling devices are used. For coupling to the power
supply port a so-called coupling/decoupling network is
used. A capacitive coupling clamp is used to couple the
transients to I/O interfaces of communication, data, and
control ports. The coupling capacitance of the clamp
depends on the diameter, the material, and the shielding
of the cable. Its typical value ranges from 50pF to 200pF.
The isolation between the DUT and a metallic ground
reference plane shall be 0.1m. The ground plane shall be
at least 1x1m and project beyond the DUT by at least
0.1m on all sides. The length of the connector between the
EFT generator and the clamp should not be longer than
Figure 2: Schematic measurement setup.
In order to perform burst measurements at the chip
level, a chip adapter board has to be fabricated first. This
adapter board is than connected to a connection board,
which is used to supply the IC and bring it into an
adequate operation mode. During the measurement the
probe is attached securely to the reference plane by a
magnet. This guarantees an excellent ground connection
of the probe. The pin of the IC under test, which should
be tested, is connected to the probe via the pin contact.
The massive GND plane and the small setup allows to
measure the operating condition of the IC with an
oscilloscope during a burst interference without
influencing the measurement results.
3.1 The measurement setup of the Burst test
To couple burst signals into the IC under test, several
burst probes of the series 200 (current injection) and 300
(voltage injection) are available. These probes are
supplied by a Burst Power Station BPS 201 (see figure 3).
A serial interface to a PC is used to control the probes and
to set different burst parameters.
A new Burst test system for the IC-level
Up to now there was no measurement system for the
IC level available to perform reactionless fast transient
testing of ICs. To close this gap a measurement system
that satisfies all the requirements at the IC level was
developed by Langer EMV-Technik GmbH.
To design a burst generator for the IC level, all the
corresponding characteristics of an IC, as well as the
voltage level which actually occurs at the IC pin have to
be considered. A decisive prerequisite for a correct
measurement is the right connection to the IC (DUT).
Therefore a reference plane (a massive GND plane) is
Figure 3: Burst measurement setup with IC under test,
test board, probe 201 and burst power station.
current generates a voltage drop uSt across this
resistor. The voltage drop is interpreted by the IC
as a logic signal and causes a malfunction.
How do disturbances couple into the IC
under test
b) The current is divided into two parts. A first part
flows via the resistor and eventually via an
external decoupling capacitor outside of the IC,
the second part of the current flows directly into
the IC. Protection diodes for example might give a
path for the current to flow to several further
functional parts and cause similar effects as with
magnetic coupling.
4.1 Magnetic coupling
Disturbing currents, which can be caused by burst
pulses, are flowing on PCB traces and causes magnetic
fields BSt. This magnetic fields than couple into loops on
the PCB and induce noise voltages uSt (figure 4). The
function of an IC can be interfered in two ways by the
magnetic field:
The induced voltage ust influences the input of the
IC. The input circuit can not separate a normal
input signal from a noise signal and the IC may
consider a noise signal as a logical signal.
b) The induced voltage drives a noise current iSt into
the IC pin. If the IC pin is a VDD/VSS-pin, the
noise current is flowing directly to the internal
VDD/VSS-system of the IC. It can penetrate
however also via an input pin for example trough
internal drivers, the protection diodes, or chip
inherent stray/parasitic capacitors to the internal
VDD/VSS-system of the IC. The VDD/VSS
system leads the noise current to further functional
parts of the ICs, so that interferences can occur in
areas having no direct relation to the interfered
Figure 5: Interference of an IC trough E-field coupling.
Burst generators for IC-level tests
(conducted coupling)
In addition to the described coupling mechanisms two
burst probes are available for coupling burst pulses into
an IC.
5.1 Burst probes for magnetic coupling
Figure 4: Interference of an IC trough H-field coupling.
4.2 Electric Coupling
Probes for magnetic coupling have to recreate the
induction loops of the PCB. In the worst case this
induction loop can only exist of the internal current path
of the IC and the path via the decoupling capacitor
connected to the IC pins. In this case the parameters R
and L of the current loop can be characterized by the
parameters of the IC, which are for the Vdd/Vss pins
about 10-100mOhm and 10nH. To keep the probes free
from reactions their R and L value was set to be about 10
times smaller. For these measurements, probes of the
series 200 are available (see figure 6).
The electric fields caused by burst interferences can be
up to 10.000V/m. As a burst pulse has a very short rise
time with high du/dt an electronic system can be effected
by capacitive coupling. In this case a current is generated
due to the stray capacitances. Figure 5 shows how electric
fields couples into PCBs. Again, there are two ways how
the function of an IC can be interfered:
On the PCB and insight the IC might be resistors
to VDD and to VSS. In figure 5 these resistors
have been summarized by one resistor R. The
Figure 6: Probe 201 for burst injection.
These probes have a high coupling capacitance
(800nF) and offer a very low impedance (about 1Ohm
internal resistance and 2nH internal inductivity). The
amplitude of the burst pulse can be varied from 3-37V.
Figure 7 shows a burst pulse, which has been coupled by
a Probe 201 into the Vdd supply pin of an IC.
Figure 8: Failure in the duty cycle of the timing
Figure 7: Burst pulse on the Vdd supply.
Many other failures can occur alongside those shown.
With the knowledge of the type of coupling (polarity of
the burst voltage, function and location of the interfered
IC pin) and the failure that occurred, the chip designer can
recognize the influence mechanism and is given hints
which area of the IC has to be redesigned.
5.2 Burst probes for electric coupling
Probes from the 300 series have been designed for
electric coupling. The probes inject voltage pulses at a
rise time of 1ns via a low coupling capacitance (<30pF).
Measurement results
One of the main difficulties in doing interference
measurements, is to figure out how an interference can be
recognized. Sometimes suitable test software to visualize
interferences, like for example the switching of certain
registers or memory values or the start of an internal
RESET, has to be developed before an IC can be
evaluated. In the following example the susceptibility of a
simple microcontroller was evaluated with the probe 201.
The micrcontroller was programmed that one of the
output ports inverts its value at the end of a program loop.
The pulse sequence was monitored during the test with an
oscilloscope. Different failures were obtained by injecting
burst pulses into the power supply pins of the
microcontroller, like the one’s listed in table 2.
Vdda 10,4V pos. Latch up - The controller stops, current input
clearly increases -> Danger of destruction.
2,7V neg. Controller crashes and restarts automatically. The
duty cycle of the timing pattern output on the port
is disturbed (Abb. 8)
Vssa 4,0V pos. RESET triggered. Duty cycle not disturbed.
10,5V neg. Controller crashes and starts again by itself. Duty
cycle not disturbed.
Vdd 9,6V pos. Controller crashes and does not start again by
itself. Duty cycle disturbed.
8,0V neg. Controller crashes and does not start again by
9,8V pos. RESET triggered. Duty cycle not disturbed.
3,6V neg. RESET triggered. Duty cycle not disturbed.
Table 2: Different failures of a microcontroller
Testing the immunity of ICs according to the IEC
62132 standard just characterizes the susceptibility
against RF signals. There are no regulations available to
test an IC against transient disturbances like bursts. The
IEC WG9 SC47A is currently working on measurement
methodologies for immunity tests for ICs violating the
DUT with ESD signals (bursts). The characterization of
electronic devices and systems is regulated since a long
time by the IEC 61000-4-4 standard, which is presented
briefly. For the characterization of the immunity of ICs
against fast transient disturbances, a new burst test system
is introduced. The ways how burst interferences can
couple into IC pins are shown together with the results,
which were obtained by the characterization of a
[1] IEC 62132-1, “Integrated circuits - Measurement of
electromagnetic immunity, 150kHz to 1GHz – Part 1:
General and definitions”, 47A/618/CD,
[2] IEC 61000-4-4, “Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) Part 4: Electrical fast transient/burst immunity test“, 1995/01
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