Impedance-controlled test contactor maximises RF power transfer

January 28, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
Impedance-controlled test contactor maximises RF power transfer
Cohu has launched an impedance-matched contact for RF test systems to minimise power losses.

The ICON contactor is designed specifically for maintaining the native impedance of the device–under–test (DUT) through the contactor to the test system. Functional and AC parametric testing of high speed devices requires a high and bandwidth low noise interconnect to maintain the quality and/or fidelity of the test signal.

The ICON is simple in its design and effective in use with insertion loss greater than 52 GHz at – 1 dB without distorting the test signal. The ICON spring probes carrying test signals that are impedance matched to the DUT and the test system at 50Ω. The ICON’s metal body is a Faraday shield/cage, which reduces cross talk (electromagnetic radiation) the primary cause of signal jitter. Along with this, the aluminum body blocks both static and non-static external electric fields that generate random noise. The 50Ω ICON is impedance matched to the device under test is the best way to maximize high frequency power transfer by minimising the return loss.

"Impedance mismatch / discontinuity causes a loss of signal power and signal fidelity. At high data rates this can cause signal overshoot, undershoot, and ringing and stairstep waveforms, which produce signal errors. Impedance mismatch can be overcome by matching the device-under-test to the contactor and to the test system. Our 50Ω impedance matched coaxial contactor is the optimal solution for this," said Bert Brost, Product Manager at Cohu.

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