OcteVue LLC: Picosecond On-Chip Diagnostics

Techniques and circuits for making on-chip measurements with picosecond precision

Contact: mketchen@octevue.com

 Get temporal performance information at the device level early to avoid surprises at the system level later

ps circuit diagnostics While device level activity on today’s microelectronic chips takes place on the ps timescale, information on this activity is most frequently deduced from the integrated performance of an aggregate system over a longer time period. With this approach important features at the device level can be obscured or missed altogether, only to emerge later in an exaggerated and detrimental way under certain operating conditions. One way to avoid this ambiguity is to integrate on-chip measurement capability, either embedded in a system or through dedicated test structures, that provides device level temporal information.

Through much of his career at IBM Dr. Ketchen has worked with digital devices that switch on the ps timescale, beginning with Josephson devices in the late 1970s and continuing on through today’s highly scaled CMOS devices. He has been personally involved in development and application of a number of techniques for obtaining time domain data at the individual device level. These techniques range from optoelectronic sampling with special probes, to integrated on-chip samplers, to differencing techniques where sub-ps detail is revealed using on-chip circuitry in combination with off the shelf measurement equipment. The concepts and generality of such approaches have proven to be surprisingly time and technology independent!

Selected Publications:

1. Direct measurement of jitter in a JTL
Fung Y K-K, Gibson GW, Bulzacchelli JF, Polonsky S, Ketchen MB (2013). IEEE Transactions on Appl Sup 23: 1701405
2. CMOS latch metastability characterization at the 65-nm-technology node
Bhushan M, Ketchen MB, Das KK (2008). Proceedings of the 2008 IEEE international conference on microelectronic test structures, 2008, pp 147-151
3. Measurement of thermal time constant in 65-nm PD-SOI technology with sub-ns resolution
Ketchen MB, Xiu K, Bhushan M (2007). Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE international SOI conference, 2007, pp 53-54
4. Circuit and technique for characterizing switching delay history effects in silicon-on-insulator logic gates
Ketchen MB, Bhushan M, Anderson CJ (2004). Rev Sci Instrum 75:768-771
5. Generation of subpicosecond electrical pulses on coplanar transmission lines
Ketchen MB, Grischkowsky D, Chen TC, Chi C-C Duling III IN, Halas NJ, Halbout JM, Kash JA,Li GP (1986). Appl Phys Lett 48:751-753
6. Punch-through in a three-junction SQUID
Ketchen MB, Anderson CJ (1982). Appl Phys Lett 40: 272-274