The PMIC Line and Load Regulation Plugin

The PMIC Line and Load Regulation SIVA test plugin allows companies making Power Management ICs (PMICs) to use their existing test equipment to evaluate DC performance of the PMIC over varying load currents and varying input (line) voltages.

Front Panel of Line and Load Regulation plugin

Figure 1. Front Panel of Line and Load Regulation plugin

 

The plugin requires the following three instrument types., For each type, the PMIC specifications will dictate the model that works best. However, provided the instrument has remote programming capability, thanks to SIVA’s instrument abstraction feature, the instrument can be ‘mapped’ to be used by the plugin. The three instruments are:

 

  • Source Measure Unit (SMU) to power the input voltage rail of the PMIC and to allow measurement of the input voltage and input current. If the voltage drop between the SMU terminals and the Device Under Test (DUT) input voltage rails is a concern, then an SMU with four wire measurement capability is desirable.
  • Pattern Generation/Acquisition Device in order to emulate the digital protocol that the PMIC employs for configuring the relevant mode of the DUT.
  • Source Measure Unit (SMU) or Electronic Load in combination with a suitable fixed load such as a decade resistance box for purposes of establishing the desired load current at the output terminals of the PMIC and for purposes of measuring the load current and load voltage etc.

 

SIVA’s Instrument Abstraction feature (described in below thematic) makes it easy to decouple test code from the exact model and instance of instrument.

SIVA Instrument Abstraction Concept

Figure 2. SIVA instrument abstraction concept

 

The input parameters for the SIVA Load and Line Regulation Plugin are indicated in the rightmost tab in Figure 3 and can be expanded upon based on the user’s needs:

Test Configurations for PMIC Line and Load Regulation Plugin

Figure 3. Test Configurations for PMIC Line and Load Regulation Plugin

 

What advantages does using the Load and Line Regulation SIVA Plugin afford the user over building his or her own test code for Line and Load Sweeps?

 

  • Provides immediate GUI look and feel with quick access to plots and scalar measurements for Line Regulation, Load Regulation, Load Voltage, PMIC Output Efficiency. These measurements are plotted across parameters such as Load Current, Line Voltage at chosen filter values of Line Voltage, Load Current respectively.
  • Access to DUT registers or DUT Bit Fields in an off the shelf manner, which can be exercised during the running of the test or during an automation sweep running in NI TestStand also.
  • Input parameter saving, retrieval, management and underlying state machine and UI capabilities are provided by the SIVA framework itself. For any further functionality, clicking on ‘Edit Code’ exits the runtime environment on the Plugin Debug Panel and enters LabVIEW coding mode.
  • Off-the-shelf data logging facility with default access to spreadsheet logs and features such as auto-incremented labeling and timestamps. Additional data logging plugins can be developed using a template as desired.
  • An integrated sequencer operator interface that leverages the powerful NI TestStand for running higher level sweeps.

 

Also available as a separately sold add-on to the PMIC Line and Load Transients Plugin is DIVE, a waveform tagging, learning and analysis tool that uses Machine Learning Models to simplify the waveform analysis for typical PMICs. One can train DIVE to classify the waveform scope-shots from the PMIC output terminals as NORMAL/ ANOMALOUS/DEFECT1 etc.
 
Some thematic diagrams and screenshots are shown below.

Workflow and Capabilities of DIVE

Figure 4. Workflow and Capabilities of DIVE

 

PMIC Switching regulator waveform analysis in progress using DIVE.

Figure 5. PMIC Switching regulator waveform analysis in progress using DIVE

*Click below button to Download SIVA Framework Introduction