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This paper presents a circuit architecture for a new integrated on chip test method for microwave circuits. The proposed built-in-self-test (BIST) cell targets a direct low-cost measurement technique of the gain and the 1 dB input compression point (CP1) of a K-band satellite receiver in the 18–22 GHz frequency bandwidth. A signal generator at the radiofrequency (RF) front end input of the device under test (DUT) has been integrated on the same chip. To inject this RF signal, a loopback technique has been used and the design has been accommodated for it. This paper focuses on the design of the most sensitive block of the BIST circuit, i.e. the RF signal generator. This circuit, fabricated in a SIGe:C BiCMOS process, consumes 10 mA. It presents a dynamic power range of 17 dB (−41; −24 dBm) and operates in a frequency range of 5.6 GHz (17.5; 23 GHz). This BIST circuit gives new perspectives in terms of test strategy, cost reduction, and measurement accuracy for microwave-integrated circuits and could be adapted for mm-wave circuits.
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