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Best practices for DDR memory testing

Posted: 22 Oct 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DDR? SDRAM? test configuration? cable assembly? ESD?

Figure 4 shows all three of the above techniques in use. The combination of the chip clip, probe holders, and gooseneck strain reliefs does an excellent job of preserving the integrity of the probe connections while probing DDR clock, strobe, and data signals.

Yet another best-practice is to completely secure the probing area with tape so as to immobilize the probe connections and protect them from outside impact. This is especially recommended if the test setup needs to be shipped or otherwise transported from one location to another. It ensures that the solder-in leads are firmly secured and electrical connections remain intact. The same approach should be used if testing, say, a DDR4 DIMM. The probes should be soldered and taped down before the module is inserted into its slot on the motherboard.

Figure 4: Deployment of chip clip, reverse probe holders, and gooseneck strain relief.

If one were to be transporting such a test setup on a rolling cart within the same facility, it's a good idea to place an ESD bag underneath the DDR DUT for static protection. Using a cart is recommended as it provides support for the three probe-platform cable assemblies (one each for clock, strobe, and data lines). For extra security, one might anchor the assemblies to the card with cable ties, clips, or tape. Don't forget to carefully label probe tips with adhesive labels; the probe amplifiers will be disconnected during transport and the labels will help with reconnecting the probes. It's not a bad idea to label the probing points on the DUT as well.

About the author
David Maliniak is with Teledyne-LeCroy.

To download the PDF version of this article, click here.


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