What is an RF coaxial probe?

Jun 09, 2019
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In RF applications, the transmission line is typically a coaxial cable that is connected to the microstrips within the board and board. An RF coaxial probe is a measurement device for measuring radio frequency (RF) signals used in electronic circuits and electronic test equipment as a discovery of silicon wafers, molds, and open microchips. RF coaxial probes are also used in narrow pitch or high density RF interconnect applications in RF connector assemblies.

Prior to the development of RF probes in the 1980s, there was no convenient way to test monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) devices without mounting or bonding, which often compromised circuit integrity, resulting in system interference or reduced electrical loads. The first generation of RF probes used coplanar ceramic feeds covering up to 18 GHz. The development of RF probes has resulted in RF coaxial probes having spring loaded inner and outer conductors for use in modern communication electronics. Today, RF coaxial probes can still be used to test RF switches, RF traces, terminals and other RF components in printed circuit boards. Consumer products in the 60-80 GHz millimeter wave band include automotive radar systems. WiGig standard testing and compliance, wireless HDMI and high performance LAN.