News | May 1, 2012

Agilent Technologies Introduces Industry's First Integrated Product That Can Characterize All Modern Semiconductor Power Devices

Source: Agilent Technologies

Instrument Measures Device Characteristics to 1500 A/10 kV

Agilent Technologies Inc. recently introduced enhancements to the B1505A Power Device Analyzer/Curve Tracer that significantly increase its voltage and current range to cover all devices in today’s fast-growing power-device market.

These enhancements make the B1505A the industry’s first power-device evaluation solution to accurately and efficiently measure a device’s characteristics from sub-pA up to 10 kV/1500 A, with a fast pulse down to 10 microseconds.

Agilent also introduced the B1505AP, a preconfigured version of the B1505A that includes all modules, cables and accessories necessary to ensure a quick startup.

Both the enhanced B1505A and new B1505AP are well suited for power-device researchers and manufacturers performing power-device characterization and failure analysis. Power-device users in equipment/automotive companies can also use these solutions for incoming device inspections and failure analysis.

“Finding a measurement instrument capable of accurately and deeply characterizing modern power devices, with their increasing voltage and current ranges, is a critical need for today’s power-device researchers and manufacturers,” said Masaki Yamamoto, general manager of Agilent’s Hachioji Semiconductor Test Division. “With recent enhancements, the B1505A provides a viable solution to this dilemma. Thanks to its ability to cover the entire operating region of today’s power devices, the B1505A eliminates many of the shortcomings of traditional curve tracers and production testers. It is setting a new standard for power-device testing.”
Enhancements to the B1505A include the following.

Capabilities for improving the quality and performance of design and research: These include a wide I/V range with precision (up to 1500 A/10 kV), a medium current measurement with high voltage bias (500 mA at 1200 V, for example), a µΩ-class resistance measurement capability, and a sub-pA level current measurement, all of which are traceable to international standards. High peak powers (22.5 kW for high current and 900 W for high voltage) ensure complete characterization of most power semiconductor devices.

Extensive device evaluation capabilities: These include high-power pulsed measurement down to 10 µs, a temperature measurement capability and a GaN current collapse effect measurement. Both help speed the research and development cycle.

Improved efficiency: This stems from a new standard test fixture (N1265A) for safe packaged-device testing, secure on-wafer testing over 200 A or up to 10 kV, and an oscilloscope view that enables real-time verification of I/V waveforms on multiple device terminals. The oscilloscope view takes advantage of two independent analog-to-digital converters equipped in each measurement channel to accurately visualize fast pulse waveforms with pulse widths as small as 10 µs. It can be used to quickly and efficiently monitor timing-critical measurement conditions and device behavior.

An upgradeable and scalable hardware architecture: A wide selection of measurement modules and support devices with up to 6 pins allow the B1505A to meet users test needs today and in the future.

The significantly enhanced Agilent B1505A is based on the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system and has a variety of selectable measurement modules that includes a high-current SMU (20A/20V), high-voltage SMU (8 mA/3000 V), medium-power SMU (1 A/200 V), multi-frequency capacitance measurement unit, ultra-high current unit (1500 A/60 V), ultra-high voltage unit (20 mA/10 kV), and high-voltage medium current unit (2.5 A/1500 V and 1.1 A/2200 V).

Superior capabilities already available in the B1505A can be used for the enhanced modules. For instance, fully automated multiple parameter measurement and analysis can easily be performed with the new modules without having to first create a program. With its scalable architecture, next-generation curve tracer, and automated test-and-analysis capabilities, the B1505A provides unparalleled performance and ease of use for power-device characterization.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
Agilent’s new enhancements to the B1505A will be available for ordering on June 1, at a starting price of $45,000. The preconfigured B1505AP Power Device Analyzer/Curve Tracer will also be available for ordering on June 1. The fully configured 1500 A/10kV model, with all necessary cables and accessories, is $220,000. Shipments of both products will begin in September.

More information on the new B1505A enhancements and preconfigured B1505AP solution is available at and, respectively.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. is the world’s premier measurement company and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences, electronics and communications. The company’s 18,700 employees serve customers in more than 100 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $6.6B in fiscal 2011. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Agilent Technologies