News | November 4, 2008

Agilent Technologies Introduces Industry's First Device Analyzer With Curve Tracer Functionality For Power-Device Evaluation


SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) today introduced the industry's first power device analyzer/curve tracer able to characterize semiconductor devices at up to 3,000 volts and 20 amps in a single box solution.

Power devices, including power management ICs (PMIC) and power MOSFETs and motor control ICs used in cars, are a growing device category that requires both high-power and high-accuracy test. In order to meet emerging standards for low-carbon emissions and improved energy efficiencies, power devices must function more efficiently even as they continue to become more complex, smaller and faster. New devices using wide band gap materials such as silicon carbide (SiC) or gallium nitride (GaN) have been widely studied in order to achieve high efficiency. To enable the careful and precise testing to meet performance and safety requirements, these studies require high-voltage measurement capabilities greater than 1,000 volts. In addition, for those power-device developments, on-wafer testing becomes very important for reducing development turnaround times.

Featuring a curve tracer mode, the Agilent B1505A can replace curve tracers used in failure analysis, as well as in circuit design or power module development of electronic equipment makers. It combines familiar curve tracer functionality with the convenience of a PC-based instrument, for improved ease-of-use and the ability to perform failure analysis of power device and power circuitry. The Windows™ PC-based B1505A allows users to export and store the measurement data easily, eliminating the measurement data handling and reporting limitations of traditional curve tracers.

"Accurate testing of high-power devices is a growing requirement for semiconductor manufacturers, and existing solutions do not offer the necessary voltage and current output," said Minoru Ebihara, vice president and general manager of Agilent Hachioji Semiconductor Test Division. "The B1505A is an integrated solution that provides researchers and device/process development engineers of power devices with high-voltage and high-current source and measurement capabilities, and its curve tracer mode makes it easy for users to take advantage of its PC-based EasyEXPERT software."

Key Features of the Agilent B1505A Power Device Analyzer/Curve Tracer

  • Accurate measurement of breakdown voltage and leakage currents at high voltage.
  • Evaluation of the low on-resistance of power devices at high current.
  • Quick troubleshooting and analysis for failure analysis of these devices and power electronic circuitry.
  • Device characterization at 3,000 volts and 20 amps in a single instrument.
  • Sub picoamp level measurement capability at high voltage.
  • 50 microsecond current pulse width at high current, shortest current pulse width in the industry.
  • Capacitance-Voltage (CV) measurement with up to 3,000 V bias.
  • Quick device-check enabled by curve tracer mode.
  • Easy operation and data management functions with PC-based EasyEXPERT software.
  • On-wafer testing and prober control.
  • Standard fixture with interlock creates safe measurement environment.

Modular Hardware and Accessories for Flexibility and Ease of Use

The B1505A has a 10-slot modular configuration that allows for customization and future expandability. It also supports two new modules: the B1512A high-current SMU (HCSMU) and the B1513A high-voltage SMU (HVSMU). The B1512A HCSMU can source and measure high-current, with support for up to 20 amps/20 volt pulse measurements. The B1513A HVSMU can source and measure high-voltage, with support for 3,000 volts (at 4 mA) and 1,500 volts (at 8 mA). In addition, the B1505A will support the B1510A high-power SMU (HPSMU) and B1520A multifrequency capacitance measurement unit (MFCMU) modules, which are currently available for the B1500A. A variety of external test fixtures and switching modules are supported to permit the safe testing of power devices and to allow switching between the B1505A's modules without having to change the cabling.

New EasyEXPERT 4.0

Agilent EasyEXPERT is the Windows PC-based software installed with the B1505A that enables easy operation through an intuitive GUI. EasyEXPERT 4.0, the newest version of Agilent's popular parametric test software, will be co-released with the B1505A. In addition to other enhancements, EasyEXPERT 4.0, which runs on both the B1500A and B1505A, can be controlled with a curve tracer-like rotary knob on the instrument. The EasyEXPERT 4.0 PC-based software will also be available in a Desktop version that can be run on an external PC in either online or offline modes, providing a unified parametric measurement environment for the B1500A, B1505A, 4155B/C and 4156B/C.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Agilent B1505A will be available for order beginning March 1, 2009. Pricing for Agilent B1505A will start at $45,000. An option will also be available to allow current B1500A users to convert their existing B1500A to a B1505A.

More information is available at A product image is available at

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 20,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $5.4 billion in fiscal 2007. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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