News | July 26, 2005

Keithley Introduces Source-Measure Units For Multi-Channel Applications

Cleveland, OH -- Keithley Instruments, Inc. announced a new platform that lowers the cost of test for a wide range of electronic component producers, including silicon and compound semiconductor manufacturers. Built on Keithley's third-generation source-measure technology (patent pending), the Series 2600 System SourceMeter instruments combine the highest throughput source-measure unit (SMU) in the industry with a scalable instrument form factor to allow seamless integration into systems from 1 to 16 SMU channels. The Series 2600 System SourceMeter instruments, which consist of the single-channel Model 2601 and the dual-channel Model 2602, are the ideal modular, scalable instruments for building ATE systems to perform precision DC, pulse, and low-frequency AC source-measure tests.

The Series 2600 System SourceMeter instruments provide throughput rates via Keithley's new embedded Test Script Processor. TSP lets users program a sequence of test commands and execute high-speed automated test sequences independently of a PC operating system. Unlike competitive products that lack this test sequencing ability or can only queue and execute commands, TSP features an intuitive intelligence that lets a 2600 Series instrument stand alone as a complete measurement automation solution for component testing. The instrument can control sourcing, measuring, pass/fail decisions, test sequence flow control, component binning, and data storage on 1 to 16 SMU channels. Testing shows a two- to four-times throughput advantage over competitive products in applications including three-terminal device test, parallel component test, L-I-V sweep, and two-terminal device test. Flexible triggering and flow control capability allows TSP to control other instruments, component handlers, or probers via digital I/O and RS-232 ports. With its unparalleled instrument automation capability, TSP achieves up to 10X greater test throughput over legacy products.

The Series 2600 System SourceMeter instruments are equipped with Test Script Builder development software. Each unit also features a built-in suite of pre-written TSP programs that can be quickly modified for specific applications. In addition, LabTracer 2.0 software for Series 2600 System SourceMeter instruments enables instrument control, data acquisition, and curve tracing in lab or device characterization applications.

TSP-Link, another new Keithley technology, functions as a trigger synchronization and inter-unit communication bus to allow a single TSP program to seamlessly control 16 or more SMU channels without hubs or bulky cables. With very little network overhead and a 100Mbit/sec data rate, it is significantly faster than GPIB and 100Base T Ethernet in real applications. TSP-Link affords users the advantage of scalability without the wasted rack space and added cost of mainframe systems.

Series 2600 instruments offer the industry's highest SMU rack density with up to two SourceMeter channels in a single half-rack, 2U chassis. Each channel offers a 40W, 3A precision four-quadrant SMU with accurate voltage and current readback and 1-pA resolution that can be configured as a precision power supply, current source, bipolar bias source, 5.5-digit DMM, low-frequency arbitrary waveform generator with measurement, and electronic load. At about $4,000 to $5,000 per channel, this combination of functions in one unit dramatically reduces the cost of ownership. An easy-to-use front-panel knob simplifies program editing and navigating while set-it and forget-it voltage and current limits work similar to a power supply.

SOURCE: Keithley Instruments