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New Keithley Switch Mainframes Boost System Throughput for Semiconductor Test Applications

New Keithley Switch Mainframes Boost System Throughput for Semiconductor Test Applications


Keithley Instruments, Inc. (NYSE:KEI), a world leader in advanced electrical test instruments and systems, has introduced the six-slot Model 707B and single-slot Model 708B switch matrix mainframes, which are optimized for semiconductor test applications in both lab and production environments. By providing significantly higher command-to-connect speeds, these switch mainframes make faster test sequences and greater overall system throughput possible. Equally important, these new mainframes support Keithley’s Model 7174A “Air Matrix” 8x12 High-Speed, Low-Leakage Matrix Card, the first standard switch capable of achieving less than 100fA of offset current on all pathways. The Models 707B and 708B also support three other popular Keithley matrix cards. The Models 707B and 708B are ideal for semiconductor test system configurations that include Keithley’s Series 2600A System SourceMeter® instruments, the Model 4200-SCS Semiconductor Characterization System, and fully automated testers such as the S500 ACS Integrated Test Systems and S530 Semiconductor Parametric Test Systems. For more information on these high performance mainframes, view Keithley’s online product tour at:

The Models 707B and 708B incorporate a variety of features designed to help semiconductor manufacturers test faster, more flexibly, and more cost-effectively:

  • A new digital control platform supports dramatically faster command-to-connect speeds for higher test throughput. Even when using the GPIB communications mode, the Model 707B can improve throughput by as much as 40% without changing any code.
  • The updated front panel interface simplifies tasks like configuration management and switch pattern programming. The front panel also displays programmable row and column names, crosspoint status (open, closed), and status messages. The mainframes can also store hundreds of switching configurations and channel patterns in non-volatile memory and recall them for later use.
  • The embedded Test Script Processor (TSP®) in the Models 707B and 708B expands the family of Keithley TSP-based instruments,which also includes Series 2600A System SourceMeter instruments.TSP allows test scripts to be executed within the instrument itself, dramatically improving the speed of connect-source-measure sequences. TSP-Link® is a high speed system expansion and coordination interface that simplifies linking instruments and switches for faster inter-unit communication and control. It provides a high speed, low latency interface to other TSP-based hardware, simplifying system scaling as new requirements evolve.

Choice of Remote Programming Options

New control options and interfaces in the Models 707B and 708B offer greater flexibility for configuring high performance switching systems:

  • GPIB (General Purpose Interface Bus): The Models 707B and 708B include the long-time industry-standard GPIB interface, with both modern SCPI/ICL and traditional DDC commands. Both mainframes can be incorporated into existing test systems like the Model 4200-SCS Semiconductor Parameter Analyzer or S500 ACS Integrated Test Systems without the need for new drivers or software revisions.
  • LXI (LAN eXtensions for Instrumentation): Like all instruments compliant with the LXI standard, the Models 707B and 708B have a built-in Web page for remote control.
  • USB (Universal Serial Bus): The Models 707B and 708B also support programming and control via a USB bus.

Simple Integration with New or Existing Test Systems

In addition to their ease of integration with the Model 4200-SCS semiconductor parameter analyzer, the Models 707B and 708B work seamlessly with systems that incorporate Series 2600A instruments, such as Keithley’s S500 ACS Integrated Test Systems and S530 Semiconductor Parametric Test Systems. These mainframes share the same embedded TSP, Lua scripting language, and TSP-Link interface as the Series 2600A instruments and support the Model 7174A Ultra Low Current Switch Matrix, which complements the Model 2636A’s low current sensitivity.

For More Information

To learn more about Keithley Instruments or the Models 707B and 708B Switch Matrix Mainframes, visit or contact the company at:

Company profile:  Keithley Instruments

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Current issue
#4 December 2021
KIPiS 2021 #4
Topic of the issue:
Modern instrumentation