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Keithley Instruments Enhances Throughput and Accuracy of S530 Parametric Test Systems

Keithley Instruments Enhances Throughput and Accuracy of S530 Parametric Test Systems


Keithley Instruments, Inc., a world leader in advanced electrical test instruments and systems, introduced several enhancements to its line of S530 Parametric Test Systems, the most cost-effective fully automatic production parametric test solutions available to the semiconductor industry. These enhancements include the addition of Keithley's new high throughput switch mainframe for high integrity signal switching, full Kelvin measurements at the probe card for greater low-ohms accuracy, new hardware protection modules that safeguard sensitive system instruments from high voltages, and a complete range of "probes up" system specifications and diagnostic tools. To learn more, view Keithleys online product tour at

S530 systems are optimized for use in production parametric test environments that must accommodate a broad mix of products or wherever wide application flexibility and fast test plan development are critical. The proven source-measure technology and high fidelity signal pathways on which S530 testers are based ensure industry-leading measurement accuracy and repeatability.

A Choice of Two Powerful Parametric Test Configurations

Two different S530 systems are available: a low current version developed for measuring characteristics such as sub-threshold leakage, gate leakage, etc., and a high voltage version for the difficult breakdown and leakage tests that GaN, SiC, and Si LDMOS power devices demand. The S530 Low Current System (from two to eight SMU channels) provides sub-picoamp measurement resolution and low current guarding all the way to the probe pin. The S530 High Voltage System (from three to seven SMU channels) incorporates a source-measure unit (SMU) capable of sourcing up to 1000V at 20mA (20W max.). When appropriately configured, S530 systems can address all the DC and C-V measurement applications required in process control monitoring, process reliability monitoring, and device characterization.

Optimized for Cost-Effective Operation in High-Mix Test Environments

S530 parametric test systems are designed to speed and simplify wafer and test plan setup by providing immediate feedback to the engineer throughout test project development. For example, the Automated Characterization Suite (ACS) software that controls S530 systems streamlines test project development by allowing new test scripts to be tested interactively without compromising throughput in full automatic mode. ACS also provides for off-line test project development and test results analysis.

Powerful ACS Software

S530 systems employ Version 4.3 of the powerful ACS software on which several other proven Keithley test systems operate, which improves lab-to-fab correlation and speeds system learning. ACS maximizes the efficiency and flexibility of S530 systems, combining all the elements necessary for automated parametric testing in a single integrated package.

Industry's Most Powerful High Voltage Parametric Test System

All S530 systems are equipped with high power SMUs, which provide up to 20W of source or sink capability on both the 200V and 20V ranges, for complete characterization of the high power devices and circuits prevalent in today's mobile devices. Whether the application is testing LDMOS Si or GaN BJTs, this higher power capability provides enhanced visibility into device performance. It also ensures S530 systems can test high power devices without compromising the low current sub-picoamp sensitivity needed to monitor mainstream device processes. The S530 High Voltage System is the only available parametric tester that offers 1kV to any probe card pin on up to 32 pins. This permits high voltage and low current sensitive measurements in a single pass, enabling the accurate characterization of high power devices. The system's high voltage SMU can source up to 1000V at 20mA (20W max.).

High Fidelity Signal Pathways Ensure Higher Measurement Integrity

Each S530 test system employs a high performance switch matrix and high fidelity signal pathways to direct signals between instruments and test pins. The performance of these pathways directly influences the performance of the test system as a whole by setting upper current and voltage ranges, and limiting low-level measurements due to current offsets. The S530 has eight high fidelity pathways that can be used to route instruments to pins dynamically. For example, up to eight SMUs can be routed to any pin (or number of pins) at one time. The Low Current System delivers uniform performance across all eight pathways; the High Voltage System provides two high voltage/low leakage pathways, four general-purpose pathways, and two C-V pathways. Both systems support C-V measurements up to 2MHz.

Based on Proven SMU Technology

All source-measure units (SMUs) built into S530 Parametric Test Systems are based on Keithley's production-qualified instrument technology to ensure high measurement accuracy and repeatability and extended hardware life. The SMUs are four-quadrant sources, so they can source or sink current or voltage. In addition to precision sourcing circuits, they include programmable limits (compliance) across all ranges, which helps protect both devices and probe tips from damage due to device breakdown. Each SMU also measures both voltage and current while sourcing, which ensures that parameter calculations reflect actual conditions rather than simply the programmed conditions.

Capacitance-Voltage (C-V) Unit Option

All S530 systems can be equipped with a high speed capacitance meter for C-V measurements up to 2MHz to any pin. This C-V unit can measure a 10pF capacitor at 1MHz with 3% accuracy.

Production Qualified

S530 Parametric Test Systems include a rich set of production qualifications, including built-in diagnostics, system specifications to the probe card, and compliance with industry standards such as CE, SemiS2, and S8. A "command line" control interface in ACS simplifies adapting to custom user interfaces or a factory automation host controller.

For More Information visit or contact the company.

Keithley Instruments, Inc.

Company profile:  Keithley Instruments

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