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Keithley Launches New SourceMeter Instrument Platform that Provides Industry’s Fastest, Easiest I-V Characterization

Keithley Launches New SourceMeter Instrument Platform that Provides Industry’s Fastest, Easiest I-V Characterization


Keithley Instruments, Inc. (NYSE:KEI), a leader in solutions for emerging measurement needs, announces its Series 2600A System SourceMeter Instrument family. They provide unmatched ease-of-use, measurement performance, and flexibility in order to speed time-to-market for its users, lower cost of test, and simplify the process of making high performance measurements.

The Series 2600A is Keithley's newest version of its award-winning SourceMeter Instrument platform. It is a proven platform that combines a precision power supply, true current source, DMM, arbitrary waveform generator, V or I pulse generator with measurement, electronic load, and trigger control - all in a single instrument.

The Series 2600A incorporates a wide variety of measurement performance improvements in both hardware and software that make it a powerful solution for both benchtop and multi-channel test system builders:

  • Industry's best throughput, along with the industrys fastest sampling rates
  • Virtually unlimited channel scalability
  • Advanced parallel test capabilities
  • Unique A/D converter technology that provides both high speed and measurement precision, unlike competitive products that usually require sharing the A/D converter among various tasks, which slows measurement speeds
  • Breakthrough ease-of-use via its TSP® Express software, a free embedded utility that allows users to quickly and easily perform common I-V tests without writing any software code or installing any software
  • Class C LXI compliance with the industry wide-Ethernet standard for rapid, cost-effective connection between the web and instrumentation

Customer applications will range from benchtop I-V test/characterization to multi-channel I-V test systems in high speed production environments to multi-channel semiconductor characterization systems.

The Series 2600A will be offered with Keithley’s Test Script Processor (TSP®) and TSP-Link® technology. With TSP, all test routines, including advanced decision-making algorithms, can be performed by the instrument, as opposed to sending the readings back to the PC for decision making. As a result, delays due to GPIB traffic congestion are eliminated, and overall test times are greatly reduced, bringing the advantages of true "smart instrumentation" to the user.

TSP-Link is Keithley's expansion bus that allows users to add channels to their systems by connecting multiple SourceMeter instruments. Since all connected instruments behave as one tightly integrated multi-channel system, the user can scale the test system to fit the exact channel count needed at a low cost of test.

The dual-channel Series 2600A is available in a remarkably compact half-rack, 2U form factor and, for automated test applications, provides the industry's highest SMU rack density. It is powered by a new digital measurement engine that provides significant improvements in measurement performance:

  • Measurement speeds of up to 20,000 readings/second, enabling the instrument to characterize device performance parameters that are out of reach for slower instruments
  • Electrically isolated channels, which allows the user to combine multiple channels in order to expand the I-V ranges beyond what a single channel can provide
  • A 400X improvement in precision timing compared to previous SourceMeter Instruments, to less than 0.5 micro-second channel-to-channel synchronization, for more tightly controlled test conditions
  • High capacitance mode to test devices with capacitances up to 50 micro-farads
  • Parallel test capabilities to run up to 32 tests simultaneously (up to 64 channels); all SMU channels can synchronously or asynchronously run the same or different tests on any number of channels in the system
  • Improved output noise performance to protect sensitive devices from damage

Users of earlier Series 2600 SourceMeter Instruments will see impressive improvements in system throughput and instrument capabilities. With no programming changes, as one example, a typical BJT test suite can run up to 24 percent faster with the Series 2600A than with predecessor instruments.

In many ways, the Series 2600A can be considered as the test engineer’s "personal parametric tester." In addition to the Series 2600A's improved hardware performance, Keithley has made similar gains in software tools that make it an ideal solution for bench applications in the lab calling for a stand-alone instrument.

Keithley has made its powerful Test Script Processor technology even more valuable with the Series 2600A's new TSP Express software. TSP Express embedded software takes users from startup to real data capture faster than ever. For common I-V test routines, the user simply outlines test parameters in a series of pull-down menus; TSP Express instantly generates the dozens or hundreds of lines of programming code on its own required to perform the test, bringing a powerful combination of both speed and simplicity to the engineer's test bench.

The Series 2600A even contains a USB memory stick interface that makes it easy to share test scripts and data among different instruments and PCs.

Company profile:  Keithley Instruments

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Related Information:

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