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New SMU, switches enhance PXI platform for DC apps

Posted: 18 Feb 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PXI platform? power SMU? NI switches?

National Instruments has announced its first PXI source measure unit (SMU) and two PXI switches that claim the industry's highest density. These products enhance the PXI platform for use in precision DC applications, such as semiconductor parametric tests and electronic device and component validation. Engineers can use these modules together to precisely characterize voltage and current parameters on high pin-count devices, NI said, with the advantages of smaller size and lower cost compared to traditional approaches.

The NI PXI-4130 power SMU is a programmable, flexible, high-power 3U PXI module suited for precision DC applications. It features a single isolated SMU channel with a four-quadrant 20V output that incorporates remote four-wire sense. This channel can source up to 40W in quadrants I and III and sink up to 10W in quadrants II and IV. The PXI-4130 SMU has an additional power supply channel for voltage and current source and readback, combining an SMU with a power supply on a single PXI module. With five available current ranges offering measurement resolution down to 1nA, the PXI-4130 SMU is a precise and accurate instrument suited for test and design validation applications that require programmatic sourcing and sweeping of voltages and currents.

"It has been interesting to see new innovations in analog and FPGA-based architectures result in exceptional performance in a drastically smaller size," said Ken Reindel, director of measurement technology for NI. "The NI PXI-4130 power SMU represents an excellent mixture of precision, power and compact size that enables engineers to apply the benefits of PXI to new applications."

The NI PXI-2535 and PXI-2536 ultrahigh-density modules offer 544 crosspointssaid to be the largest matrix density available for a single 3U PXI slot. The PXI-2535 is configured as a 4x136 one-wire matrix and the NI PXI-2536 is configured as an 8x68 one-wire matrix. The switch modules are built on FET technology, which offers new benefits including unlimited mechanical lifetime, unlimited simultaneous connections and switching speeds as high as 50,000 crosspoints per second. These features make the switches a cost-effective solution for routing low-power DC signals when validating and testing mass-produced devices such as semiconductor chips. Engineers can use the new switches with NI Switch Executive switch management software for simple configuration and code reuse.

The SMU and high-density switches complement the PXI instruments that engineers can use for semiconductor device validation including high-speed digital devices, mixed-signal instruments and RF equipment. When combined in a PXI system, these instruments can create a flexible solution for both structural and functional semiconductor validation as well as general electronic component characterization. These products also work with NI TestStand test management software, the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment, NI SignalExpress, NI LabWindows/CVI and NI Measurement Studio.

The NI PXI-4130 SMU is priced from $2,499. The NI PXI-2535 and PXI-2536 switches are priced from $2,999.

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