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Component test solution: move over obsolete curve tracers

Posted: 11 Dec 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SourceMeter Keithley? Basic Edition ACS? application component test?

Keithley Instruments Inc. announces ACS Basic Edition, a characterization and curve tracer software for component test applications. The latest addition to Keithley's automated characterization suite (ACS) family, ACS Basic Edition integrates with a range of source-measure units, Keithley's SourceMeter Instrument family. ACS Basic Edition, pared with SourceMeter instruments, replaces obsolete curve tracers with a solution that performs both basic curve tracing and parametric test while providing a cost advantage.

The company first introduced its ACS integrated test systems in 2007 as highly configurable, instrument-based systems for semiconductor characterization at the device, wafer or cassette level, offering measurement capability with flexible automation-oriented software. Initial ACS systems were designed for larger semiconductor lab applications that call for a probe station and large-scale on-wafer test applications. ACS Basic Edition is targeted for bench-top component test applications that don't require integrated probers yet still need the measurement and software automation power provided by the ACS platform.

Ease-of-use, software simplicity
ACS Basic Edition provides a library of pre-configured component test routines to shorten startup time, reduce programming code development and simplify the process of test. It combines the ease-of-use of a curve tracer with the analytic capabilities of a parametric analyzer. With ACS Basic Edition, anyone can test a semiconductor component in seconds and compare the characteristic curves with reference curves immediately.

The characterization and curve tracer software for component test apps provides a variety of tools that makes it simple to reconfigure for different component types. ACS Basic Edition performs with the ease-of-use of a curve tracer, but also provides the tabular data in spreadsheet form. This additional functionality is complemented by a "formulator" that allows mathematical or parametric extractions to be performed on the raw curve tracer data. This advanced capability means that parametric characterization is as easy as using a curve tracer. In those cases when more than a single test is needed, ACS Basic Edition provides a multi-test capability that allows the user to string together a number of different tests on a single device.

Keithley's System SourceMeter instruments provide the source-measure power behind ACS Basic Edition. ACS Basic Edition can be configured with any Series 2400, Series 2600 or Series 2600A instruments to provide high power or low-level characterizationfrom a 1kW pulse to a very sensitive 1fA measurement resolution. When characterizing high power devices, ACS Basic Edition is typically combined with the Keithley Model 2612A Dual-channel System SourceMeter instrument, which provides up to 200V per channel (400V differential across two channels) or 10A pulse (1.5A continuous). For even higher power testing, ACS Basic Edition can be combined with the Keithley Model 2430 1kW Pulse Mode System SourceMeter instrument for sourcing and measuring up to 100V at 10A with 150?s pulses. When characterizing sensitive components such as advanced silicon gates or nanoscale devices, the Keithley Model 2636A dual-channel System SourceMeter instrument is typically used. The Model 2636A provides two source-measure channels with 1fA measurement resolution. A mix of SourceMeter instruments can be combined to provide a very wide range of capabilities within a single configuration.

Keithley Instruments Inc. announces ACS Basic Edition, a characterization and curve tracer software for component test applications. It integrates with a range of source-measure units, Keithley's SourceMeter Instrument family.

Besides SourceMeter instruments, ACS Basic Edition also supports other switching solutions, LCR meters and component test fixtures. Combining ACS Basic Edition's multi-test capability with Keithley Series 3700 or Model 707A switching mainframes allows a number of tests to be performed on a more complex component such as a resistor network, op amp or other higher pin-count device. Some components require both DC I/V testing and capacitance or C-V measurements. ACS Basic Edition can easily combine DC I/V tests with LCR measurements using multi-test and switching.

Initial ACS systems today are found in package level and wafer level device characterization test applications that include parametric die-sort, wafer level reliability, parametric characterization and component test. All ACS systems, including the new Basic Edition, share key components that result in test project portability and correlation across a wide range of systems. For instance, a project developed in Basic Edition can be run on any ACS system that uses the same hardware foundation. This means that small-scale ACS Basic Edition test systems that might incorporate a single SourceMeter instrument can be used to develop test projects for a multisite die-sort system using 20 SourceMeter instruments.

ACS Basic Edition is now available.

- Henri Arnold
EE Times-Europe

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