Dual- and triple-channel programmable power supplies for accurate component characterization

October 11, 2012 // By Julien Happich
Keithley Instruments has added two multi-channel power supplies to its Series 2200 line of programmable DC power supplies, which the company claims deliver better output accuracy than compteting offerings, at substantially lower prices.

The new supplies' output levels are designed to address a wide range of sourcing requirements for characterizing components, circuits, modules, and complete devices. The Model 2230-30-1 supply provides two output channels, typically used for powering analog circuits, with each channel capable of outputting up to 30V/1.5A/45W, plus a 6V/5A/30W output channel, typically used for powering digital circuits. The Model 2220-30-1 supply provides two output channels, each capable of outputting up to 30V/1.5A/45W. These maximum output levels, combined with voltage setting and reading resolution of 1mV and current setting and reading resolution of 1mA, allow generating a wider range of output power and reading a wider range of load currents with high precision.

With basic voltage setting accuracy and voltage readback accuracy of 0.03% for each output channel, Series 2200 multi-channel supply users can be confident the exact voltage they program for any channel is the level applied at the output terminals. Rear-panel remote sense terminals on each channel of the new Series 2200 supplies compensate for voltage drops in the power supply leads to ensure that the correct voltage is delivered to the load terminals of the DUT, enhancing overall system accuracy. They also offer 0.1% basic current setting and readback accuracy and less than 3mVp‑p ripple and noise to ensure high quality load current measurements.

Each output channel is completely isolated, which allows the new supplies to power two isolated circuits with different reference points, eliminating the need for a second supply. Each channel can also be turned on or off independently, so the supplies can be used to power up a circuit that requires turning on multiple voltage levels in a specified time sequence. A programmable timer allows setting up a test to run unattended, turning off the outputs after a specified interval.

For applications that require supplying more than 30V or 1.5A, the new supplies’ 30V outputs can be combined in a variety of configurations, such as