Seven flexible parametric curve tracer solutions offer power device characterization benefits

October 23, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
Keithley Instruments, Inc. has introduced seven instrumentation, software, and test fixture configurations for parametric curve tracing applications for characterizing high power devices at up to 3,000 V and 100 A.

The instruments are optimized to provide the industry’s most cost-effective solution for characterizing the growing number of high power semiconductor devices, including those based on silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) technology. The systems offer the power required for the vast majority of high power device design and development applications, and are optimized to address the characterization and test needs of research, reliability, failure analysis, and power device applications engineers; power device designers; incoming inspection technicians; and many others.

In sharp contrast with solutions that require all instrumentation to be housed in a chassis, all seven Keithley configurations offer the flexibility to add new measurement channels economically as users’ needs evolve, with no need to return the system to the factory to install new hardware. For example, someone could start with an entry level Parametric Curve Tracer, then add the capabilities of additional System SourceMeter instruments, such as higher voltage and/or higher current, at a later date. Six different System SourceMeter instrument models can be mixed and matched to create the optimum combination of voltage, current and power for the user’s specific needs. Keithley’s TSP‑Link virtual backplane technology makes it easy to incorporate any number of Source-Measure channels, all of which are fully and automatically synchronized with other SourceMeter instruments in the system.

All seven configurations include the latest version of Keithley’s ACS (Automated Characterization Suite) Basic Edition software, which supports Keithley’s newest SMUs and takes maximum advantage of the Series 2600B’s TSP-Link connection trigger model, which allows for 500ns trigger synchronization between instruments. This tighter synchronization capability maximizes the high speed pulse mode capabilities of the new Model 2651A and Model 2657A High Power System SourceMeter instruments.

The Windows-compatible ACS Basic Edition package provides control and analysis tools well-suited for high power device characterization, including complete parametric test libraries for MOSFETs, BJTs, triacs, diodes, IGBTs, and other device types. The software’s ‘trace’ mode, which uses an on-screen slider