Smart-device app for source-measure unit (SMU) instruments

October 16, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Keithley Instruments has developed a free app for Android-based smartphones and tablets that interacts with a Keithley Series 2600B SourceMeter SMU instrument via its front panel USB interface.

IVy, which is the first app developed for SMU instruments, extends Keithley's Touch, Test, Invent design philosophy to offer benchtop Series 2600B instrument users a fast, easy-to-use touchscreen tool for characterising 2- and 3-terminal devices. By using the power of smart mobile devices, IVy transforms the Series 2600B into a powerful instrument that enables users to visualise, interact, and share measurement results more efficiently, while helping them gain a deeper understanding of their devices' behaviour.

Unlike other instrument apps, IVy is more than just a tablet/smartphone version of a front panel. IVy uses a smart device's built-in display (pan/pinch/zoom/swipe), computing (interaction with the instrument), and communication (WiFi, email, etc.) capabilities so users can visualise measurement data, interact with the instrument, and share results - all without programming. The IVy app is designed to help instrument users "learn faster, work smarter, and invent easier." It helps users gain deeper insight into their device under test (DUT) performance by allowing them to toggle quickly between test modes, observe a DUT's response over time, and analyse results interactively by using fingertip control. IVy is compatible with any Android (V 4.0 or later) smartphone or tablet and the latest release (V 3.1.0) of the Series 2600B firmware (available at

IVy's design provides for simultaneous control over the source level (using an on-screen slider) and monitoring of test results (on the smart device's graphical display). This capability makes it easy to analyse I-V characteristics, DUT stability, response time, or drift in a circuit visually. Changes in DUT performance are reflected instantly on the graphical display, and further analysis or troubleshooting is simplified by pinching, zooming, or scrolling. IVy also simplifies the process of sharing test results by using built-in smart-device capabilities such as cellular, WiFi, Bluetooth, email, or other apps such as Dropbox and Google Drive.

The Keithley Series 2600B SourceMeter SMU instruments are available in both single- and dual-channel models that combine