Software control adds test options to source-measure units

February 16, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Keysight Technologies’ Precision SMU Series of software control options address a range of development and test application needs; software options support basic sourcing functions up to full device and material characterisation tasks.

A series of low- or no-cost software control options for Keysight’s B2900A Series Precision Source/Measure Units (SMUs) give users access to a range of capabilities to support basic voltage and current sourcing, up through full characterisation of devices and materials, using an intuitive graphical user interface.

Software control options for the B2900A SMUs include:

EasyEXPERT group+, which provides IV parametric characterisation for a wide range of devices and materials. The software is currently utilised in Keysight’s high-end precision current-voltage analyser products (e.g., the B1500A, B1505A and E5270B/E526xA).


BenchVue, which enables benchtop integration of B2900A SMUs (as voltage/current sources) with a wide variety of other Keysight instruments, such as oscilloscopes and meters.

B2900A Quick I/V Measurement software, which permits easy measurement setup and execution on a Windows-based PC via a GUI. This control option supports all B2900 precision instrument family products, including SMUs, low-noise sources and electrometers, and works on multiple interfaces (LAN, USB and GPIB).

Graphical Web Interface, which allows any Java-enabled web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer) to control B2900A SMUs over the LAN. Because special software is not required, this control option enables quick measurements on the fly.


An SMU, Keysight says, is typically used during the development or test of electronic devices when precision low-level sourcing and measuring is required. Available control software, Keysight asserts, often fall short in offering flexibility when selecting between multiple software control options; and what is available, comes with a sizeable price tag.

Keysight offers its B2900A software control options; users eliminate the need to create their own software measurement environment and in the process, reducing both development and evaluation times. Posible uses include educators requiring low-cost solutions for student lab use, circuit designers needing to integrate SMUs with other benchtop instruments, and R&D engineers needing an accurate yet low-cost current-voltage characterisation solution for devices and materials.

“Our new software control options, which include our most popular and commonly used BenchVue