Source-measure unit for high-power device characterisation

January 14, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Tektronix, under its Keithley brand of measurement products, has developed the graphical 2461 SourceMeter for observing and characterising true device operation up to 10A and 1kW

The 2461 High Current SourceMeter SMU offers advanced capabilities for creating precisely-controlled 10A/100V, 1000W high-current pulses that minimise power device thermal effects and maintain device integrity. Its dual 18-bit high speed digitisers facilitate measuring actual device operation that can be graphically displayed on the front panel for immediate analysis. Based on the 2450 and 2460 SMU platforms, the 2461 features the highest levels of DC and pulse source and sink performance in its class, enabling users to gain deeper insight into their designs.

Researchers, scientists and design engineers developing next generation high-power materials and devices need the ability to make measurements at a variety of DC and pulse power levels for verifying device performance, while at the same time minimising the effects of device self-heating that often result in device or module failures. This applies to such segments as materials research, semiconductor devices, circuit protection devices, advanced lighting technologies, energy storage and generation components, and power management electronics used in consumer electronics.

The 2461 incorporates the simple and intuitive “Touch, Test, Invent” user experience intended to minimise the learning curve and accelerate test setup for faster time to answer. The graphical touchscreen interface allows users to interact with results right on the front panel using natural gestures similar to a smartphone or tablet and to quickly zoom in and out of data while conducting detailed analysis. A built-in open source scripting language enables users to create libraries of reusable, customisable test software for specialised measurement applications.

A fast "contact check" feature helps to minimise measurement errors and false product failures associated with contact fatigue, probe tip contamination, loose or broken connections and relay failures. These capabilities give users more confidence in their test results so they can make faster design and engineering decisions. Prices start at $8,500.