Source/measure unit gains touchscreen user interfaces

August 15, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Keithley has produced an updated version of its current/voltage source/measure instruments (SMUs) that includes operation via a touchscreen graphical interface, and that also sees a number of specification upgrades.

The unit can provide, Keithley says, the capabilities of I-V systems, curve tracers, and semiconductor analysers at a fraction of their cost. The Model 2450 SourceMeter SMU Instrument combines the intuitive touchscreen and icon-based control that novice SMU users can appreciate with the exceptional versatility that experienced users need to learn faster, work smarter, and invent easier. You can select the source (current or voltage, source or sink) by dragging the appropriate icon on the screen, and connecting it in the same way, and set parameters and levels either on-screen or via the adjacent keys.

The Model 2450's operation is based on the company’s “Touch, Test, Invent” design philosophy, which Keithley says reflects recent market changes, including shrinking product design/development cycles and fewer personnel devoted exclusively to test engineering tasks. At the same time, the profile of the typical instrument user has also evolved. In addition to electrical engineers, it now includes a growing number of non-engineers (such as electrochemists, physicists, materials scientists, etc.) who need fast access to data but sometimes have limited training in electrical measurement. Additionally, younger engineers tend to be more software oriented than hardware oriented. To accommodate all of these market and user changes, the Model 2450 incorporates numerous ease-of-use features that ensure a faster “time-to-answer” than competitive solutions, including a context-sensitive help function, “Quickset” modes that speed instrument configuration, and on-screen graphing capabilities that quickly turn raw data into usable results.

The Model 2450 builds on the precision of both the Model 2400 SourceMeter SMU instrument and the newer Series 2600B System SourceMeter SMU. The Model 2450 combines a power supply, true current source, 6 ½-digit multimeter, electronic load, and trigger controller in one tightly integrated, half-rack instrument. Features include;

- Full-colour, 5-in. touchscreen user interface.

- Extended measurement ranges with superior low current performance: The new low current (100 nA, 10 nA) and voltage (20 mV) ranges eliminate the need to add