Thursday 30 June 2016

PXI source measure unit.

National Instruments (NI) has announced the NI PXIe-4135 source measure unit (SMU) with a measurement sensitivity of 10 fA and voltage output up to 200 V. Engineers can use the NI PXIe-4135 SMU to measure low-current signals and take advantage of the high channel density, fast test throughput and flexibility of NI PXI SMUs for applications such as wafer-level parametric test, materials research and characterisation of low-current sensors and ICs. 
“Our in-line parametric tests require us to acquire millions of data points, often with leakage current in the picoampere range,” said Dr. Bart De Wachter, Researcher at IMEC. “The new NI PXI SMU allows us to accurately measure these low-current signals while benefiting from the speed improvements offered by the PXI platform and the flexibility of programming the system with LabVIEW.”

Engineers can use modular NI PXI SMUs to build parallel, high-channel-count systems in a compact form factor and benefit from up to 68 SMU channels in a single PXI chassis that can scale to hundreds of channels to address wafer-level reliability and parallel test. Additionally, users can increase test throughput by taking advantage of a high-speed communication bus, deterministic hardware sequencing and a digital control loop technology to custom-tune the SMU response for any device under test. They can also control the SMU response through software, which removes unnecessarily long wait times for SMU settling and offers the flexibility to help minimise overshoot and oscillations even with highly capacitive loads. 

“Increasing complexity in semiconductor devices requires us to rethink the conventional approach for research, characterisation and reliability measurements, and that’s been a key motivator for our SMU investments in PXI,” said Luke Schreier, Director of Automated Test at NI. “NI SMUs reduce test time, increase channel density, and now, offer even better measurement quality with 10 fA sensitivity.”

Delivering the ease of use expected from a box SMU, the interactive soft front panels on NI PXI SMUs can be used for making basic measurements and debugging automated applications. The driver features help files, documentation and ready-to-run example programs to assist in test code development, and includes a programming interface that works with a variety of development environments such as C, Microsoft .NET and LabVIEW system design software. Engineers can also use NI PXI SMUs with NI’s TestStand test management software, simplifying the creation and deployment of test systems in the lab or production floor.

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