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Keithley Instruments has introduced the Model 4225-PMU ultra-fast I-V module, the latest addition to the range of instrumentation options for the Model 4200-SCS semiconductor characterisation system.

The new module integrates ultra-fast voltage waveform generation and current/voltage measurement capabilities into the Model 4200-SCS’s test environment to deliver a dynamic range of voltage, current and rise/fall/pulse times, expanding the system’s materials, device and process characterisation potential.

The Model 4225-PMU makes ultra-fast I-V sourcing and measurement as simple as making DC measurements, according to the company.

Its wide programmable sourcing and measurement ranges, pulse widths and rise times are suitable for applications that demand both ultra-fast voltage outputs and synchronised measurement – from nanometer CMOS to flash memory.

Unlike previous solutions, which required up to three different test stands to characterise a device, material or process thoroughly, the Model 4225-PMU’s broad dynamic range enables the characterisation of the full range of materials, devices and processes with a single set of instrumentation.

Now, laboratories can configure one flexible system to handle all three measurement types: precision DC I-V (the Model 4200-SMU); AC impedance (the Model 4210-CVU C-V instrument); and ultra-fast I-V or transient I-V (the Model 4225-PMU).

Each 4225-PMU module provides two channels of integrated sourcing and measurement but takes up only one slot in the nine-slot chassis.

Each chassis can accommodate up to four modules for a maximum of eight ultra-fast source/measure channels.

Each channel combines high-speed voltage outputs (with pulse widths ranging from 60ns to DC) with simultaneous current and voltage measurements.

The module provides high-speed voltage pulsing with simultaneous current and voltage measurement at acquisition rates of up to 200MS/s with 14-bit analogue-to-digital converters (ADCs), using two ADCs per channel (four ADCs per card).

Users can choose from two voltage-source ranges (+/-10V or +/-40V into 1mohm) and four current measurement ranges (800mA, 200mA, 10mA or 100mA).

Each Model 4225-PMU can be equipped with up to two optional Model 4225-RPM remote amplifier/switches, which provide four additional low-current ranges.

They also reduce cable capacitance effects and support automatic switching between the Model 4225-PMU, the Model 4210-CVU and other SMUs installed in the chassis.

The Model 4220-PGU pulse generator unit, which offers a voltage-sourcing-only alternative to the Model 4225-PMU, is also available.

Together, the 4225-PMU and 4225-RPM provide all the tools necessary to perform a broad range of applications.

A key application area is for general-purpose ultra-fast I-V measurements.

Pulsed I-V testing has a variety of uses, including preventing device self-heating by using narrow pulses and/or low-duty-cycle pulses rather than DC signals.

The 4225-PMU/4225-RPM’s high-speed voltage sourcing and current measurement sensitivity make the devices suitable for CMOS device characterisation, including high-K devices and advanced CMOS technologies such as Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI).

Another application area is for non-volatile memory device testing.

The system’s KTEI software includes toolkits for testing both flash and Phase Change Memory (PCM) devices.

The system is suitable for testing single-memory cells or a small array, such as in research and development or process verification.

The Model 4225-PMU is also useful for characterising III-V materials, such as gallium nitride (GaN), gallium arsenide (GaAs) and other compound semiconductors.

It enables the user to set a pulse offset voltage so that measurements can be made from a non-zero value for investigating the amplifier gain or linearity of a device.

The device is also suitable for NBTI/PBTI reliability tests.

The optional Model 4200-BTI-A ultra-fast BTI package combines all the hardware and software needed to implement all known BTI test methodologies with fast, sensitive measurements.

The Automatic Characterization Suite (ACS) software supports full wafer- and cassette-level automation and includes NBTI/PBTI test libraries with graphical user interfaces.

The Model 4225-PMU can generate four types of sweeps: linear sweep, pulsed, arbitrary waveform and the patent-pending Segment ARB.

The Segment ARB mode simplifies the creation, storage and generation of waveforms made up of up to 2,048 user-defined line segments for waveform generation flexibility.

An optional multi-measurement performance cable kit connects the Model 4200-SCS to a prober manipulator, simplifying switching between DC I-V, C-V and ultra-fast I-V testing configurations, eliminating the need for re-cabling and enhancing signal fidelity.

All three products will be available from May 2010.

Keithley Instruments

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