Keithley Debuts New Capabilities for Semiconductor Device Testing

Keithley Instruments, Inc. (NYSE:KEI), a leader in solutions for emerging measurement needs, announces the newest release of hardware and software advances for its award-winning Model 4200-SCS Semiconductor Characterization System, representing the next step in pulse test offerings for the Model 4200-SCS. The lab-based system incorporates tightly integrated DC and pulse measurement capabilities with complete application packages for turn-key solutions. An enhanced pulse generator card and a new scope card offer powerful new capabilities to researchers working on cutting-edge semiconductor research and production. Significant enhancements to Keithley’s award-winning Model 4200-PIV package and two new application solutions extend the Model 4200-SCS’s versatile DC and pulse hardware and software into new areas such as Flash memory testing, high-power RF device testing, and pulse testing for advanced semiconductor materials.

Enhanced Test Hardware
Keithley’s new solution features significant hardware enhancements. A new pulse generator card, the Model 4205-PG2, offers several new capabilities such as a patent-pending Segment ARB(TM) mode that lets users easily generate complex waveforms using simple line segments. The Segment ARB capability allows building of complex waveforms beyond those available through basic pulsing. This capability is essential for testing of Flash memory, which requires complex wave patterns for characterization and lifetime testing of memory cells. The Model 4205-PG2 also comes with an arbitrary waveform generator, or ARB mode, and features a built-in High Endurance Output Relay with almost unlimited lifetime. The relay is easy to control and eliminates external relays used in Flash testing, significantly shortening endurance testing.

In addition, a new power supply significantly expands the possible configurations of Model 4200-SCS systems. Now, a Model 4200-SCS chassis allows up to four separate pulse generator cards per chassis. With each Model 4205-PG2 having two channels, a Model 4200-SCS test system can have up to eight pulse channels per chassis. In addition, the integrated Model 4205-PG2 has a trigger-in signal for an external trigger source, so multiple pulse cards in one chassis can be synchronized to within 10nsec of one another.

Application Solutions for Leading-Edge Technology Challenges
Keithley’s new application solutions are built on the capabilities of the enhanced Model 4205-PG2 pulse generator card and new applications software. The Model 4200-PIV-Q package is designed for performing pulse I-V testing and signal analysis on RF devices and high-power FETs made with technologies such as III-V materials and LDMOS. Easy-to-use and flexible, the Model 4200-PIV-Q features pulse capabilities up to ±38V, 800mA, and 30W, parameters designed for higher-power applications. A key feature of the Model 4200-PIV-Q includes quiescent point, or Q-point, testing (being able to pulse from a non-zero idle state) with pulse widths from 500nsec to DC.

Another new applications solution, the Model 4200-FLASH package, is a powerful out-of-the-box Flash memory testing solution. It performs the three most important types of testing relating to Flash memory: characterization, endurance testing, and disturb testing. The applications package automatically handles switching between DC and pulse testing with no external switch necessary. The built-in high-endurance output relay speeds up lifetime testing by eliminating the need for an external solid-state relay that most other Flash testers require, making it more efficient and easier to use. In addition, specialized code and projects included with the Model 4200-FLASH package simplify setup and startup of Flash memory testing.

Also available is the Model 4200-PIV-A package, a significant enhancement to Keithley’s successful, award-winning Model 4200-PIV package, built for leading-edge CMOS device characterization. Enhancements include much better low current resolution of down to 100nA and an easier-to-use interface with combined pulse and DC tests and intuitive graphical interfaces.

Continual Software Advances
A new version of KTEI (Keithley Test Environment Interactive), V6.2, features a number of software enhancements. For example, controlling the Model 4200-SCS from an external PC has been significantly improved with new Ethernet-enabled connectivity, remote calls to the pulse and scope hardware, and the ability to remotely run on-board tests in User Test Modules (UTMs). Also, a new feature allows users to interact with individual UTMs via an easy-to-use GUI interface for many common applications, including a switch matrix controller and PIV tests. KTEI V6.2 will also be available as a stand-alone software package to install on a user’s PC for off-line test generation and post-test data analysis.

Existing customers can easily upgrade to the new application solutions, providing investment protection and reducing capital equipment expenditures, helping to lower the overall cost of test.

Price and Availability
The Model 4205-PG2 Pulse Generator Card, available as an add-on to new systems or an upgrade to older systems, is $10,400 USD. Prices for application solutions are as follows: the Model 4200-PIV-A package is $31,200 USD, the Model 4200-PIV-Q package $41,600 USD, and the Model 4200-FLASH package is $20,800 USD. Orders are being taken now for delivery after May 1, 2007.

About Keithley Instruments, Inc.
With more than 60 years of measurement expertise, Keithley Instruments has become a world leader in advanced electrical test instruments and systems from DC to RF (radio frequency). Our products solve emerging measurement needs in production testing, process monitoring, product development, and research. Our customers are scientists and engineers in the worldwide electronics industry involved with advanced materials research, semiconductor device development and fabrication, and the production of end products such as portable wireless devices. The value we provide them is a combination of precision measurement technology and a rich understanding of their applications to improve the quality of their products and reduce their cost of test.