Keithley Debuts Automated Characterization Suite Integrated Test System

Keithley Instruments, Inc. (NYSE:KEI), a leader in solutions for emerging measurement needs, announces the availability of ACS (Automated Characterization Suite) integrated test systems for semiconductor characterization at the device, wafer, and cassette level. With ACS integrated test systems, Keithley has created a variety of highly configurable and flexible test systems for semiconductor characterization that offer unique measurement capabilities with powerful automation-oriented software. ACS test systems provide faster measurements and greater system flexibility under one uniform software suite to fit unique test application needs.

Under the unified Automated Characterization Suite, Keithley’s ACS integrated test systems incorporate a variety of test hardware and overall unique measurement capability:

  • Keithley’s powerful Model 4200-SCS Semiconductor Characterization System features I-V source-measure and specialized pulse testing packages, such as the Model 4200-PIV package for testing of advanced semiconductor materials.
  • Series 2600 SourceMeter(R) Instruments feature TSP-Link(TM) and Test Script Processor (TSP)(TM) for scalable I-V channel count systems, fast parallel measurements, and complex test sequences for applications such as on-the-fly NBTI or on-wafer component characterization.
  • Series 2400 SourceMeter(R) Instruments feature high voltage and high current sourcing, which are unique in applications such as high power MOSFETs and display drivers.
  • Optional switching, C-meters, and pulse generators round out the instrument capabilities of ACS integrated test systems.

ACS integrated test systems are available in basic bench-top configurations or in factory-integrated full-height rack configurations.

Meeting Test Challenges
Semiconductor test engineers face a number of testing challenges. On one hand, a range of unique measurements and novel techniques are necessary for emerging technologies such as scaled CMOS, LDMOS, and advanced memory technologies. On the other hand, new technologies demand more testing and data collection with less time and fewer resources. Until now, semiconductor test engineers have primarily relied on instruments that offer flexibility and unique measurements but require in-house or third party software development that impacts their company’s time-to-market and increases overall cost of test. Keithley’s ACS integrated test systems address these needs by capitalizing on the flexibility and unique measurement capabilities of instruments and by providing the necessary software for flexibility and automation. Keithley’s new ACS systems are ideal for semiconductor parametric characterization in R&D, technology development (TD), quality / reliability assurance (QRA), and small-scale production test.

Automation at the wafer or cassette level enables more unattended testing and collection of large statistical data samples for modeling and process qualification, as well as maximizing tool utilization. At the wafer level, Keithley’s ACS integrated test systems feature a Wafer Description Utility and wafer map. Users can easily build wafer description files with integrated test plans. Color-coded wafer maps are updated in real-time during test execution to show pass/fail metrics, providing clear visibility into test results and assuring that test outcomes will be productive.

Another innovation is an interactive prober controller. This allows users to control wafer movement using the ACS software during test development to validate test setups on actual structures and during lot disposition to navigate to a problem area of the wafer and execute testing manually. A full range of drivers offers seamless integration with a range of semiautomatic and fully automatic probers.

Keithley’s ACS integrated test systems are configured and integrated with Keithley’s semiconductor applications expertise and customization capability. This includes test routines such as macros, scripts, and custom GUIs in addition to interconnects, including cables, switching, probe card adaptation, as well as installation, training, and applications services.

Price and Availability
Pricing for Keithley’s ACS integrated test systems is based on the particular configuration and customization options. Availability is immediate.

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.