Keithley Instruments Migrates Parametric Test Systems to Linux

Keithley Instruments, Inc. (NYSE:KEI), a leader in solutions for emerging measurement needs, announces a group of enhancements for its S600 Series Parametric Test Systems. The main enhancement is a migration to the Linux Operating System (OS) on the embedded control computer within each test system. This provides a more stable OS and longer service life for the computer, reducing the need for customers to qualify new workstations and upgrade software and hardware resources. In addition, firmware upgrades will provide throughput improvements compared to the earlier UNIX-based systems. A new software licensing method incorporates a hardware key for each tester in the form of a USB Stick, which can be transferred from workstation to workstation for fast repair times.

Keithley’s parametric test systems with Linux controllers join the growing list of semiconductor equipment types that now utilize the Linux OS. With its RF and parallel test options and appropriately designed test structures and probe cards, the Model S680 is the only RF test system on the market that can make simultaneous DC and RF measurements in parallel within the same probe touchdown. This yields substantially higher throughput than similar methods that perform sequential DC measurements followed by RF measurements.

The Model S680 system using the new Linux controller will be compatible on a mixed system test floor. For customers who prefer a 100 percent Linux test floor, field upgrades are available. In any case, a newly installed Linux controller will operate seamlessly with existing parametric test systems operating under Solaris. For example:

  • Recipes – Format and content are the same for those using Keithley Recipe Manager.
  • User Library Source Code – The same source files are usable on the new platform.
  • KTXE – Both platforms use the same engine.

Those purchasing Keithley’s new S600 Series systems will get the latest software version, KTE V5.2.2, which is also available as a field upgrade. The new systems will have Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS Version 4, Update 4, and a new x86-based computer. Aside from the RF and parallel test options, these systems can also be purchased with the adaptive test option and 300mm wafer automation option. Because the GUI is similar to that in earlier systems, minimal, if any, additional operator training is needed.

Price and Availability
For a customized quote on a new system or field upgrades, contact the Keithley factory for the specific configuration you have in mind. Upgrades and new systems will be available for delivery starting September 2007.

About Keithley
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.