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Keithley Introduces New Pulse Measurement Solution for Semiconductor Device Characterization

Cleveland, Ohio - Keithley Instruments, Inc. announces the availability of pulse generation and measurement in the Model 4200-SCS Semiconductor Characterization System. Completely integrated in a compact form factor, the new PIV (Pulse I-V) Package enables superior measurements and faster time-to-market for leading-edge researchers working with high-k materials, thermally sensitive devices, and advanced memory chips. It is the first commercially available solution to offer accurate and repeatable pulse and DC measurements in an easy-to-use, integrated package.

The PIV Package is an option for Keithley's Model 4200-SCS System. The Model 4200-SCS performs laboratory grade DC device characterization, real-time plotting, and analysis with high precision sub-femtoamp resolution. It offers the most advanced capabilities available in a fully integrated characterization system, including a complete embedded PC with Windows XP operating system and mass storage.

The Need for Pulse Measurements

As semiconductor technology evolves to the 65nm node and beyond, measurement techniques other than DC source-measure are necessary to effectively characterize new materials and devices due to new problems such as high-k charge trapping and self-heating in SOI (silicon on insulator) devices. While leading-edge developers have recognized the need for pulse testing, there have been no commercially available solutions for easy, accurate, and repeatable pulse measurements. The Model 4200-SCS PIV Package with pulse capability solves this problem through tight integration of pulse generation, pulse measurement, patent-pending software, and simplified interconnects to the device under test (DUT). Users no longer have to fumble with racks of equipment, complicated wiring connections, internally developed software, and questionable measurement results. Keithley's new pulse capability is integrated into its proven Model 4200-SCS platform, making precision DC and pulse measurements available in one measurement solution under Keithley's proven KTEI semiconductor test software.

New Pulse I-V Capability for the Model 4200-SCS

The PIV Package is built upon a new dual-channel pulse generator card, which features dual independent channels with a frequency range from 1 Hz to 50 MHz. It is capable of generating a pulse as short as 10 nanoseconds, allowing for true isothermal pulse measurement of SOI devices and other 65nm and below devices and processes. Tight control of pulse edges at slower speeds allows for precise sourcing and measuring in charge trapping, AC stress testing, and memory testing. Users can control several pulse parameters such as pulse width, duty cycle, rise and fall times, amplitude, and offset. Combining pulse functionality and measurement with the world-class DC characterization capabilities of the Model 4200-SCS is unique in the market.

Powerful Software Solution

The innovative, patent-pending software bundled with the PIV Package leads to better measurements both in accuracy and repeatability. The integrated software and front-panel user interface are easy to learn and use, so even a non-expert user can quickly set up and begin obtaining good pulsed I-V measurements. The PIV software controls pulse generation and measurement. The software sets up and drives the dual-channel pulse generator, sets up, triggers and takes pulse measurements, and collects and presents the data.

The new PIV software suite also features a proprietary cable compensation algorithm for measurement integrity, as well as a proprietary load-line correction scheme for accurate pulse threshold voltage extraction.

Included in the PIV Package are sample projects and code for conducting pulse IV and charge trapping tests, saving software development time and cost. The complete PIV Package shortens the learning curve for pulse and measure tests, in addition to allowing for multiple kinds of testing on a single workstation.


The Model 4200-SCS PIV Package has a broad range of uses. It is uniquely suited for solving problems in high-k dielectric integration - such as charge trapping - and thermal heating in new devices for the 65nm node and beyond, such as SOI and FinFET devices. Other applications include charge pumping, AC stress for testing new reliability failure mechanisms, and a variety of other pulse and clock applications.

The Model 4200-SCS PIV Package is ideal for managers and engineers in semiconductor TD (technology development), PD (product development) and reliability labs, as well as materials and device research labs. Short learning curves, increased productivity as a result of bundled sample tests, and intuitive easy-to-use software make testing and characterization faster and make users more productive. Any semiconductor lab needing benchtop DC and pulse will benefit from the Model 4200-SCS PIV Package.

Stand-Alone Pulse Capability

The dual-channel pulse generator card is also available for use as a general-purpose pulser integrated into a Model 4200-SCS. The general-purpose pulser is ideal for applications such as failure analysis, charge pumping, flash-memory testing, and clock generation. Included software for the pulse generator card features a user-friendly front panel GUI (graphical user interface).

Improved Usability for KTEI Version 6.0

Released along with the Model 4200-SCS PIV Package is a new version – Version 6.0 – of Keithley's KTEI semiconductor test software, which includes a variety of enhancements to improve usability. Continuous enhancements from Keithley industry experts and customer requests keep the KTEI software suite in line with current and future needs, and help customers keep existing Model 4200-SCS units up to date with inexpensive software upgrades.

Lunes, 18 Julio, 2005 - 06:00
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