Source Measure Unit Instrument comes with capacitive touchscreen

August 19, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Keithley Instruments has equipped a benchtop Source Measure Unit (SMU) with a graphical user interface based on a capacitive touchscreen. The Model 2450 SourceMeter SMU Instrument is the first such instrument that combines intuitive touchscreen and icon-based control with exceptional versatility. With the product, the company expressly addresses the demand of non-electrical engineers involved in semiconductor and LED development.

The Model 2450's design offers a new way for users to interact with test and measurement instruments. It is based on the company’s “Touch, Test, Invent” design philosophy. This design philosophy reflects recent market changes, including shrinking product design/development cycles and fewer personnel devoted exclusively to test engineering tasks.

At the same time, the profile of the typical instrument user has also evolved. In addition to electrical engineers, it now includes a growing number of non-engineers (such as electrochemists, physicists, materials scientists, etc. frequently involved in semiconductor and LED development) who need fast access to data but sometimes have limited training in electrical measurement. Additionally, as the previous generation of electrical engineers has retired, their younger replacements have tended to be more software oriented than hardware oriented. To accommodate all of these market and user changes, the Model 2450 incorporates multiple ease-of-use features that ensure a faster “time-to-answer” than competitive solutions, including a context-sensitive help function, “Quickset” modes that speed instrument configuration, and on-screen graphing capabilities that quickly turn raw data into usable results.

The Model 2450 builds on the design of both the Model 2400 SourceMeter SMU instrument (an industry standard since its 1995 introduction) and the newer Series 2600B System SourceMeter SMU Instrument line. The Model 2450 combines the functionality of a power supply , true current source, 6-1/2-digit multimeter, electronic load, and trigger controller in one tightly integrated, half-rack instrument. With all of these capabilities, the Model 2450 integrates the capabilities of I‑V systems, curve tracers, and semiconductor analyzers at a fraction of their cost.

Many of the Model 2450’s features help speed and simplify lab/benchtop work:

  • Full-color, 5-inch touchscreen user interface: The full-color display and large on-screen characters enhance legibility. A simple, icon-based menu structure allows reaching any measurement set-up panel with just a touch.
  • Extended measurement ranges with superior low current performance: The new low current (100nA, 10nA) and voltage (20mV) ranges eliminate the