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Only Mixed-Signal Interconnect Solution for Semiconductor Device Probers and Characterization Equipment now Available from Keithley

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Cleveland, Ohio, March 20, 2009 * * * Keithley Instruments, Inc.


Contact: Keithley Instruments, Inc.
28775 Aurora Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44139


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Only Mixed-Signal Interconnect Solution for Semiconductor Device Probers and Characterization Equipment now Available from Keithley

Cleveland, Ohio, March 20, 2009    * * *    Keithley Instruments, Inc. (NYSE:KEI), a world leader in advanced electrical test instruments and systems, has introduced the test industry’s only cabling solutions capable of handling I-V, C-V, and pulsed I-V signals with a single set of cables (patent pending). The new cabling kits are based on a patent-pending design that speeds and simplifies the process of making DC Current‑Voltage (I‑V), Capacitance‑Voltage (C‑V), and pulsed I‑V testing connections from any modern semiconductor parameter analyzer to a Cascade Microtech or SUSS MicroTec prober. The cables are designed for compatibility with Keithley’s Model 4200‑SCS Semiconductor Characterization System, as well as with other test instruments used for characterization.

The design of these high performance triaxial cable kits makes them ideal for those whose characterization requirements demand frequent switching between measurement types. These new cable kits eliminate the need for recabling when switching between measurement types, also eliminating the measurement errors that often result from cabling errors. Two versions of the cable kit are available—one optimized for use with Cascade Microtech probers and the other for use with SUSS MicroTec probers.

Characterizing semiconductor devices electrically and understanding the processes used in their production demands a wide array of measurements, including DC I‑V, C‑V, and pulsed I‑V measurements. One of the most significant challenges associated with integrating these measurement types in a single characterization system is that each one has fundamentally different cabling requirements. For example, making low current I‑V measurements demands guarding, so triaxial cables are required. C‑V measurements are typically made using four coaxial cables with their outer shells connected together to control the characteristic impedance the signals encounter. Pulsed measurements require the highest bandwidth of the three measurement types, so the characteristic impedance of the cabling must match the source impedance in order to prevent reflections from the DUT from reflecting off the source.

Keithley’s new cabling kits are designed with these differing requirements in mind. No matter what type of measurement is being made, no changes to the probe manipulator cabling are required; the cables can simply be moved from one set of instrument connections to another, which makes it much easier to switch between I-V measurements, C-V measurements, and pulsed I-V testing, simplifying the device characterization process. In addition, the setup changes can be made while the probe needles are in contact with a wafer, reducing pad damage and maintaining the same contact impedance for all three types of measurements.

Ongoing System Enhancements Ensure Continuing Productivity

Keithley’s Model 4200‑SCS replaces a variety of electrical test tools with a single, tightly integrated characterization solution and is ideal for a wide variety of applications including semiconductor technology development, process development, and materials research in reliability labs, materials and device research labs and consortia, as well as any lab needing a benchtop DC or pulse instrument. Keithley has continually enhanced the Model 4200‑SCS’s hardware and software ever since its introduction. This commitment to ongoing system innovation assures a cost‑effective upgrade path, so users don’t have to buy a new parametric analyzer because their old one is obsolete. Systems can be upgraded cost‑effectively to keep up with the industry's evolving test needs, so capital investments in the Model 4200‑SCS stretch much further than with competitive test solutions.

Keithley Instruments, Inc., a leader in semiconductor device characterization and parametric test, offers customers around the world a variety of flexible solutions for current-voltage (I‑V), capacitance-voltage (C-V), and pulsed I-V measurements and analysis. Products range from benchtop instruments to turn-key systems and are used in applications as diverse as materials analysis, device characterization, wafer level reliability, and process control monitoring. Keithley works closely with semiconductor customers worldwide through its network of field service centers and application engineers with specific expertise in the area of semiconductor technology.


Two versions of the cable kit are now available—the Model 4210-MMPC-C for Cascade Microtech probers and the Model 4210-MMPC-S for use with SUSS MicroTec probers. For more information on the new I‑V, C‑V, and Pulse Cabling Kits or any of Keithley’s other semiconductor test solutions, visit www.keithley.com/products/semiconductor/?mn=4200-SCS or contact the company at: www.keithley.com.

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 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 products for their critical measurement needs and a rich understanding of their applications to improve the quality of their products and reduce their cost of test.

Products and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

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page updated: 2009-03-24