PWS Semiconductor / Analog IV Tester Description


The Parametric Work Station(PWS) is a highly versatile analog IV tester with built in switch matrices combined with a suite of data log, graphing, analysis and programming tools in one portable, easy to use package.

PWS Schematic

PWS allows for measuring and analyzing

  • characteristics of semiconductor devices
  • parametrics of digital device outputs and inputs (Voh, Vol, Vih, Vil, . . .)
  • analog devices including FETs, Bipolar transistors, Test structures, Op Amps, analog circuits
  • low resistance

and provides for

  • stress measurement (ex. Hot Carrier Injection [HCI])
  • long term reliability testing
  • Flash memory cell evaluation
  • facilitation of parameter extraction
  • accurate on-wafer measurements

PWS can be operated interactively, "bench top fashion" through an intuitive front panel screen, or its operation can be automated using a built in Visual Basic compatible environment.

Also, you can run an automated program to a break point and then interactively change relays and perform/plot measurements while the program is paused. This is invaluable for test debug, or scrutiny of some measurement detail embedded in an extended test procedure.


Measurement Capabilities
The PWS SMU card has four highly accurate source/measure units (SMU), and two voltage-source/measure units (VS). Each SMU can force voltage while measuring current, or force current while measuring voltage. The VS's can measure voltage and current while forcing a voltage. PWS can perform sweep measurements or discrete sampling measurements.

In addition to traditional DC force/measure, you can force an ac stress using PWS's PULSE mode. In PULSE mode user selected SMU's and VS's are programmed to an initial value and then simultaneously pulsed to a different value for a programmed duration, with measurements taken at the end of the pulse. Pulsed measurements are useful when long exposure to certain bias conditions could cause parameter changes (e.g. due to heating).

The PWS also has a programmable SERVO feature wherein the current/voltage output of one SMU is driven based on the sensed current/voltage condition of a second SMU. A typical use of the servo feature is FET characterization where one SMU would be programmed to a DC voltage for DRAIN bias and a second SMU would drive the FET's GATE voltage based on the sensed DRAIN current of the first SMU.

Guarded Switch Matrix Card
Switch Matrix cards consist of a 16 by 6 cross-point matrix of relay switches with each node separately switching a co-axial signal and its associated shield (guard). The matrix ties 16 external signals to an internal 6 wide buss connected to the SMU cards. The buss additionally provides for external connections to other instruments.

PWS has expandable architecture and can be configured with any number of SMU and Switch Matrix Cards

Data, Plotting, Printing
Data logging uses a built in EXCEL compatible spreadsheet with automatic plotting in an embedded 2D-3D graphing tool. PWS allows you to store measurement setups and instrument setting information as well as measurement data.

Analysis Function
Since data is stored in an EXCEL compatible spread sheet, functions can be created in the spread sheet which analyze the raw data in any manner you need. As a simple example, you can create a column that calculates gm or hfe from other columns of logged raw data. Then you can add new plot tabs to graph the results of your functions. Functions are saved with the test setup and the results are automatically updated after new measurements are completed.

Also analysis of raw data can be performed using programmed BASIC algorithms when running in automation mode.

High Speed Automated Test
PWS includes the VB rapid application developer (RAD) environment for the creation of test programs that include interactive operator screens. This gives you a powerful tool for automating testing in conjunction with the built in switch matrix, for application such as wafer probe, stress testing, long term reliability testing, HCI, etc.

Control Other Test Equipment - You can control any external lab equipment via GPIB (IEEE488) by using remote control commands included in the VB environment.

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