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June 2013 Product Picks

Characterization Software

Enhancements to Keithley’s Automated Characterization Suite (ACS) software support its expanding family of high-power semiconductor characterization systems. The ACS package is optimized for automated wafer-level parameter test applications including automated characterization, reliability analysis, and known-good-die testing. The ACS V5.0 update specifically leverages the high-power capabilities of the company’s Model 2651A (high-current) and Model 2657A (high-voltage) System SourceMeter SMU instruments to enable automated wafer-level testing of high-power semiconductor devices like power MOSFETs, IGBTs, BJTs, and diodes. Keithley Instruments

Analog Input Boards

Four new analog input boards offer eight analog input channels, 24-bit A/D resolution, and 120-kS/s maximum sampling rates. All four boards also provide 350-Vrms channel-to-channel and channel-to-chassis isolation. The DNR versions are for use with the company’s RACKtangle chassis while the DNA versions are designed for installation into the PowerDNA Cube chassis. The DNx-AI-218 offers a ±10-VDC input range suitable for most general-purpose DAQ measurements; the DNx-AI-228-300’s ±300-VDC input range makes it suitable for many high-voltage applications including battery testing, power-plant monitoring, and aircraft power monitoring. United Electronic Industries

PXI Solid-State Matrix

The 40-501 single-slot 3U PXI module constitutes a high-voltage 64×4 solid-state matrix. The solid-state relays used in 40-501 are rated to 100 V with 150-mA hot switch capability and the capability to withstand 350-mA surges for 10 ms on relay closure or during normal operation. This feature makes the module suitable for applications requiring frequent hot switching of high voltages carried on capacitive cables. The switching life is unlimited while used within ratings, and the operating speed is comparable with reed-relay solutions. The 40-501 is functionally and pin-layout equivalent to 40-500 (a solid-state 60-V, 500-mA matrix), allowing users to choose the more appropriate solution for their application without connection or software changes. Pickering Interfaces

Sound and Vibration DAQ Module

The DT9839 low-cost USB-powered module for sound and vibration measurements features a four-channel, 16-bit delta-sigma ADC with a nominal input range of ±2.5 V, and sampling rates up to 52.7 kHz per channel. IEPE conditioning is built into the analog circuitry of the DT9839, providing an excitation current source and AC or DC coupling.

QuickDAQ 2013 ready-to-measure application software is included with the DT9839 and allows users to acquire, analyze, and display data. VIBpoint Framework is available as a 14-day trial and adds many processing features, including single- and two-channel FFT operations and dynamic performance statistics. $995. Data Translation

70-MHz to 300-MHz DSOs

The 2550 DSO Series includes four two-channel models (2552, 2554, 2556, 2558) and four four-channel models (2553, 2555, 2557, 2559) ranging from 70-MHz to 300-MHz bandwidths with 2-GS/s sampling rates and 24-kpts/channel memory. While maintaining a portable form factor, the series features a widescreen 7-inch TFT color display.

All models offer debugging tools such as digital filtering with adjustable limits, a waveform recorder mode, pass/fail testing, advanced triggering capabilities, 32 automatic measurements, and large internal storage for saving and recalling up to 20 different waveforms and 20 oscilloscope setups. The scopes also can perform five waveform math functions: add, subtract, multiply, divide, and FFT.

The 2550 Series oscilloscopes are backed by a standard three-year warranty. From $1,015 to $2,495. B&K Precision

Handheld Spectrum Analyzers

Two new models in the R&S FSH spectrum analyzer family offer users frequency ranges up to 13.6 GHz and 20 GHz. They complement the 3.6-GHz and 8-GHz ranges, respectively, covered by the R&S FSH4 and the R&S FSH8.

The R&S FSH13 and R&S FSH20 deliver fast measurement results. A complete sweep up to 13.6 GHz takes 800 ms. Performance data for digitally modulated signals such as GSM, W-CDMA, and LTE is available in just a few button presses. The R&S FSH spectrum analyzers offer sensitivity of typically -162 dBm between 8 GHz and 13.6 GHz and accuracy of typically 1 dB at 8 GHz. Dynamic range, which is normalized to 1 Hz, is 145 dB at 1 GHz. For maximum sensitivity, both models are equipped with an amplifier that can be activated. Rohde & Schwarz

Handheld Vector Network Analyzers

The MS2027C and MS2037C are two new members of the company’s VNA Master handheld vector network analyzer series. The MS2027C VNA Master, which provides frequency coverage from 5 kHz to 15 GHz, specifically addresses complex cable, waveguide, and antenna field test needs with vector-corrected two-port magnitude, phase, and time or distance domain measurements. A two-port, two-path, fully reversing VNA, the MS2027C can be used by field engineers and technicians to measure and display all S-parameters with a single connection. Fast 350-µs per data point sweep speed makes the MS2027C suitable for filter tuning.

The MS2037C adds integrated spectrum analysis for on-site verification or troubleshooting. MS2027C: $22,550; MS2037C: $30,950. Anritsu

Atomic Force Microscope Enhancements

Both 300-mm x 300-mm and multisample 2-inch wafer stages now are available for Agilent’s large-stage 5600LS atomic force microscope. These new stages extend the application versatility of the 5600LS AFM, which also offers the largest fully addressable and programmable 200 mm x 200 mm stage plus a special stage adapter for imaging small samples.

The 5600LS system’s programmable, motorized stage positions probes to image and map specimens with 0.5-μm precision. The stage accommodates either a single sample up to 200 mm diameter and 30 mm tall or as many as nine small samples with the 200-mm vacuum chuck (more can be held with tape), each of whose locations can be programmed.

The new 300-mm x 300-mm stage allows 5600LS users to handle larger semiconductor wafer samples. Alternatively, the new multisample, 2-inch-wafer stage is suitable for research involving optoelectronics and LEDs. Agilent Technologies

Electronics Cooling Simulation

FloTHERM XT software enables integrated MDA-EDA electronics cooling simulation from conceptual through detailed design. The FloTHERM XT technology interconnects mechanical design automation (MDA) and electronic design automation (EDA) domains and addresses the needs of design engineers as well as thermal specialists.

The software enables virtual prototyping, minimizes design iterations, and supports advanced what-if analysis. FloTHERM XT can benefit design teams in industries such as automotive, aerospace, telecommunications, computing, industrial automation, and consumer electronics. Imported or CAD-generated geometries work seamlessly with the FloTHERM XT’s SmartPart library of models, and automatic meshing and data convergence provide significant reduction in execution times. Mentor Graphics


CoreCommander for FPGAs allows engineers to bridge the gap between the standard JTAG test and programming port (TAP) and proprietary IP cores and harness them for test purposes. Forming part of the vendor’s range of ETP (Embedded Test and Programming) products, CoreCommander FPGA is aimed primarily at hardware design and test engineers.

CoreCommander for FPGAs uses a translator block to access proprietary IP cores through commonly implemented bus structures such as Wishbone, AMBA, Avalon, and CoreConnect. This translator block, provided as a VHDL module, can be either permanently or temporarily programmed into a gate array. Software provided with the module automatically links the translator block with IP blocks to build the complete (test) design to be programmed in the FPGA. JTAG Technologies

Battery Balancer

The LTC3300-1 high-efficiency bidirectional multicell battery balancer equalizes cell state of charge in a series-connected battery stack. With LTC3300-1, applications such as electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid EVs, and large energy storage systems using cells with mismatched capacities are no longer limited by the lowest capacity cell in the stack. The LTC3300-1 goes beyond purely dissipative passive balancing solutions, enhancing battery performance by efficiently transferring charge to or from adjacent cells to bring mismatched cells into state-of-charge balance within the stack. By redistributing charge throughout the stack, the LTC3300-1 compensates for lost capacity due to the weakest cells, enabling faster charging and extending the run time and usable lifetime of the battery stack. Linear Technology

Eight-Channel Dataloggers

The eight-channel Model DL-1080 (no display) and DL-1081 (with display) dataloggers handle analog, digital, and other types of variables with high resolution and speed. The units have eight configurable analog inputs that can measure thermocouples, Pt100 and Pt1000 sensors, and DC voltage and DC current signals. The DL-1080 and DL-1081 incorporate two relay outputs and eight digital ports that are individually configurable as inputs or outputs.

Up to 128 math channels can be used to perform operations on the measured values. Up to 32 alarm events can be detected, allowing output activations, email (SMTP) notifications, and SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) trap sending. The RS-485 interface can operate as a Modbus RTU master or slave. As a master, it reads and logs up to 64 external channels. A 10/100-Mb/s Ethernet interface allows access through a browser (HTTP) or FTP client and server; it also enables communications via Modbus TCP. AEMC

EMC Software

A new generation of RadiMation software is based on the Microsoft .NET development platform. The software works with the company’s range of EMC products, covering EMC mainframes and signal generators, E-field probes, RF coaxial switches, and RF power meters. It also comes with free software drivers for other vendors’ EMC test equipment.

The RadiMation EMC test software is modular, with separate test modules for conducted and radiated emission and immunity testing. Other modules support pulsed immunity (ESD/burst/surge) testing and automatic report generation. DARE!! Instruments

Entry-Level Color Vision System

The In-Sight 7010C is an entry-level color vision system that can distinguish parts by color. The system features 24-bit color resolution that accurately identifies 16 million color variations and can serve in automotive (tire model identification and fuse verification), electronic hardware (keypad color verification and connector wire color sequence confirmation), and other industries.

Along with the In-Sight 7010C, Cognex has introduced three additional color models: the In-Sight 7200C, 7400C, and 7402C. These systems solve more complex applications involving logic or color composition as well as those requiring higher resolution or faster execution. Cognex

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