Test & Measurement


Current analyser for low-power devices

9 November 2016 Test & Measurement

Keysight Technologies introduced the world’s first analyser enabling a minimum of 100 pA level dynamic current measurements with a maximum of 200 MHz bandwidth, 1 GSps sampling rate and 14- or 16-bit wide dynamic range.

The CX3300 Series device current waveform analyser is a new category of instrument and is ideally suited for researchers struggling with high-speed transient current measurements during advanced device characterisation and engineers working to reduce power/current consumption in low-power devices.

Characterising advanced devices and evaluating low-power devices are challenging tasks; ones that require engineers to measure high-speed (over 1 MHz) and low-level dynamic current (below 1 A). However, the existing methodology for this measurement is plagued by many issues – a large noise, voltage drop, limited dynamic range, bandwidth – and as a result, low-level dynamic current often goes undetected and unmeasured.

Keysight’s new analyser overcomes this limitation by enabling the simultaneous measurement of wideband and low-level current waveforms. By providing a 14-bit or 16-bit wide dynamic measurement range, the system can meet a wide range of measurement requirements without using multiple instruments. A graphical user interface on a WXGA 14,1” multi-touch display, and advanced measurement and analysis software, make previously difficult low-level current waveform measurements and analyses more efficient and easier to make.

Using the CX3300, researchers can now measure transient current even if the pulse width is very narrow (less than 100 ns). This capability is particularly beneficial for device engineers developing semiconductor or advanced memory devices, since it allows them to visualise previously unmeasurable waveforms. Current consumption waveforms can also be clearly captured at any point in time, whether the device is in its sleep/standby or active state. By being able to clearly see how a device consumes power, engineers are better able to quantitatively evaluate and reduce a device’s power /current consumption.

In addition to measuring dynamic current, the analyser can also be used as a debugging tool, enabling deep-dive and accurate evaluation during R&D. Engineers are able to write more aggressive power consumption specifications, and in turn, realise more confident power reduction.

The analyser consists of a mainframe with a touch display and current sensors specifically dedicated to precision current waveform measurements. The mainframe features a 14-bit or 16-bit wide dynamic range, 200 MHz maximum bandwidth, and a fast sampling rate of 1 GSps. The low-noise and wideband current sensors support dynamic current measurements from 10 A down to 100 pA level.

For more information contact Lizzy Mabaso, Concilium Technologies, +27 (0)12 678 9200, info@concilium.co.za, www.concilium.co.za



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