Advanced source measure unit instrument sports an interactive touchscreen display



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Keithley Instruments, a leader in advanced electrical test instruments and systems, announced the first benchtop Source Measure Unit (SMU) instrument with a capacitive touchscreen graphical user interface. The Model 2450 SourceMeter SMU Instrument combines the intuitive touchscreen and icon-based control that novice SMU users can appreciate with the exceptional versatility that experienced users need to learn faster, work smarter, and invent easier. The Model 2450's design offers a fundamentally new way for users to interact with test and measurement instruments. It is based on the company's innovative "Touch, Test, Invent" design philosophy that 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.) 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 numerous 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 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. Benchtop Application Advantages Many of the Model 2450's features help speed and simplify lab/benchtop work, like the full-color, 5-inch touchscreen user interface with large on-screen characters enhance legibility. A simple, icon-based menu structure allows reaching any measurement set-up panel with just a touch. An extended measurement range with new low current (100nA, 10nA) and voltage (20mV) ranges eliminate the need to add separate low-level instruments to a benchtop system. Back-panel triax cable connections eliminate the need for expensive cable adaptors, which can degrade low-level measurement performance. A built-in context-sensitive help function provides information right where it's needed through the touchscreen, minimizing the need to review a manual. Error and event logging is easier, as the touchscreen displays error messages and an event log to simplify diagnosing instrument errors, for higher productivity. In addition, KickStart start-up "no-programming" instrument control software simplifies taking and graphing data in minutes. For more complex analyses, data can be easily stored to disk, and then exported to Microsoft Excel or another software environment. Keithley Instruments