Keithley Parametric Curve Tracer Honored as a 2012 "Product of the Year"

Cleveland, Ohio-  Keithley Instruments, Inc., a world leader in advanced electrical test instruments and systems, announced today that the editors of Electronic Products magazine have honored the company’s new Parametric Curve Tracer (PCT) Configurations as a “Product of the Year” award winner for 2012 in the test and measurement category. The award winners, announced in the magazine’s January 2013 issue, were selected from thousands of products based on a significant advance in technology or its application, innovation in design, or gain in price/performance. To learn more about Keithley PCT Configurations, visit

Prior to its selection as a “Product of the Year,” the PCT Configurations were profiled in October 2012 in Electronic Products. Editor Richard Comerford outlined the differences between traditional (and now obsolete) curve tracers and the new capabilities the PCT Configurations provide in an article titled “The instrument that wouldn't die!” He described the PCT Configurations as a combination of “the range and simplicity of a curve tracer with the flexibility and precision of a parameter analyzer.” He went on to note, “I had a lot of fun playing with the new tracer/analyzer, even though it was in a lab in Ohio and I was sitting at my desk in New York-which is something I never was able to do with a curve tracer before. It was like having an old friend who’d come back from the grave, only better than when he’d left.”

Seven different PCT instrumentation, software, and test fixture configurations are optimized for characterizing high power devices at up to 3,000V and 100A. They provide the industry's most cost-effective solution for characterizing the growing number of high power semiconductor devices, including those based on silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) technology. These systems offer the power required for the vast majority of high power device design and development applications, and are optimized to address the characterization and test needs of research, reliability, failure analysis, and power device applications engineers; power device designers; incoming inspection technicians; and many others.

These systems offer the flexibility to add new measurement channels economically as users' needs evolve, with no need to return the system to the factory to install new hardware. Six different Keithley System SourceMeter® Source Measure Unit  (SMU) Instrument models, including the new Series 2600B and Series 2650A High Power SourceMeter SMU instruments, can be mixed and matched to create the optimum combination of voltage, current, and power for the user's specific needs. Keithley's TSP-Link® virtual backplane technology makes it easy to incorporate any number of source-measure channels, all of which are fully and automatically synchronized with other SourceMeter instruments in the system.

All systems include the latest version of Keithley's ACS (Automated Characterization Suite) Basic Edition software, which supports Keithley's newest SMU instruments and takes maximum advantage of the Series 2600B's TSP-Link connection trigger model, which allows for 500ns trigger synchronization between instruments. This tighter synchronization capability maximizes the high speed pulse mode capabilities of Keithley’s Model 2651A and Model 2657A High Power System SourceMeter instruments.

The Windows-compatible ACS Basic Edition package provides control and analysis tools well-suited for high power device characterization, including complete parametric test libraries for MOSFETs, BJTs, triacs, diodes, IGBTs, and other device types. The software's "trace" mode, which uses an on-screen slider control that works much like the power control knob on a traditional analog curve tracer, allows users to control the level of voltage and current levels sourced interactively and to see how the power device responds in real time. The software's "parametric" mode provides a "fill-in-the-blanks" GUI to configure a test precisely and a comprehensive set of tools for precise parameter extraction. All systems also include all cabling and adapters required, as well as a number of sample power devices useful for training and demonstration purposes.

For More Information

Additional information on the Parametric Curve Tracer Configurations is available on Keithley’s website at, including an informative datasheet: To learn more about Keithley, contact the company at:

Telephone: 888-534-8453 


FAX: 440-248-6168




Keithley Instruments, Inc.

28775 Aurora Road

Cleveland, OH 44139-1891

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. 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. In 2010, Keithley Instruments joined Tektronix as part of its test and measurement portfolio.

Keithley Instruments

28775 Aurora Road

Solon, Ohio 44139


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