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Kiethley touts Linux-based parametric test systems

Posted: 23 Jul 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RF test system  Linux OS  embedded control computer  Unix-based systems 


Keithley Instruments Inc. has added a group of enhancements for its S600 Series Parametric Test Systems. The main enhancement is a migration to the Linux OS on the embedded control computer within each test system. This provides a more stable OS and longer service life for the computer, reducing the need for customers to qualify new workstations and upgrade SW/HW resources, said Keithley Instruments. In addition, firmware upgrades will provide throughput improvements compared to the earlier Unix-based systems. A new software licensing method incorporates a hardware key for each tester in the form of a USB Stick, which can be transferred from workstation to workstation for fast repair times.

Keithley's parametric test systems with Linux controllers join the growing list of semiconductor equipment types that now use the Linux OS. With its RF and parallel test options and appropriately designed test structures and probe cards, the Model S680 is the only RF test system on the market that can make simultaneous DC and RF measurements in parallel within the same probe touchdown, said the company. This yields substantially higher throughput than similar methods that perform sequential DC measurements followed by RF measurements.

The Model S680 system using the new Linux controller will be compatible on a mixed system test floor. For customers who prefer a 100 percent Linux test floor, field upgrades are available. In any case, a newly installed Linux controller will operate seamlessly with existing parametric test systems operating under Solaris.

Those purchasing Keithley's new S600 Series systems will get the latest software version, KTE V5.2.2, which is also available as a field upgrade. The new systems will have Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS Version 4, Update 4 and a new x86-based computer. Aside from the RF and parallel test options, these systems can also be purchased with the adaptive test option and 300mm wafer automation option. Because the GUI is similar to that in earlier systems, minimal, if any, additional operator training is needed.

Upgrades and new systems will be available for delivery starting September.

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