Analyzer visualizes previously undetectable wideband, low-level current waveforms

March 31, 2016 // By PAUL BUCKLEY
The Keysight CX3300 Series Device Current Waveform Analyzer
Keysight Technologies, Inc. has introduced what the company claims is the world’s first analyzer enabling a minimum of 100-pA level dynamic current measurements with a maximum of 200 MHz bandwidth, 1 GSa/s sampling rate and 14- or 16-bit wide dynamic range.

The Keysight CX3300 Series Device Current Waveform Analyzer claims to be a new category of instrument that is ideally suited for researchers struggling with high-speed transient current measurements during advanced device characterization and engineers working to reduce power/current consumption in low-power devices.

Characterizing 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 μA). 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 CX3300 analyzer 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, a single instrument can meet a wide range of measurement requirements without using multiple instruments. A graphical user interface on a WXGA 14.1-inch multi-touch display, and advanced measurement and analysis software, make previously difficult low-level current waveform measurements and analyses dramatically efficient and easier to make.

Using the CX3300 analyzer, researchers can now measure transient current even if the pulse width is very narrow (less than 100 ns). This capability is beneficial for device engineers developing semiconductor or advanced memory devices because it allows them to visualize 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 using the CX3300 analyzer to measure dynamic current, the analyzer can also be used as a debugging tool, enabling deep-dive and accurate evaluation during R&D. Doing so, drastically increases R&D efficiency and accelerates the development process by shortening turn-around-time. Using the analyzer, engineers are able to write more