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Labview Program for remote interfacing of

keithley 2612A Source Meter


The programs are created for testing, verification
and analysis of semiconductor components in
such a manner that suits the need of user instead
of being limited to functions developed by
vendor. The programs can be changed, as
required by user, easily. In other case we have to
replace hardware to fulfill our new need. User is
able to analyze acquired data in more detailed
and friendly manner. Required characteristics can
also be analyzed with the help of graphs.
Readings can also be stored in files in PC.
Table of contents
1) Keithley 2612A source meter
2) Requirement of interfacing
3) Virtual instrumentation?
4) Remote interface
5) Test script processor
6) Command reference
7) Labview?
8) How to give commands in
9) Programs
10) Bias source

11) Bias source
12) Linear staircase sweep
13) Logarithmic staircase sweep
14) Pulsed linear staircase sweep
15) Pulsed logarithmic staircase
16) Results
Keithley 2612a Source Meter
Series 2600A System Source Meter instruments are Keithley's
latest I-V source measurement unit (SMU) instruments for use as
either bench-top I-V characterization tools or as building block
components of multi-channel I-V test systems.
For system level applications, the Series 2600A's Test Script
Processor (TSP) architecture, along with other new capabilities
such as parallel test execution and precision timing, provides the
highest throughput in the industry, lowering the cost of test.
For bench-top use, Series 2600A instruments feature an
embedded TSP Express Software Tool that allows users to
quickly and easily perform common I-V tests without
programming or installing software.
Requirement of interfacing for keithley
source meter

If a need arises to extend the set of functions
of source meter, it can be done cost effectively
and easily by software running on the PC
Results can be displayed in desired format on
front panel of labview( for example in table,
graph, etc.). I-V characteristics can be analyzed
by plotting current and voltage on X-Y Graph

Importance and significance of virtual instruments

With virtual instruments, engineers and scientists build
measurement and automation systems that suit their needs
exactly (user-defined) instead of being limited by traditional fixed-
function instruments (vendor-defined).

You can adapt a virtual instrument to your particular needs
without having to replace the entire device because of the
application software installed on the PC and the wide range of
available plug-in hardware.

A traditional instrument might contain an integrated circuit to
perform a particular set of data processing functions; in a virtual
instrument, these functions would be performed by software
running on the PC processor. You can extend the set of functions
easily, limited only by the power of the software used.

By employing virtual instrumentation solutions, you can lower
capital costs, system development costs, and system maintenance
costs, while improving time to market and the quality of your own
Remote interface
Connecting to the interface
Use a shielded IEEE-488 cable to connect the 2612A IEEE-488
connector to the GPIB connector on the host PC.
Remote operation
Keithley Instruments Test Script Processor (TSP) enabled
instruments operate like conventional instruments by responding
to a sequence of commands sent by the controller.
You can send individual commands to the TSP-enabled
instrument the same way you would using any other instrument.
Unlike conventional instruments, TSP-enabled instruments can
execute automated test sequences independently, without a
In the instrument, the Test Script Processor (TSP) scripting
engine processes and runs scripts.
You can load a series of remote commands into the instrument
and store these commands as a script that can be run later by
sending a single command message to the instrument.

You do not have to choose between using conventional
control or script control. You can combine these forms of
instrument control in the way that works best for your
particular test application.
Test Script Processor (TSP)
The Test Script Processor (TSP) is a scripting engine that runs
inside the instrument.
It is capable of running code written in a scripting language
called Lua. Lua is referred as the Test Scripting Language for
this instrument.
The TSP runs portions of TSL code formally known as
chunks. Most messages sent to the instrument are directly
executed by the TSP as TSL chunks.
What is a script?
A script is a collection of instrument control commands and
programming statements. Scripts that you create are referred to
as user scripts.
Your scripts can be interactive. Interactive scripts display
messages on the front panel of the instrument to prompt the
operator to enter parameters.
Command reference
There is a huge collection of remote commands to control the
instruments. It is classified in groups according to their functions
or in alphabetical order.
Example of commands:-
-- to source a voltage of 10 volts across DUT on channel A
smua.source.levelv = 10

-- to measure current across DUT on channel B

-- to automatically detect the power line frequency
LabVIEW is a graphical programming language that uses icons
instead of lines of text to create applications. In contrast to text-
based programming languages, where instructions determine
program execution, LabVIEW uses dataflow programming, where
the flow of data determines execution.
In LabVIEW, you build a user interface with a set of tools and
objects. The user interface is known as the front panel. You then
add code using graphical representations of functions to control
the front panel objects. The block diagram contains this code. In
some ways, the block diagram resembles a flowchart.
In LabVIEW, you build a user interface with a set of tools
and objects. The user interface is known as the front
You then add code using graphical representations of functions to
control the front panel objects. The block diagram contains this
code. In some ways, the block diagram resembles a flowchart.
Why Labview?
Labview is an integral part of virtual instrumentation because
it provides an easy-to-use application development
environment designed specifically with the needs of
engineers and scientists in mind. LabVIEW offers powerful
features that make is easy to connect to a wide variety of
hardware and other software.
We can customize front panels with knobs, buttons, dials and
graphs to emulate control panels of traditional instruments,
create custom test panels, or visually represent the control
and operation of processes.

How to give commands to instrument
through Labview
To write a command into the instrument a GPIB WRITE Icon
is used.
Address of instrument
Commands given to instrument
Error out of function
To read data from instrument GPIB READ icon is used.
Address of instrument
Data taken from
No. of bytes of data to be read
There are five type of source required to analyze the characteristic
of DUT. There is a program for each type of sourcing.

Types of source input are:-

1. Bias voltage/current
2. Linear staircase sweep voltage/current
3. Logarithmic staircase sweep voltage/current
4. Pulse linear staircase sweep voltage/current
5. Pulse logarithmic staircase sweep voltage/current
Quantities to measure
1. Voltage across DUT
2. Current through DUT
3. Resistance of DUT
4. Power dissipated across DUT
I-V characteristics of DUT

Readings are also saved into memory of PC in folder specified
by the user.
1.Bias source
A constant voltage of desired amount is
sourced to the DUT by inserting the value
through front panel.
Number of readings taken is also decided by
the user. Default is 1.
Type of source and measure are selected from
options in combo boxes.

Case # 1
Front panel
Here the readings are taken across resistor of
A source voltage of 5 volts is given and the
measurement is done 5 times.
All measurements are shown in table and they
are also stored in PC in the folder specified by

Block diagram
Linear staircase sweep source
this sweep type steps from a start voltage or current value to an
ending (stop) value.
A measurement is made at each point after source and
measurement settling time.
Case # 2
A linear staircase sweep is configured using a start level, a stop
level, and the total number of points, including the start and
stop points.
The step size is determined by the start and stop levels, and
the number of sweep points:

step = (stop - start) / (points - 1)
The sweep can be either positive-going or negative-going,
depending on the relative values of the start and stop
When the sweep starts, the output will go to the start source
level. The output will then change in equal steps until the stop
level is reached.
Front panel
Here readings are taken around a 674 ohm resistor.

Voltage is sourced from 1.3v to 6.7v with a step size of 0.4v.

Current values through the DUT are measured at every step.

Readings are also stored in specified folder in PC with the help
of icon write to spreadsheet file.

Graph of source values, measure values and I-V characteristics
can also be observed.
Block diagram
Logarithmic staircase sweep
This type of sweep is similar to the linear staircase sweep.
The steps, however, are done on a logarithmic scale.
Like a linear staircase sweep, logarithmic sweeps are
configured using a start level, stop level, and the number of
The step size is determined by the start and stop levels, and
the number of sweep points.
However, in a logarithmic sweep step size increases or
decreases exponentially.
An asymptote is used to change the inflection of a sweep
curve and allow it to sweep through zero.
Case # 3
The formula for a logarithmic sweep is:
vi = A + kb^i

vi = The source value at source point i
i = The index of points in the sweep (ranges from 0 to N-1)
N = The number of points in the sweep
k = The initial source value as an offset from the asymptote
b = The step size ratio
A = The asymptote value
The following figure is an example of a five-point logarithmic
sweep from 1v to 10v.
The five log steps for this sweep are listed in the Logarithmic
sweep points table below.
When this sweep starts, the output will go to the start level (1
V) and sweep through the symmetrical log points.
Front panel

Block diagram
Pulsed linear staircase sweep
Pulsed linear staircase sweeps function the same way that DC
linear staircase sweeps function, except pulsed linear staircase
sweeps return to the idle level between pulses.
Case # 4
Front panel
Block diagram
Pulsed logarithmic staircase sweep
Pulsed logarithmic staircase sweeps function the same way
that DC logarithmic staircase sweeps function, except pulsed
logarithmic staircase sweeps return to the idle level between
Front panel
Block diagram
The five cases for testing and analysis of
semiconductor devices by sourcemeter(by sourcing
and measuring) can be done easily by just entering
the details. Results are expressed in all required
formats and can also be saved in specified folder in
PC. This is much more efficient, flexible and user
friendly than performing the experiment without