System Switch Platform Offers High Throughput Signal Switching, LXI Class B, and Optional High-Performance Integrated DMM

13th September 2007
Posted By : ES Admin
System Switch Platform Offers High Throughput Signal Switching, LXI Class B, and Optional High-Performance Integrated DMM
Keithley Instruments has announced the release of the Series 3700 System Switch/Multimeter and Plug-in Card Family, Keithley’s next-generation platform of switching and integrated digital multimeter (DMM) test solutions. It offers high quality, instrument grade switching for a wide variety of applications, including the performance demands of high channel count applications, with its ability to control up to 576 multiplexer channels in an industry-leading six-slot, 2U form factor. A high-performance integrated DMM option provides fast, low-noise measurements with resolutions up to 7½-digits at a price lower than typical 6½-digit DMMs.
The Series 3700 System Switch/Multimeter solutions offer scalable, high-performance switching and multi-channel measurements that are optimized for automated testing of electronic products and components. Together with a growing family of plug-in switch and control cards, the Series 3700 is ideal for either a functional test system or in stand-alone data acquisition and measurement applications for production and functional testing of electronic products and devices, especially multi-channel I-V testing and accelerated stress tests.

The Series 3700 is available with four different mainframe options for added flexibility. For instance, users can choose a mainframe without the integrated DMM as well as one without a front-panel display and keypad. The optional integrated DMM eliminates the need to manually coordinate an external DMM with a switch topology, freeing up valuable development time. Also, a USB 2.0 port on the front panel provides “transportable memory” that allows users to save measurements to non-volatile memory.

The base Model 3706 features an integrated 7½-digit, high-performance DMM. In addition to supporting 13 built-in measurement functions, measurement ranges are expanded to include a 1-Ohm low-resistance range and a 10-μAmp low-current range. The Model 3706 mainframe contains a multi-processor architecture to maximize measurement speed and system throughput. It features a single-channel reading rate that ranges from greater than 10,000 DCV/two-wire Ohms readings per second at 3½-digit resolution to 60 readings per second at 7½-digit, 26-bit resolution if needed.

The Series 3700 also incorporates Keithley’s Test Script Processor (TSP™) technology.
TSP redefines the traditional boundaries of test instrumentation by bringing PC-like functionality into the instrument. For example, users can create test scripts that are embedded in and executed within the instrument. These test scripts can contain complete test routines, including complex decision making and instrument control, enabling the instrument to perform autonomously. In addition, Keithley provides a free software tool, Test Script Builder, for conveniently writing, managing, and debugging test scripts. This distributed processing technology reduces PC intervention, eliminating bus latency issues and improving test throughput and flexibility. For applications where throughput and timing synchronization is not required, TSP also gives users added flexibility by executing single line commands just like traditional instruments.

One important supporting technology for TSP is TSP-Link™, a communication bus that allows multiple TSP instruments to be configured in a master/slave network. TSP-Link offers the capability to expand a test system, allowing TSP-enabled instruments such as the Series 3700 and Series 2600 SourceMeter Instruments to be scaled according to present or future testing needs. Such TSP-enabled instruments give test engineers the fundamental building blocks for designing tightly integrated, high throughput ATE systems.

The Series 3700 System Switch/Multimeter is the first LXI Class B compliant system switch on the market. It includes a 10/100M Base-T Ethernet connection, LAN–based instrument triggering, and precision time protocol (PTP) synchronization. PTP synchronization, a unique feature not available on LXI Class C compliant instruments, allows multiple Class B-enabled instruments to be time synchronized for consistent time stamping and event coordination. An interactive graphical Web server gives users a quick and easy method to operate, troubleshoot, and learn how to use the instrument. The Series 3700 also offers additional programming interfaces, including USB and GPIB interfaces.

The Series 3700 also includes six new optional high-density and general-purpose plug-in cards that accommodate a broad range of signals and topologies including multiplexer, matrix, and isolated switch functions. The Model 3720 and Model 3721 are dual 1X30 and dual 1X20 multiplexer cards respectively for general purpose switching. The Model 3722 is a dual 1X48 high density multiplexer card ideal for general purpose switching applications that require a high channel count. The Model 3723 is a dual 1X30 high speed multiplexer card using high-speed, long-life reed relays with actuation times of less than 0.5msec. Keithley’s Model 3730 6X16 high density matrix card provides 96 two-pole cross points. Lastly, the Model 3740 is a 32 channel isolated switch card ideal for routing power signals or other high current signals. When fully loaded, the Series 3700 mainframe supports up to 576 two-wire multiplexer channels for industry-leading channel density, which saves precious rack space and lowers cost of test. Keithley will be adding more plug-in cards to the Series 3700 Family in 2008.

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