Agilent Technologies has released hardware and software capabilities for its B1500A Semiconductor Device Analyser and EasyEXPERT software test shell, which reduce the time required for the testing and characterisation of advanced non-volatile memory (NVM) cells and other next-generation semiconductor devices.
The B1500A with EasyEXPERT will support two new, fully integrated high-voltage semiconductor pulse generator unit (HV-SPGU) modules to meet the requirements of advanced NVM cell evaluation, making it an instrument-based single-box NVM cell testing solution specifically for laboratory and research use.
Agilent Technologies now offers a complete range of pulse solutions for NVM cell evaluation, from laboratory use (using the B1500A) to production use (using the Agilent 4080).
Pulse modules with shared technology for both platforms ensure data reproducibility and a quick transition from development to production. These solutions have been created in collaboration with customers who are developing advanced NVM devices.
In addition, the Agilent B1500A's EasyEXPERT software has been enhanced significantly and now supports quasi-static capacitance versus voltage (QSCV) measurement for characterisation of low-leakage dielectric materials.
The desktop version of EasyEXPERT also has been expanded to support the Agilent 4155B/C and 4156B/C Semiconductor Parameter Analysers, providing users a unified instrument environment for parametric test.
Parametric characterisation of NVM cell write/erase performance is necessary to ensure reliable operation over product lifetimes.
For example, the flash-memory processes feature advanced technologies, such as charge trap flash (CTF) and multi-level cell (MLC) designs, as well as ever-smaller feature sizes. These advancements necessitate precise evaluation of the NVM cell characteristics.
The Agilent B1500A meets the industry's need for an instrument-based solution that supports modern NVM technology requirements, including MRAM, PRAM, RRAM, NAND and NOR Flash, such as support for voltages higher than 20 V and precise control over the pulse level, and leading and trailing edges.
The B1500A with EasyEXPERT and the HV-SPGU is designed to allow users to complete endurance testing of NVM cells faster.
According to Agilent's Hachioji Semiconductor Test Division, Agilent's test and measurement solutions continually evolve to allow the customers to meet their next-generation evaluation challenges.
The expanded capabilities of the Agilent B1500A and EasyEXPERT provide the functionality and performance required to evaluate a variety of the new devices. Now Agilent Technologies’ customers can control other Agilent semiconductor parameter analysers from the familiar EasyEXPERT environment.
New Hardware Modules for testing Non-Volatile Memory and MOSFETs
The enhanced Agilent B1500A supports a HV-SPGU module and an advanced HV-SPGU to meet the requirements of advanced NVM cell evaluation.
Each HV-SPGU has two channels per module, and up to five modules can be installed in the B1500A. Each module supports +/- 40 V output (80 V peak-to-peaks) pulse capability, with rise and fall times of 20 ns and 2 mV pulse voltage resolution.
In addition, the advanced HV-SPGU supports features such as complex waveform generation with easy programming, as well as three-level pulse and open-state pulse capability on each channel. The HV-SPGU's industry-leading pulse level accuracy ensures reliable MLC memory evaluation.
Complete Single-Box Parametric Test Solution
The new version of EasyEXPERT software, EasyEXPERT 3.0 includes several new features to increase the B1500A's parametric measurement capabilities, making it easy to conduct a full range of measurement types, from DC IV to QSCV to 5 MHz CV measurement, all with a single instrument.
EasyEXPERT 3.0 supports QSCV measurement using the SMU resources on the B1500A. When used in conjunction with the B1500A multi-frequency capacitance measurement unit, which supports capacitance versus voltage (CV) measurement from 1 kHz to 5 MHz, the B1500A becomes the only instrument to offer CV measurement range coverage from QSCV to 5 MHz.
EasyEXPERT 3.0 software includes a Direct Control mode, which allows users to create application tests that can send Agilent FLEX commands directly to the B1500A from the EasyEXPERT user interface. This gives users access to all of the measurement capabilities of the B1500A, even those not directly available through the EasyEXPERT Classic Test mode.
EasyEXPERT 3.0 has also been enhanced to support fast parallel on-the-fly NBTI (negative bias temperature instability) testing. NBTI testing is a critical reliability test for modern semiconductor processes.
Agilent Technologies offers NBTI testing capability in a single-box solution.
Agilent Technologies will offer a new version of its powerful desktop EasyEXPERT parametric instrument test software, which allows users to control the B1500A from an external PC, for free download.
The Desktop EasyEXPERT 3.0 will also provide basic control of the Agilent 4155B, 4156B, 4155C, and 4156C Semiconductor Parameter Analysers. This will allow current users of these instruments to gain the productivity benefits inherent in the EasyEXPERT test shell software and to create a unified instrument-based parametric test environment with the B1500A.