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Programmable dc power supply system

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article image Agilent’s N6700 modular power system

AGILENT Technologies has introduced the industry's first 1U high, multiple-output programmable dc power supply system, enabling test system integrators to optimise performance, power and price to match test needs.

The N6700 low-profile modular power system (MPS) offers high processing speeds, autoranging output and new measurement capabilities for automatic test equipment. Applications include aerospace and defense, consumer electronics, computers and peripherals, communications, semiconductor and automotive industries.

The Agilent MPS gives test system designers the flexibility to mix and match from 13 different dc power modules to create a 1 to 4-channel dc power system optimised to meet specific test requirements. Test system engineers can invest in high-performance outputs where speed and accuracy are needed or cheaply purchase basic performance outputs for simple dc power requirements.

Although the MPS uses an advanced switching power-supply that fits within the 1U space, it still performs like a linear power supply. It also has no top or bottom air vents, meaning that other instruments can be mounted directly above or below it. The power modules offer built-in digital multimeters, the choice of 50W and 100W output power levels, various voltage and current combinations, and three performance levels to enable engineers to configure a power supply for specific applications.

These include applications in which the power supply plays a critical role. The Agilent N6750 family of high-performance, autoranging dc power modules provides low noise, high accuracy and programming speeds that are up to 10 to 50 times faster than other programmable power supplies. In addition, Agilent has for the first time included high-speed test extensions in general-purpose power supplies.

The high-speed test extensions offer an oscilloscope-like digitiser that simplifies system configuration and increases measurement accuracy when viewing high-speed transient or pulse events within the device-under-test (DUT). In addition, autoranging output capabilities enable one power supply to do the job of several traditional power supplies.

The modules are suitable for ATE applications such as semiconductor testing. The N6760 family of dc power modules provides precise control and measurement in the mA and μA region with the ability to simultaneously digitise voltage and current, and capture those measurements in an oscilloscope-like data buffer.

The MPS power modules are also suited to basic dc applications. The N6730 and N6740 families of dc power modules provide programmable voltage and current, measurement and protection features at an economical price. This makes these modules suitable to power the DUT or to provide power for ATE system resources, such as fixture control.

"This new platform provides advanced power supply capabilities with less than 1ms command-processing time for high-speed throughputs that have been benchmarked to show a 300% increase in test system throughput. Its compact modular design enables engineers to easily customise a single power supply for use in the simplest or most complex test systems" Scott Sampl, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Basic, Emerging, and Systems Technologies Division, said.

The N6700 is the first power supply to provide universal serial bus (USB 2.0), 10/100 Base-T Ethernet (LAN) and general-purpose interface bus (GPIB) interfaces as standard features. This allows quick and simple connectivity to a PC, other instruments in a test system or to a network for access across an engineering workgroup. The N6700 can also be remotely operated from any browser by connecting to its built-in Web page for control and monitoring of power supply operations.

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