Agilent B2900A Series Precision Source/Measure Unit

Agilent B2900A Series
Precision Source/Measure Unit
210 V, 3 A DC/10.5 A Pulse
10 fA/100 nV Resolution
solutions offer
superior performance
and a best-in-class
graphical user interface
Innovative SMU provides superior performance
and rapid measurement results
Single view
Dual view
The Agilent B2900A Series of Precision Source/
Measure Units are compact and cost-effective
bench-top Source/Measure Units (SMUs) with
the capability to source and measure both
voltage and current. These capabilities make
the B2900A Series ideal for a wide variety of IV
(current versus voltage) measurement tasks that
require both high resolution and accuracy.
The Agilent B2900A Series of SMUs provide
best-in-class performance for a modest price.
They have broad voltage (±210 V) and current (± 3 A DC and ±10.5 A pulsed) sourcing
capability, excellent precision (minimum 10 fA/
100 nV sourcing and measuring resolution) and
possess a superior color LCD graphical
user interface (GUI). In addition, several
task-based viewing modes dramatically
improve productivity for test, debug
and characterization.
The Agilent B2900A Series offers unmatched
measurement throughput and supports conventional SMU SCPI commands for easy test code
migration. These features improve efficiency and
lower the cost of ownership when integrating
the SMUs into systems for production test.
The Agilent B2900A Series consists of four
models, the B2901A, B2902A, B2911A and
Roll view
B2912A, differentiated through their available
features (number of digits displayed, measurement resolution, minimum timing interval,
supported viewing modes, etc.) and by the
number of SMU channels (one or two) they
contain. This makes it easy to select the exact
price/performance point you require to meet
your testing needs.
Integrated 4-quadrant sourcing and
measuring capabilities
Easily and accurately measure current and voltage using a single instrument without the need to manually
change any connections
Measurement range: ±210 V, ±3 A (DC),
±10.5 A (pulsed)
A single SMU product covers both high voltage and high current measurement needs, allowing for more
standardization and simplifying inventory and support concerns.
Source and measurement resolution down
to 10 fA and 100 nV
Can make low-level measurements using a low-cost bench-top SMU that were previously only possible
using a more expensive semiconductor device analyzer.
User-friendly front panel GUI with 4.3 inch
color LCD display supports both graphical
and numerical view modes
Can quickly and easily perform measurements and display data on the front panel, thereby greatly
speeding up interactive test, characterization and debug operations.
10 microsecond digitizing capability
Can capture low frequency phenomena in addition to DC characteristics.
Free PC-based control software
Can make measurements remotely from a PC without the need to program.
Supports both conventional and default
SCPI commands
Conventional SCPI commands provide some compatibility with older SMU code (such as Keithley 2400 series) to minimize code conversion work. Default SCPI commands support advanced B2900A Series features.
Small form factor with USB2.0, LAN, GPIB
and digital I/O interfaces
Easy integration into rack and stack systems.
The best SMU solution for a broad range
of IV measurements
Graph view
Agilent B2900A Series
Precision Source/
Measure Unit
Testing semiconductors, discrete
and passive components
SMUs are popular and widespread instruments for performing IV measurements in many
different fields and applications due to their
integrated voltage and current sourcing and
measurement capabilities. The Agilent B2900A
Series provides superior performance and
usability at a very reasonable price. In addition,
the Agilent B2900A Series supports many functions to speed up production test and increase
throughput. The versatile measurement
capabilities of the B2900A Series SMUs make
them an ideal choice for a variety of IV measurements such as semiconductor test, active/
passive component test and general electronic
device and material characterization.
The B2900A Series has a broad application
range that spans uses from R&D and education to industrial development, production test
and automated manufacturing. Moreover,
they work equally well as either standalone or
system components.
Diodes, laser diodes, LEDs
Photodetectors, sensors
Field effect transistors (FETs), bipolar junction
transistors (BJTs)
ICs (analog ICs, RFICs, MMICs, etc)
Resistor, varistor, thermistors, switches
Testing precision electronics
and green energy devices
Photovoltaic cells
Power transistors, power devices
Medical instruments
Power and DC bias source for circuit test
Research and education
New material investigations
Nano devices characterization (e.g. CNT)
Giant magnetic resistance (GMR)
Organic devices
Any precise voltage/current source and
Application literature is available on the Agilent
web site. For more information please visit
Integrated source and measurement capabilities
simplify difficult IV measurement tasks
Agilent B2900A Series reduces
measurement complexity
Performing IV measurements with conventional
instruments such as voltage/current sources,
arbitrary waveform generators (AWGs),
switches, and voltage/current meters is complicated and confusing. It requires deep technical
knowledge of both the measurement technique
and the instrumentation to perform an accurate
The Agilent B2900A SMU integrates many
different source and measurement capabilities
into one compact form factor. It can operate as
a seamless 4-quadrant precision voltage/current
source, an electrical load, an accurate voltage/
current meter, a pulse generator and an AWG.
Its versatile all-in-one integrated source and
measurement capabilities allow it to perform a
wide variety of measurements from DC to low
frequency AC without the need to change
connections or use additional equipment.
Moreover, the availability of 2-channel models
supports the testing of devices with up to three
terminals (as long as one terminal can be tied
to the circuit common).
If you wish to learn more about the advantages
of using SMUs to make IV measurements,
then please refer to the section at the back of
this brochure entitled “Overview: Why use an
Multiple instruments connected
together with no easy means to
coordinate them.
Rack & stack solution:
Device Under Test
Same measurement using an SMU
SMU solution:
Device Under Test
Integrated 4-quadrant voltage and
current sourcing and measurement
(including AWG function).
Wide voltage and current coverage
for testing a variety of devices
Test up to 210 V and 3 A (DC) or 10.5
A (pulsed) with a single instrument
The B2900A SMUs can source and measure
voltages of ±210 V and currents of ±3 A (DC)
or ±10.5 A (pulsed). This versatility allows you
to standardize on a single SMU model and minimize support costs. These capabilities are present on both single and dual channel versions,
since on the 2-channel versions both channels
can be operated completely independently.
Integrated sweep and arbitrary
waveform measurement
This integrated sweep measurement capability
improves efficiency and reduces measurement
setup time.
The Agilent B2900A Series has capabilities that
allow it to perform more than just simple DC and
pulsed measurements. The B2900A SMUs have
a built-in sweep capability that supports all of
the standard sweep parameters such as linear
and logarithmic modes, single and double sweep
functions and constant and pulsed sweep operation. The B2900A GUI fully supports the sweep
measurement function, thereby allowing sweep
measurements to be made and displayed quickly
from the instrument front panel. Of course, the
user can also make the same sweep measurements just as efficiently on the B2900A SMUs
under remote control using SCPI commands.
In addition to its resident sweep functionality, the
Agilent B2900A Series also supports arbitrary
waveform generation (AWG) and list sweep
capabilities. The AWG and list sweep functions
allow you to create waveforms with up to
2500 steps for maximum flexibility, and enable
you to specify a waveform of arbitrary shape
using familiar spreadsheet compatible data-entry
formats. The AWG and list sweep features are
especially useful when characterizing devices
where the response varies greatly depending
upon the applied voltage or current, since they
give you the flexibility to “zoom in” on areas
of interest.
Load: 0.6 Ω
Built-in functions provide flexible
waveform generation
10 A
200 μs
Constant DC
You can create current pulses of up to 10.5 amps, which helps
to minimize device self-heating effects.
Linear sweep
Load: open
linear sweep
210 V
Custom wave forms ( list sweep)
0.5 ms
You can ramp up to a voltage of 200 V in 0.5 millisecond,
which is useful for evaluating high-power components.
Unmatched bench-top SMU measurement performance
Source and measurement
resolution down to 10 fA
and 100 nV
The Agilent B2900A Series consists of four
models primarily differentiated by number
of channels (one or two) and measurement
and sourcing resolution. The B2901A (single
channel) and B2902A (dual channel) versions
possess 100 fA and 100 nV measurement
resolution and 1 pA and 1 μV sourcing
resolution. The B2911A (single channel) and
B2912A (dual channel) precision versions
possess 10 fA and 100 nV of resolution for
both measurement and sourcing. All members
of the Agilent B2900A Series support popular
banana jack style inputs for cost-effective
and flexible connectivity; for low-current
measurements below 1 nA, banana jack
to triaxial adapters are available.
Capture transient
phenomena effortlessly
Agilent B2900A Series supports a high speed
sampling measurement function that permits the
capture and display of low frequency transient
phenomena. The Agilent B2901A and B2902A
support a 20 μs (50,000 points/s) sampling rate
and the Agilent B2911A and B2912A support
a 10 μs (100,000 points/s) sampling rate.
Of course, the maximum achievable sampling
rate depends on many factors including signal
level, ambient noise and desired resolution.
4-wire measurement capability
permits accurate low resistance
the connectors force current and the other
two connectors measure voltage. Since the
connectors measuring voltage do not have
any current flowing through them, they can
accurately sense the actual voltage at the DUT.
Measure large capacitive loads
without oscillation
Large capacitive loads can sometimes cause
SMUs to oscillate. To mitigate this, the
B2900A Series supports a high capacitance
measurement mode. The high capacitance
mode enables the measurement of large
capacitive loads without having to worry about
SMU oscillation.
When measuring small resistances the innate
cable resistance can create serious measurement error. To solve this, the Agilent B2900A
Series supports a 4-wire (also known as a
remote sense or Kelvin connection) measurement function. In the 4-wire scheme two of
You can make and display accurate low-current measurements
directly on the B2900A front panel.
Roll view mode allows you to capture low-frequency
transient phenomena.
Ultra fast throughput lowers cost-of-test
Best-in-class measurement
Program memory and trace buffer
features improve throughput
SCPI commands provide
compatibility and versatility
Although an excellent R&D tool, the
Agilent B2900A Series is also well-suited for
production test. It can achieve excellent
accuracy and repeatability at even short
integration times. The B2900A Series possesses
the fastest measurement speed of any SMU
in its class.
To reduce bus communication time, the B2900A
Series supports a program memory feature
that allows long strings of SCPI commands
to be stored on the instrument. These code
sequences can be executed by sending a single
command across the communication bus,
greatly improving throughput for frequently
executed command strings.
Standard Commands for Programmable
Instruments (SCPI) are a popular and easy-tounderstand instrument control protocol. The
Agilent B2900A Series supports two SCPI
command sets, conventional and default, to
provide both code compatibility and flexibility.
The conventional command set has a large
number of its commands compatible with those
of older SMUs (such as the Keithley 2400)
to minimize code conversion work. The
default command set supports advanced
Agilent B2900A Series features and they
should be used to fully utilize its performance
and capabilities.
In addition, the B2900A Series supports a trace
buffer that can store up to 100,000 data points.
This allows the results from multiple measurements to be downloaded at once, thereby
reducing data transfer time and also improving
overall throughput.
Maximum sweep operation reading rate per second
(Source/measure to GPIB at 50 Hz)
Agilent B2900A Series SMU
Conventional system SMU-A
Conventional system SMU-B
Conventional bench-top SMU-C
7500 10000 12500 15000
Readings per second
Innovative GUI and 4.3” color LCD display facilitate fast bench-top test,
The B2900A’s front panel has many features
that make interactive use fast and friendly. These
include a 4.3” color LCD display, a USB2.0
memory I/O port, an assist key, an alphanumeric
keypad and a rotary knob. The 4.3” color LCD
display supports both graphical and numerical
view modes, and enables test setup and check
test results quickly. The USB2.0 memory port
supports easy data storing and porting. The
Innovative graphical user interfaces, such as
single view, dual view, graph view, roll view
and zoom, improves usability and productivity
of bench-top tests, debug and characterizations
Assist key, numeric/alpha
keys and rotary knob
4.3” color LCD display
Memory I/O
Dual view:
Channel 1 terminal
On two channel units (B2902A and B2912A) dual view allows you to
simultaneously display the setup and measurement results for channels
1 and 2. You can view with 6½ digits accuracy any two of the following
measured quantities: voltage, current, resistance or power.
Single view:
Single view provides access to both the basic and
advanced measurement and display settings for the selected
channel. Just as in dual view you can view with 6½ digits
accuracy any two of the following measured quantities:
voltage, current, resistance or power. However, single view
also allows you to set items such as integration time,
pulse parameters and sweep conditions.
The zoom feature displays an enlarged version of the two
parameters under measurement for easier viewing at
a distance or when the instrument is rack-mounted.
The zoom feature can be used in both single view and
dual view modes.
debug and characterization
The B2900A’s rear panel provides access to its
remote control interfaces (GPIB, USB2.0 and
Ethernet) and to its D-sub 25 pin digital I/O
port (used for internal/external trigger signals,
handler control and interlock function).
These interfaces make it easy to configure
a system solution consisting of multiple
Channel 2 terminal
Digital I/O
(D-sub 25 pin)
Ethernet (LAN)
Graph view:
Roll view:
Graph View displays measurement results on XY graphs
(such as I-V and I-t/V-t curves) on up to 2 channels.
This is extremely useful for quick bench-top device
characterization (especially when performing sweep
measurements). The graphs can be saved as JPEG files
onto an attached USB memory device.
Roll view draws I-t or V-t curves similar to the curves drawn
by a strip chart recorder. Up to 1000 acquired data can be
displayed and updated while the measurement is in progress.
Roll view, which is available only on the B2911A and B2912A
models, is especially useful for monitoring low frequency
Flexible and convenient remote use options
Choose the method that
best fits your needs
The Agilent B2900A Series offers three
convenient methods to control the instrument
remotely: Agilent B2900A Quick I/V Measurement Software, LXI web-browser control and
ready-to-use instrument drivers.
Free PC-based software
eliminates the need to program
Agilent supplies PC-based Quick I/V Measurement Software with the B2900A Series at no
charge. This software makes it easy to quickly
setup and perform IV measurements and to
display the measurement data in tables and
graphs without the need to program. Using
Quick IV you can control up to four SMUs,
which is ideal for bench top characterization
of four-terminal devices such as MOSFETs.
Easy web browser control
The Agilent B2900A Series has a built-in web
server that allows it to be controlled using a web
browser. This allows you to enjoy the convenience of external PC control without the need
for any special software. Simply connect your
computer to the instrument via its LAN port, type
in the IP address of the B2900A unit and begin
making interactive measurements.
Ready-to-use instrument drivers
simplify programming
For users that want to create their own
customized software, IVI-C and IVI-COM drivers
for the Agilent B2900A Series are available.
In addition, National Instruments LabView
drivers are available at NI.COM.
Agilent B2900A Quick I/V
Measurement Software
PC software
Microsoft ® Visual Studio®
Visual C++®
Visual C# ®
Visual Basic ®
National Instruments
Agilent B2900A
Graphical Web Interface
Quick I/V Measurement Software enables
fast and easy measurement from a PC
Agilent B2900A Quick I/V Measurement
Software is furnished with the B2900A at no
charge, and it permits easy measurement setup
and execution on a Windows-based PC. The
software has a user-friendly GUI, and it can be
used with all of the B2900A’s interfaces: LAN,
USB and GPIB. The software has the ability
to control up to four SMUs total in any
configuration of single and dual channel units.
The list sweep editor allows you to create and preview voltage and
current waveforms created for use with the B2900A’s AWG function.
Of course, the list setup data can be freely transferred back and
forth from Excel.
The setup menu allows you to specify and preview the settings on
up to four SMU channels before you actually perform a measurement.
The built-in graph function supports both basic and advanced features
(such as the family of curves shown here).
Numerical measurement results can be viewed in a table format, and
this data can easily be copied into Excel for further analysis.
Graphical web interface provides convenient
web browser-based instrument control
The Agilent B2900A has a built-in LXI compliant
web server that allows it to be controlled over
the LAN using any Java-enabled web browser
(such as Internet Explorer). The graphical web
interface supports all of the basic measurement
functions such as spot measurements, sweep
measurements and pulsed source measurements. Since no special software is required this
feature is convenient for making quick measurements on the fly.
Agilent B2900A
is accessed easily
by IP address.
The web browser interface supports
the B2900A’s basic measurement
capabilities (such as spot, sweep
and pulsed measurement).
Measurement results are displayed in a tabular format that
can easily be copied into Excel for graphing and reporting.
The web browser control feature allows you to access
B2900A measurement resources from multiple locations.
For example, you can make simple measurements
at your desk without the need
to actually go into your lab.
location A
location B
Agilent B2900A Series in lab room
Available accessories facilitate special test needs
Easy banana jack connectivity
with various accessories
Test fixtures for testing
packaged devices
The Agilent B2900A uses convenient and
low-cost banana jack terminals, which support
a variety of cables, adaptors and accessories.
The Agilent N1295A Device/Component
Test Fixture provides a low-cost solution to
quickly and easily test packaged devices and
components. It has four triaxial inputs and
supports voltage and current measurements
of up to 42 V and 1 A.
Banana to triaxial adaptor for low
current measurement
Since banana jacks cannot support low current
measurement (i.e. measurements of 1 nA and
below), a banana jack to triaxial adapter is
available to permit the use of high-performance
triaxial cables. This makes it easy to connect
to both triaxial-based test fixtures and wafer
probers. Of course, both 2-wire and 4-wire
triaxial adapters are available.
an interlock feature for safely applying voltages
greater than 42 V. Agilent can supply adapters
to use the 16442B interlock with the
B2900A’s digital output.
For more advanced packaged testing needs,
the Agilent 16442B test fixture provides more
capabilities. It offers support for higher pin
count devices, more flexible connectivity and
The Agilent N1295A Device/Component
Test Fixture provides a low-cost solution
to quickly and easily test packaged
devices and components.
Banana jack to triaxial
adapters are available in
both 2-wire and 4-wire
Using the available accessories and furnished
software you can create a low-cost
PC-based component testing solution.
Overview: Why use an SMU?
Resource integration reduces
measurement error
Accurate timing control of source
and measurement resources
An SMU is an instrument that combines the
capabilities of a current source, a voltage source,
a current meter and a voltage meter (along
with the capability to switch easily between
these various functions). Because the source
and measurement circuitry is closely integrated,
the user can achieve far better measurement
performance with less measurement error than
would be possible by using various independent
instruments to make the same measurement.
The integration of the source and measurement resources in an SMU allows much tighter
synchronization than would be possible with
separate instruments. Moreover, the B2900A
Series provides very flexible triggering options
that allow the measurements points to be
defined independently from the sourced current
or voltage waveform. On two channel units you
can operate both channels in synchronization
or independently, and under remote control you
can trigger multiple units in unison using a group
trigger signal.
Feedback mechanism stabilizes
voltage and current sourcing
Since SMUs have the ability to very accurately
measure their own current and voltage output,
they have many advantages over conventional
power supplies. All SMUs have internal feedback loops that provide instantaneous feedback
to the sourcing circuitry, which in-turn allows the
SMU output to remain accurate and stable even
if the load conditions change unexpectedly.
Limit (compliance) feature
prevents device damage
SMUs also possess a voltage and current limit
(compliance) feature that allows the user to
set limits and to protect devices from damage
caused by excessive voltage or current. Although
the SMU normally continues to function when
it reaches the user-specified limit value, it can
also be set to shutdown just like the over current
protection (OCP) and over voltage protection
(OVP) functions do on a power supply.
Source block:
Measurement block:
Precision voltage and current source/
sink with sweep, pulse and AWG
capabilities. Voltage/current limit
capability is also available.
Precision voltage and current meter
with high speed digitizing capability.
Simplified block diagram of Agilent B2900A Series
Selection Guide and Ordering Information
Key specifications
Number of channels
Max output
210 V
210 V
210 V
210 V
3.03 A
3.03 A
3.03 A
3.03 A
10.5 A
10.5 A
10.5 A
10.5 A
31.8 W
31.8 W
31.8 W
31.8 W
Max digits
1 μV
1 μV
100 nV
100 nV
1 pA
1 pA
10 fA
10 fA
Min resolution
Max digits
100 nV
100 nV
100 nV
100 nV
100 fA
100 fA
10 fA
10 fA
Min programmable interval for List sweep/AWG waveform
20 μs
20 μs
10 μs
10 μs
Min trigger interval for digitizing (max sample rate)
20 μs
(50,000 pts/s)
20 μs
(50,000 pts/s)
10 μs
(100,000 pts/s)
10 μs
(100,000 pts/s)
Min resolution
View modes
Single view
Dual view
Graph view
Roll view
Ordering information
Model number
Precision Source/Measure Unit, 1ch, 100 fA, 210 V, 3 A DC/10.5 A pulse
Precision Source/Measure Unit, 2ch, 100 fA, 210 V, 3 A DC/10.5 A pulse
Precision Source/Measure Unit, 1ch, 10 fA, 210 V, 3 A DC/10.5 A pulse
Precision Source/Measure Unit, 2ch, 10 fA, 210 V, 3 A DC/10.5 A pulse
Printed manual (User’s Guide)
Banana to triaxial adapter
2-wire (non-Kelvin) connection
4-wire (Kelvin) connection
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Interlock cable for 16442B
ANSI Z540 compliant calibration
Commercial calibration certificate with test data
1.5 m
3.0 m
Trigger Adapter
Rack mount kit
GPIO – BNC trigger adapter
Test fixture
Rack mount kit
Device/component test fixture
A personalized view into the information most
relevant to you.
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of Ethernet and the Web inside your test systems. Agilent is a founding member of the LXI
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in uptime, reduced cost of ownership and greater
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If you need more source capabilities
or lower noise sourcing, the best
choice is Agilent Power Source
Europe & Middle East
32 (0) 2 404 93 40
45 45 80 12 15
358 (0) 10 855 2100
0825 010 700*
*0.125 €/minute
49 (0) 7031 464 6333
1890 924 204
39 02 92 60 8484
31 (0) 20 547 2111
34 (91) 631 3300
0200-88 22 55
United Kingdom 44 (0) 118 927 6201
Agilent B2961A/B2962A 6.5 Digit Low
Noise Power Source
Agilent B1505A Power Device
Analyzer/Curve Tracer (1500 A/10 kV)
For other unlisted countries:
Product specifications and descriptions in this document
subject to change without notice.
© Agilent Technologies, Inc. 2013
Published in USA, March 25, 2013
Agilent B1500A Semiconductor
Device Analyzer