This application note shows how to make a simple transistor curve tracer using a Keysight B2962A power source along with a Test Flow sequence running in Keysight’s BenchVue software. The B2962A was chosen because of its low current stimulus capabilities, but BenchVue works with hundreds of Keysight instruments. Many other choices are possible depending upon your measurement requirements.
BenchVue Test Flow is a flow-chart style sequencer available as an optional software application with BenchVue version 3.0.1 It allows you to create automated tests without programming, simply by dragging and dropping properties and measurements into a sequence. It’s not like graphical programming, such as Keysight VEE, because you are not interacting with drivers and having to understand all the nuances of the instruments. The hassles of an integrated development environment with a myriad of build options, library references, revision control, and deep programming knowledge are also avoided. With Test Flow, you can focus on your real goal: setting instrument parameters and getting measurement results. Although some programming techniques are part of Test Flow—delays, loops, conditionals, prompts, calls to external programs or scripts, and so on—they are easily dragged and dropped into the sequence as easily as a measurement or an instrument setup. This app note will show how to use these features to characterize transistor performance.