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Agilent Technologies Expands Source Measure Unit Offering to Meet Emerging Market Requirements

Precise Sourcing and Measurement Necessary for Advanced Battery Drain Analysis and Functional Test 

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 21, 2010

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced the addition of two source measure units (SMUs) to its N6700 Series Modular Power Systems -- the N6781A 2-quadrant source measure unit for battery drain analysis and the N6782A 2-quadrant source measure unit for functional test.

The new SMUs offer advanced sourcing and measurement capabilities required for the testing challenges associated with battery-powered devices and their components. Agilent also introduced new software and updates for its DC power analyzer mainframe.

N6781A Source/Measurement Unit Video
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"In the battery-powered device market, engineers have employed advanced power management methods in order to maximize battery life," said Gary Whitman, vice president and general manager of Agilent's System Products Division. "Until today, SMUs lacked the capabilities necessary to adequately measure the dynamic currents associated with these methods. Our new N6781A and N6782A SMUs overcome the shortcomings of today's SMUs with features designed specifically for this rapidly growing market."

The N6781A and N6782A eliminate the challenges of measuring dynamic currents with a feature called seamless measurement ranging. With seamless measurement ranging, engineers can precisely measure dynamic currents without any glitches or disruptions to the measurement. As the current drawn by the device under test (DUT) changes, the SMU automatically detects the change and switches to the current measurement range that will return the most precise measurement.

When combined with the SMU's built-in 18-bit digitizer, seamless measurement ranging enables unprecedented effective vertical resolution of 28-bits. This provides unrivaled productivity gains and insights into power consumption by enabling engineers to see the complete current waveform they have never seen before, from nano-amps to amps, in one pass and one picture.

The N6781 2-quadrant source measure unit for battery drain analysis, unlike any other product available today, offers the features required to accurately capture the power consumption of portable, battery-powered devices. When used with the new Agilent 14585A software, the N6781A becomes an even more powerful battery drain analysis solution offering greater measurement insight. The N6781A is ideal for testing devices such as e-Book readers, MP3 players, mobile phones and pacemakers. The N6781A's seamless measurement ranging, programmable output resistance and auxiliary DVM, combine to be the best set of advanced features on the market for battery drain analysis.

The N6782A 2-quadrant source measure unit for functional test can modulate its output up to 100 kHz and provides 2-quadrant operation. This makes the SMU a perfect fit for advanced functional test for a variety of devices including DC/DC converters, power management units, power amplifiers and power management ICs. The input stage of the DUT can be stimulated by the fast sourcing and waveform capabilities. The output stage can be loaded down and measured with the electronic load capabilities of the N6782A. Being able to stimulate the input of a DUT, as well as load down the output, provides a total test solution.

The N6781A and N6782A SMUs also feature:

  • glitch-free sourcing and measurement for changing output and measurement ranges;
  • 2-quadrant operation allowing the SMU to perform as a voltage or current source or as a constant-voltage or constant-current electronic load;
  • four current measurement ranges to precisely capture the current levels of the DUT during different modes of operation;
  • excellent transient response for keeping the voltage or current stable during high-speed load changes;
  • fast modulation of DC for creating waveforms up to 100 kHz to stimulate or load down the DUT; and
  • high-speed digitized measurements for capturing and viewing the power consumption of the DUT every five microseconds with its built-in 200 kHz digitizer.

The Agilent 14585A control and analysis software for the N6705 DC power analyzer enhances the user experience of the N6705 mainframe by offering advanced functionality via PC control including:

  • simultaneous control and analysis of data from up to four N6705 mainframes (16 power supplies);
  • enhanced control and analysis of data using familiar PC controls and a large display;
  • easy creation of complex waveforms to stimulate or load down a DUT by inputting a formula, choosing from built-in or importing waveform data;
  • data logging of measurements directly to the PC; and
  • performing statistical analysis of power consumption.

The new SMUs are a part of the N6700 modular power system, which consists of the N6700 low-profile mainframes for ATE and the N6705 DC power analyzer mainframe for R&D. The product family has four mainframes and 24 DC power modules, providing a complete spectrum of solutions, from R&D through design validation and manufacturing. The updated DC power analyzer, the N6705B, was redesigned to fully support the new SMU modules, including modules over 20 amps. The N6705B's internal memory has been upgraded to 1 GB.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The two new SMU modules, updated mainframe, and new control and analysis software, are available for immediate purchase. Orders for the updated N6705B mainframe as well as the 14585A software will begin shipping in June. Orders for the new N6781A and N6782A 2-Quadrant SMUs will begin shipping in August. The pricing is as follows:

  • the N6781A is $5,300;
  • the N6782A is $4,230;
  • the N6705B is $6,900; and
  • a license for the 14585A software is $1,240.

Additional Information

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences, electronics and communications. The company's 19,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $4.5 billion in fiscal 2009. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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