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April 2nd, 2008
Technologies that press the limits of test
In a recent interview, Linda Rae of Keithley Instruments discussed solutions that Keithley has developed to meet the test and measurement needs of emerging technologies.
Q: What emerging technologies present the biggest challenges to the test field?
A: Wireless is generating many new transmission and reception protocols, including the merging of voice and data so that we can perform more functions on our cellphones. At Keithley, we've been focusing particular attention on the multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) radio architecture. Here, our challenge is to test multiple transmitters and receivers simultaneously, which adds complexity to the measurements that have to be made and to the data analysis that has to be done.
Among other emerging areas, we see new challenges from nanotechnology and from the shrinking geometries in semiconductors. In these applications, Keithley brings to bear one of its core competencies, very low current and voltage measurement. Our instruments also must address the thermal energy that devices are subject to during tests, so you see more use of pulse techniques to limit device self-heating.
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