Agilent Technologies Inc. announced the addition of two source measure units (SMU) 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.

“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.