Agilent Technologies Introduces Next-Generation / Parametric Test Software

New Version Delivers Seamless Laboratory and Development Environment for Parametric Test on Parameter Analysers, Desktop PCs

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Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today introduced the next generation of its EasyEXPERT parametric analysis software for the Agilent B1500A semiconductor device analyser. EasyEXPERT 2.0 provides an intuitive, task-oriented approach to semiconductor device characterisation. It is used to test devices in non-production applications, such as process development, modelling, reliability and failure analysis. Agilent is also introducing Desktop EasyEXPERT 2.0, which allows users to quickly and easily develop application tests and perform data analysis on MS Windows®-based PCs. Now for the first time, users can run the same parametric test software on both their parameter analyser and their desktop PC, creating a seamless laboratory and development environment for parametric test whether working in the lab or at their desks.

"EasyEXPERT 2.0 and Desktop EasyEXPERT 2.0 provide engineers in laboratory environments with capabilities previously available only in parametric test production environments," said Minoru Ebihara, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Hachioji Semiconductor Test Division. "The intuitive approach of EasyEXPERT has already been widely adopted by the industry since we introduced it last year. We expect that the powerful new features in this version, combined with the Desktop EasyEXPERT option, will help our customers improve their productivity even further."

EasyEXPERT 2.0 features several new capabilities, including a new quick test mode, an improved switching matrix control function for the Agilent B2200A and B2201A, and a new automatic data-export option. These features allow engineers and scientists working in semiconductor process characterisation and development to improve efficiency and reduce costs by automating many tasks that would have been performed manually in the past, such as making repetitive measurements across a wafer and graphically comparing the results.

Until now, EasyEXPERT was available only on the Agilent B1500A Semiconductor Device Analyser, which has been shipping since August 2005. With the release of EasyEXPERT 2.0, Agilent is offering a free version of the software, Desktop EasyEXPERT 2.0, to new and existing Agilent B1500A customers. Desktop EasyEXPERT 2.0 runs on MS Windows-based PCs and allows the user to quickly and easily develop application tests and perform data analysis. Because Desktop EasyEXPERT allows users to move these functions to a separate PC, the B1500A's measurement resources can be used at almost 100 percent efficiency. If Agilent I/O libraries and a GPIB (General Purpose Interface Bus) interface are installed on the PC, then Desktop EasyEXPERT 2.0 can also be used to control the B1500A externally.

The new quick test feature in EasyEXPERT 2.0 provides an efficient automated test environment, allowing the user to synchronise sequences of tests with the wafermap resident on a semi-automatic wafer prober. This speeds up a previously complex and time-consuming process and reduces the cost of test. EasyEXPERT 2.0 also features an improved switching-matrix control function for the Agilent B2200A and B2201A switching matrices. It allows users to easily switch between devices under test (DUT) and can be used within quick test mode to automate the DUT selection within a module. The new automatic export capability improves data management by enabling the user to select the exact filename, format and output destination for data taken both interactively and when using quick test mode.

Since Desktop EasyEXPERT runs on a standard PC, it gives users complete control over their PC hardware configuration and permits full compliance with their companies' approved IT standards. Future versions of Desktop EasyEXPERT are expected to support other Agilent instruments used in semiconductor process characterisation. However, just like the version of EasyEXPERT resident on the B1500A, Desktop EasyEXPERT supports GPIB communication, enabling the user to control other instruments directly through GPIB commands.

In addition to an improved feature set, EasyEXPERT 2.0 includes a new conversion tool that enables current users of the Agilent 4155 and 4156 Semiconductor Parameter Analysers to import their setup files into the EasyEXPERT environment when upgrading to the B1500A. This eliminates the need to recreate those files, thereby minimising switching costs and allowing users quickly to begin using the B1500A.

EasyEXPERT 2.0 is expected to be available May 1, 2006. At that time, current B1500A EasyEXPERT 1.0 users can download the free software upgrade by going to www.agilent.com/see/B1500A. The initial version of Desktop EasyEXPERT also will be made available for free to existing and future B1500A customers.

About Agilent EasyEXPERT Software

Agilent's EasyEXPERT software provides an innovative, task-oriented approach to device characterisation that makes every user into a parametric test expert. The EasyEXPERT software supplies a library of device application tests that the user selects based on the type of measurement required. After making a few simple selections, such as identifying the technology by classification and selecting the appropriate device type, the software selects the appropriate settings, makes the measurements, analyses the data and displays it. EasyEXPERT software allows even beginners to start making productive measurements on the B1500A right away. EasyEXPERT software is included with the Agilent B1500A and Desktop EasyEXPERT.

About the Agilent B1500A

The Agilent B1500A Windows-based semiconductor device analyser with EasyEXPERT software takes a new approach to semiconductor device characterisation. The B1500A integrates capacitance versus voltage (CV) and current versus voltage (IV) measurements into a single instrument, saving semiconductor test engineers time and increasing productivity. The Agilent B1500A provides a complete, self-contained and expandable solution for parametric characterisation and analysis capable of handling 65 nm lithographies, nanotechnology devices and beyond.

About Agilent B2200A and B2201A

The B2200A and B2201A high-performance switch mainframes provide exceptional low-current leakage and capacitance measurement performance, without the limitations imposed by alternative solutions. The ability to support 1 fA (B2200A) and 10 fA (B2201A) measurements means that they do not detract significantly from the performance of the semiconductor parameter analyser used with them. A modular structure that supports 12, 24, 36 or 48 output configurations maximises flexibility. Flexible operator control is provided by the supplemental LED display and front panel control via keypad or optional light pen.

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