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What is a Source Measure Unit (SMU)?

The Source Measure Unit (SMU) is an instrument that can precisely source voltage or current and simultaneously measure voltage and/or current. It combines the useful features of a digital multimeter (DMM), power supply, true current source, electronic load and pulse generator, all into a single, tightly synchronized instrument in a compact form factor. SMUs are considered more useful than the combination of any of the five instruments, due to the measuring instrument’s versatility and high accuracy performance.


Source Measure Unit (SMU) Selector Guide

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2470 SMU front image for product series

Keithley 2400 Graphical Touchscreen Series SMU

  • Nanostructured Materials Research
  • Power Semiconductor GaN, SiC
  • Biosensor Development
  • Semiconductor Device Design
  • Automotive Sensor Design
2602B Front

SMU 2600B: Single or Dual Channel Systems

  • Semiconductor Production Test
  • Semiconductor Device Design
  • Transistor Characterization
  • IDDQ Testing and Standby Current Testing
  • Multi-Pin Device Test

2601B-PULSE System SourceMeter® 10 μs Pulser/SMU Instrument

  • VCSEL Test for LIDAR
  • High Brightness LED Test
  • Laser Diode Production Test
  • Semiconductor Device Design
Keithley 2420 SMU

Keithley 2400 Standard Series SMU

  • Resistor/Resistor Network Production Test
  • Connector, Relay, Switch Test
  • Accelerated Stress Testing
  • Circuit Protection Device Test
  • Materials Research

SMU 2650 Series for High Power

  • Power Semiconductor GaN, SiC
  • Solar Panel Test
  • Electromigration studies
  • Semiconductor junction temperature characterization

SMU 2606B: High Density SMU

  • VCSEL, Laser Diode Production Test
  • LED Production Test
  • Transistor Characterization
2510 Optical SMU for Laser Diode

Optical SMU for Laser Diode

  • Optoelectronics Research
  • LIV VCSEL Test
  • Laser Diode Temperature Control

Software for your Source Measure Unit

Start sourcing and measuring in minutes, and develop your next application test
Keithley Kickstart Main Screen

Keithley KickStart Instrument Control Software for Bench Instruments and Tektronix Oscilloscopes

Start measuring in minutes without complex programming. Perform I-V characterization and more.

Keithley IV Tracer

Keithley I-V Tracer Software

The familiar user experience of a curve tracer for two-terminal devices for tracing characteristics through both current and voltage.


Learning Center

Learn Source Measure Units(SMU) basics - from fundamental measurement concepts to key industry applications, such as how to use an SMU in a 2 terminal and 3 terminal device obtaining IV curves and how an SMU can simplify the test setup and increase productivity.

Choosing the Optimal Source Measurement Unit Instrument for Your Test and Measurement Application

In this comprehensive White Paper, you will learn more about the real benefits of SMU instruments for test and measurement applications and their ability to source and measure signals simultaneously.

Solution brief

Simplifying DC-DC Converter Characterization

DC-DC converters are widely used electronic components that convert DC power from one voltage level to another while regulating the output voltage. This solution brief explains how to simplify DC-DC converter testing using a Keithley two-channel Series 2600B System SourceMeter SMU Instrument and a Tektronix Oscilloscope. 

Application note

Breakdown and Leakage Current Measurements on High Voltage Semiconductor Devices

Keithley has long had a strong presence in high power semiconductor device test. Most recently, Keithley introduced the 2470 1.1 kV Graphical SourceMeter® Source Measure Unit to address challenging measurements for SiC and GaN device testing. This application note considers the application of this new source measure unit with Keithley’s KickStart software for high voltage semiconductor.

application note

Generating Clean 10 µs Pulses with the 2601B-PULSE System SourceMeter® Instrument

Outputting high quality current pulses for characterizing VCSELs for LIDAR or other optoelectronic devices poses many challenges.  Read this application note to learn how you can easily source current pulses as short as 10 μs and minimize device self heating.