6146 DC voltage current source

Not distributed in North America & Asia

6146 DC voltage current source
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6146 DC voltage current source, Side view

Key facts

  • 4½ digit calibration source (0 to ±32.000 V, 0 to ±220.00 mA)
  • 4-quadrant DC voltage/current source, useable as DC sink
  • High resolution: 1µV/100 nA
  • High base accuracy: ±0.025 % voltage, ±0.03 % current
  • Linear sweep function
  • ADCMT logo

Precision DC voltage/current source best used as a calibrator or secondary battery simulator

The 6146 is a high-precision DC voltage/current source suitable for evaluating semiconductor or electronic components characteristics and for calibrating meters and measuring instruments. Its convenient ability to synchronize with multiple units or other instruments makes it perfect for system use in electronic component test systems.

Features & benefits

Fast response and low noise

Supply quality without compromises

The voltage and current sourcing response times of the 6146 have greatly improved compared to the former models – with a settling time of 10 ms or less to reach the final value ±0.1 %. This makes it possbile to greatly reduce the characteristic evaluation time for components or modules or the takt time for automatic testing. The 6146 also features a low output noise of 100 μV (peak-to-peak) (30 V range, DC to 100 Hz band), enhancing the measurement reliability during characteristic evaluation of semiconductors and sensors.

Output noise less than 100 µV  (peak-to-peak) (30 V range, DC to 100 Hz band)
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Output noise less than 100 µV (peak-to-peak) (30 V range, DC to 100 Hz band)

Suspend function

Suspend function with HiZ/LoZ  output impedance selection

When DUTs such as electronic components and modules are replaced on automatic test equipment, the output status needs to be “Standby” so that the output relay opens to prevent unnecessary voltage to the DUTs. Every switch between “Operate” and “Standby” turns the output relay on or off, which greatly impacts relay lifetime. The 6146 has a suspend function that keeps the output status in “high impedance (HiZ: output relay ON, high resistance)” or “low impedance (LoZ: output relay ON, low resistance)” without switching the relay. Using this function can extend the relay lifetime and improve system throughout. It can also prevent transient current from being generated when connecting voltage sourcing devices such as batteries.

Output status diagram
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Output status diagram

Synchronous and multiple-unit operation

Convenient trigger and synchronization capabilities

When testing an electronic device or module, voltage sometimes needs to be applied from more than one source. In this case, the voltage to be applied to DUTs needs to synchronously vary. Multiple 6146 units can be synchronized by connecting the operate and standby timing signals and the variable voltage timing signals from the master to its slaves. For voltage measurements using the DMM, the 6146 sets up an automatic measuring system with the DMM with the minimum waiting time since the voltage application timing and measurement timing can be synchronized.
Picture right: The 6146/6156 has a signal line for synchronous control so that multiple units can output signals in synchronization. The following shows an example of how three 6146/6156 units synchronize sweep operation using control signals.“SYNC OUT” and“ OPERATE IN OUT” signals from the master are connected to“ TRIGGER IN” and“ OPERATE IN OUT” signals of its slaves.

Synchronization of multiple units
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Synchronization of multiple units

The 6146/6156 has a signal line for synchronous control so that multiple units can output signals in synchronization. The following shows an example of how three 6146/6156 units synchronize sweep operation using control signals.“SYNC OUT” and“ OPERATE IN OUT” signals from the master are connected to“ TRIGGER IN” and“ OPERATE IN OUT” signals of its slaves.

High DUT protection

Separate HI/LO limiter setting

The limiter function is extremely important for voltage or current sourcing to protect connected devices. The current limiter works for the voltage source to restrict output current and the voltage limiter works for the current source to restrict compliance voltage. The 6146 has two setting levels that can be set separately for both voltage and current limiters.

Balanced or separate limiter setting modes
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Balanced or separate limiter setting modes

User-friendly operating panel

Intuitive operation by direct entry input and/or rotary knob

Voltage or current values to be generated can be entered directly using the keys on the front panel and be continuously varied (increased or decreased)  by specifying an arbitrary digit using the rotary knob or the UP and DOWN keys. This greatly improves operability so that a measurement such as a device input and output characteristic test can be performed by simple key operation.

Data input by direct key or rotary knob
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Data input by direct key or rotary knob

Reliability test

For reliability tests on semiconductors and electronic components

To verify the reliability of electronic components such as semiconductors and sensors, devices are subject to aging tests with current applied. Such tests require highly stable voltage sources. In some tests, the normal operating range of the devices is verified by changing the supply voltage. With its low noise, high stability and high sourcing resolution, the 6146 offers high reliability in these tests.

Reliability Test of Semiconductors
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Reliability Test of Semiconductors

Calibration source

Calibration of meters and measuring instruments

Meters and measuring instruments used in plants or instrumentation systems need to be periodically calibrated.
The 6146/6156 are suitable for calibration of these meters or instruments with their high source accuracy. The calibration time can be reduced by storing voltages or currents of points to be calibrated in the memory of the 6146/6156 and reading
them out by turns.

Calibration source for meters
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Calibration source for meters

Sensor characterizing

For characterizing strain sensors (strain gauges)

A strain gauge used in a strain or pressure sensor utilizes subtle variations in resistance.
In a strain gauge test, resistance with a known load applied is measured using a Wheatstone bridge circuit.
The highly stable 6146/6156 units are ideal as a voltage source for the Wheatstone bridge circuit.
The output voltage is measured  using a digital multimeter such as the 7461A.

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Battery control

For evaluating secondary battery control circuits

Since secondary batteries such as a lithium ion battery have high-energy density, the control circuit plays an important role in monitoring the charge/discharge characteristics. To test the operation of this control circuit, the 6146/6156 can be used as a battery simulator. The control circuit is tested correctly by changing the voltage of the battery simulator for each test item. The 6146/6156 units realize such precise characteristic measurements.

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Available models

Available models
Max. output voltage
Max. current range
Resol. curr./volt.
Min. pulse width


Order number 9027.4191.02

Max. output voltage
±32.000 V
Max. current range
±220.00 mA
Resol. curr./volt.
100 nA/1 µV source
Min. pulse width
20.0 ms
Sourcing capability
Number of channels 1
Output method bipolar
Max. output power 7 W
Operation modes (DUT independent) CV with current limiter / CC with voltage limiter
Output waveforms DC, Sweep (Linear, Random, Fixed)
Output OFF status standby / suspend HiZ / suspend LoZ
Sinking capability
Neg. output current continuous (pulsed) -0.22 A
SMU capability
SMU functions VS, IS
Sourcing voltage
Max. output voltage ±32 V
Source ranges voltage 30 / 3 / 0.3 / 0.03 V
Source resolution voltages 1000 / 100 / 10 / 1 µV
Basic accuracy voltage 0.025 %
1-day stability voltage ±0.05 % of setting
Temperature coefficient voltage (0°to 50°) ±15 ppm of setting/°C
Linearity ±2 digits
Line regulation ±0.003 % of range
Load regulation ±0.003 % of range
Noise voltage (20 MHz/100 Hz) 3 / 0.03 mVpk-pk (3 V range)
Sourcing voltage timing
Settling time at full scale voltage change < 10 ms
Sourcing current
Max. output current continuous (pulsed) ±0.22 A
Source ranges current 200 / 30 / 3  mA
Source resolution current 10000 / 1000 / 100  nA
Basic accuracy current 0.03 %
Noise current (20 MHz/100 Hz) 6 / 0.3 µApk-pk (30mA range)
Sourcing current timing
Settling time at full scale current change < 10 ms
Limiter capabilities
Voltage limiter resolution 100 mV
Voltage limiter basic accuracy ±5 % of setting
Current limiter resolution 1 mA
Current limiter basic accuracy ±10 % of setting
Limiter HI-LO coupling balanced / individual
Waveform output
Sweep types Linear, Random, Fixed
Waveform memory capacity 5000 data
Minimum pulse width 20 ms
Maximum pulse width 10 sec
Minimum period 20 ms
Maximum period 10 sec
Minimum time resolution 10 ms
Ext. Control signals Trigger-In , Read-Out/Sync-Out, Interlock/Operate-In/Operate-Out
Interfaces USB, GPIB, optional: BCD
Special feature
Special feature -
Dimensions (W x H x D) 212 mm x 88 mm x 340 mm

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