ECE Student Success Toolkit – The Parametric Measurement Handbook

Blog Post created by BradJolly Employee on Aug 27, 2018

The field of electrical and computer engineering (ECE) is very broad; some well-known universities require 134 credits or more for a bachelor’s degree. Even with that many credits, there is no way an undergraduate education can expose an ECE student to everything that may be required in industry.


One area that usually gets limited (if any) exposure is the making of highly accurate and precise parametric measurements on resistors, capacitors, diodes, and transistors in a semiconductor manufacturing process. Even if an engineer is not working on semiconductor manufacturing directly, concepts such as isolation, guarding, Kelvin (4-wire) measurement, and ground loop avoidance are valuable for in-circuit testing, whether in manufacturing or R&D design and validation.


To help students and working professionals learn these important concepts, Keysight engineer Alan Wadsworth has written The Parametric Measurement Handbook, now available for free download at In addition to updating technology and instrument references, the fourth edition adds an entirely new chapter on power device test.



Figure 1: Cover of The Parametric Measurement Handbook


The handbook begins by setting the context and history of parametric testing, and then it goes into basic parametric testing principles. These are followed by extensive chapters on source/monitor units (SMUs), on-wafer testing, and time-dependent and high-speed measurements. The last four chapters cover resistance, diodes and transistors, capacitance, and power devices. A brief appendix covers specific parametric measurement solutions, and this is followed by a glossary of key terms.


In short, the fourth edition of The Parametric Measurement Handbook contains a very thorough introduction to an important and challenging area of electrical engineering. Even if the reader never works in semiconductor manufacturing, the principles covered will apply to many areas of high-precision, high-accuracy electrical measurement and characterization.


Figure 2: Sample page from The Parametric Measurement Handbook