Keithley Instruments announced the Model 7090 Optical Switching card that enables optical, DC and RF switching, all within one instrument. When used in Keithley's existing 7001/7002 switching platforms, the Model 7090 enables manufacturers of laser diodes and related optoelectronic devices to automate test applications more effectively, saving them the time and expense of developing their own hardware and software solutions. The Model 7090 provides rapid, convenient switching of an optical signal between several instruments, a single instrument between multiple devices, or a combination of both. Test systems that combine optical switching with other instruments, such as Keithley's L-I-V Test System, pulsed laser test systems. Multimeters, and sources, can provide comprehensive switching capable of seamlessly transferring optical, DC, and RF characteristics. The benefits of true optical switching for optoelectronic test applications include more effective automation, faster testing, less time spent on integration, and improved ROI on existing test instruments.

Optical switches are used for channel monitoring of optoelectronic devices that are essential to the construction of fiber optic networks in telecommunications and related applications such as laser diodes, photodiodes, optical add/drop multiplexers (OADM), LEDs and OLEDs and VCSEL Arrays.

The model 7090 is available in 1 × 4 and 1 × 8 switching configurations. This enables systems to be assembled that can accommodate up to 4 or 8 DUTs or instruments, or greater numbers if devices via cascaded switches. Cards are compatible with Keithley's GPIB-controlled Model 700X switching mainframes, which accept up to 10 separate switching cards. DC and RF switching cards are already being used in these mainframes to create complex switching solutions. Furthermore, these mainframes can be combined with other Keithley tools, such as Trigger-Link™ to yield larger test systems that provide simpler integration and faster synchronization than other types of switching systems.