ArC TWO is the next generation electronic characterisation tool which enables massive parallel testing of devices with arbitrary interconnections. It is a generalised versatile multi-SMU tool with an integrated switch matrix. It can achieve sub-100 ns pulsing across 20 V of voltage.

ArC TWO Control Panel: github.

ArC TWO Python Bindings:

Latest firmware: 20220905. Beta firmware: 20240418

Manual: [HTML]

ArC TWO hardware ArC TWO Control Panel

At a glance

ArC TWO provides a generic microchip characterisation platform, including emerging memory crossbar arrays but also other types of components such as data converters. It features 128× channels, of which 64× are independent source-meter units with full analogue capabilities up to ±20 V, enable work with NT1R crossbar arrays, digital microchips with up to 128 pads and analogue or mixed-signal chips with up to 64 analogue pads. An ArC TWO board includes: a) a straightforward and extendable user interface for quick starting; b) a detachable daughter-board slot allowing for custom PCBs to piggy-back on ArC’s infrastructure and c) an open-source API for advanced users.

Full Description

ArC TWO is a fully parallel instrument: this means it is designed to allow concurrent and independent control of its 128× terminals. This enables significant capabilities such as the handling of NT1R crossbar arrays for emerging memory (32× analogue wordlines + 32× analogue bitlines + 32× digital control lines for example) or the characterisation of generic ICs such a data converter chip. The interface is straightforward and extendable, designed to allow non-specialist users to enjoy basic functionality with minimal training and the entire instrument fits on a desktop and can even be easily transported for cross-laboratory experiments.

The current version of ArC TWO inherits all of the functionality present in ArC ONE, allowing I-V measurement, voltage biasing under current compliance and an array of automated tests. However, it also adds significant new functionality such as biasing via fine-grained series resistances (0-1 kΩ in 1000 steps), high-speed pulse capability (down to 40 ns) and -of course- fully parallel biasing of complex circuits or arrays.

Similar to ArC ONE, executing a variety of microchip tests becomes trivial via the implementation of automated testing. Moreover, tests can be executed with results displayed in real-time. Finally, we offer a service for developing any testing module that suits your needs, but also developing daughter-boards to host your selection of test chips and/or connectors to other systems such as potentially probe cards. Email us if you have specific needs regarding modules, daughter-boards or probe-cards for more a more detailed discussion.


[Specification Sheet]

Current readings

  • Accuracy: 1% at >16 nA, 10% at >1.6 nA
  • Minimum current measurement: ±200 pA
  • Maximum current measurement: ±10 mA
  • Current measurement resolution: 2.6 pA
  • Current measurement time: 1.5 ms

Voltage readings

  • Accuracy: 1% at >20 mV, 10% at >2 mV
  • Minimum voltage measurement: ±200 μV
  • Maximum voltage measurement: ±10 V
  • Voltage measurement resolution: 77 μV
  • Voltage measurement time: 10 μs (single sample), 320 μs (averaged)

Programming operations

  • Maximum bias voltage: ±13.5 V
  • Bias voltage resolution: 305 μV at ±10 V, 610μ V at ±13.5 V
  • Bias voltage current limit: 10 mA (200mA across all channels)
  • Bias voltage slew rate: 400 mV/μs
  • Arbitrary Pulse generator voltage: ±13.5 V
  • Arbitrary Pulse generator width: 40 ns - inf
  • Arbitrary Pulse generator time resolution: 10 ns
  • Arbitrary Pulse generator current limit: 10 mA
  • Minimum READ → WRITE interval: 20 μs
  • Minimum WRITE → READ interval: 150 μs

Programmable I/O

  • 64 fully independent SMU channels with pulse generators and access to unified current source
  • 32 digital outputs with arbitrary high/low levels at ±13.5 V
  • 32 digital I/Os with arbitrary high level at 1.8-5.5 V
  • 4 arbitrary supplies at ±13.5 V and ±100 mA


  • 132-pin mezzanine connector exposes all analogue and digital pins of ArC TWO for fully customised daughterboards — bring your own circuit!

Software components

  • Ready to use Python based, open source control panel: ArC TWO Control.
  • Read Single, Read All or Read Stand Alone capabilities;
  • Click-to-pulse: apply single voltage pulse optionally followed by a read operation;
  • Real-time view of resistance evolution, with history of all pulsing operations performed;
  • Expansion API: Design and develop new experiments as Python modules
  • Open source Python library (pyarc2) to develop fully customised scripts and programs.
  • Open source low level API that fully exposes the hardware capabilities down to instruction pipelining for mission critical applications: libarc2.
  • HDF5-based structured file format, accessible by any software that can handle HDF5 files — bring your own analysis tooling!
  • All software available for 64-bit Windows 10+ or Linux (only for glibc-based distributions, glibc ≥ 2.14; musl systems not supported)