SpikeSafe DC / Continuous Pulse Current Sources

Vektrex SpikeSafe DC / Continuous Pulse Current Sources provide reliable DC constant current or precision pulsed current drive. These pulsed current sources are optimized for reliability and burn-in testing and other test applications requiring DC constant current or continuous pulse current. They are applicable for LED, VCSEL, laser diode and other current driven devices.  With a wide range of single and multi-source channel models, the SpikeSafe DC / Continuous Pulse Series current sources will meet the needs of a full product family. Moreover, all models are energy efficient and feature individual source channel control and accurate currents to the ends of long cables. Minimum pulse widths are 10us. The power density is high – typically 6.4kW to 8kW.  Vektrex’s patented SpikeSafe technology protects devices in two ways: by proactively detecting current anomalies and rapidly shutting down power to preserve devices and by tightly regulating the voltage.

STARS (SpikeSafe Test and Reliability System) Software Application controls and manages up to 1024 individually controlled current source channels. In addition, the Control Panel Software Application provides an easy-to-use software interface for lR&D and ow capacity reliability systems.

Multichannel Pulsed Sources Offer a Wide Range of Currents

Low CurrentMid CurrentMid-High CurrentHigh Current

Energy Efficient > 96% means that ROI is reduced due to cost savings related to facility electricity usage. With 400V Maximum Compliance Voltage, many devices in series may be driven by one source channel. With a minimum time between failure > 175,000 hours, these current sources are reliable and appropriate for 24/7 operation.

Accurate Pulsing Over Long Cables

Adjustable load tuning allows the SpikeSafe to compensate for load conditions, cable impedance, and length. The resulting fast, clean pulses have little overshoot – even with output cables over 10 meters long. Using the SpikeSafe makes it easy to duplicate real-world pulsed operation test conditions – for example 720 Hz PWM operation at 1% duty cycle.

Twisted Pair Output Wiring Simplifies System

Unlike other precision pulsed sources that require exotic coaxial or flat ribbon output cables, the SpikeSafe 400 DC / Continuous Pulse current source use simple, low-cost twisted pair output wiring. For high current models, drive current is split into multiple output pairs, assuring the maximum current per conductor is below 7.5A. This design feature allows the current output to be routed through commonly used interconnect devices such as printed circuit card edge connectors.

No Duty Cycle Limitations

SpikeSafe current sources employ continuous power conversion to translate input bulk DC power into clean output current pulses or consistent DC currents. This on-demand regulation approach eliminates the need for bulky storage capacitors and it is one of the reasons that the SpikeSafe has such high power density. But more importantly, it means no duty cycle or pulse width limitations. Pulsing from 1% to 100% duty cycle is supported up to the full voltage and current limits of the model.

Modular, Scalable

SpikeSafe current sources are easily combined into systems with up to 1,024 current source channels in an electronics cabinet. Scalable, modular design enables easy system expansion for increased capacity. With a full range of SpikeSafe current source options, system components, chambers, fixturing, load board designs, cabling and software, Vektrex can provide the ideal testing solution for any size lab – large or small. Four out of five major LED manufacturers standardize on SpikeSafe Current Sources and over 40% of LM-80 laboratories worldwide use SpikeSafe current sources to drive their LEDs, including labs in Germany, China, USA, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Vektrex DC and DCP Current Source System Configuration Options
Vektrex DC and DCP Current Source System Configuration Options


Vektrex offers software options for a complete solution. Vektrex DC / Continuous Pulse Current Sources are easy-to-use with Vektrex Control Panel Software Application and SpikeSafe Test and Reliability Software (STARS) and STARPLOT. The Control Panel Software Application and SpikeSafe current sources allow you to configure, control and monitor the devices – in the lab or remotely. STARS controls and monitors sources, loads and thermal control devices during testing. Additionally, STARS, long-term reliability and burn-in tests can be automated and unattended. Furthermore, STARS supports independent source channel startup and shutdown. Consequently, this allows multiple LED batch runs on a single system for optimized throughput. Most importantly, stand-alone STARPLOT plotting software provides a graphic view of voltage, current and temperature data to quickly identify and illustrate trends.

Protects Devices

Vektrex’s patented SpikeSafe load protection continuously monitors voltage and current patterns. Also, it instantly shuts down when anomalies are detected. Furthermore, rapid shutdown preserves the failed device for analysis, and it protects other devices in the circuit. Finally, the result is lower failure counts and improved reliability statistics.

Energy Efficiency

SpikeSafe current sources operate at 96% conversion efficiency. Consequently, this high efficiency reduces electricity usage and it minimizes the heat released into the laboratory. In addition, the current sources’ high compliance voltage capability and SpikeSafe load protection allow many devices to be tested in one series circuit. Most importantly, this configuration is much more efficient than traditional single device circuits. In conclusion, the net result is lower annual operating cost and lower total cost of ownership.


Applications include reliability testing, device burn-in test (DC or pulsed), HASS and LM-80 applications, Energy Star certification, stress testing, cell phone flash emulation, calibration lamp drive, DC drive lamps, resistor ageing and laser diode DC drive. 

For light measurement applications, visit the  Pulsed SMU and High Current SMU pages.