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Oscilloscopes suit data network analysis apps

Posted: 09 Oct 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Tektronix  DSA8200  Digital Serial Analyser  oscilloscope 

Tektronix Inc., a provider of test, measurement and monitoring instrumentation, announced the introduction of the DSA8200 Digital Serial Analyser sampling oscilloscope, new remote sampling electrical modules and enhanced IConnect software, making it a suitable solution for serial data network analysis applications. These time-domain-reflectometry (TDR) and electrical modules represent the most significant performance advancement in TDR test technology in 20 years, in direct response to the demanding needs and compliance requirements of high-speed serial data standards.

The emergence of multi-gigabit serial standards is driving down power budgets and timing margins. As a result, accurate analysis of signal path and interconnects in both time- and frequency-domains is critical to fully understand the effects of loss and crosstalk in today's high speed serial designs. Industry standards such as PCI Express, Serial ATA, XAUI, and Infiniband increasingly call for the use of S-parameters and impedance measurements to characterise the effects and ensure system interoperability. With a 250 per cent increase in TDR performance and new automation tools, the DSA8200 solutions are an fit for serial data network analysis requirements. The DSA8200 represents the highest performance and most cost-effective solution for accurate and repeatable S-parameters measurements for 1Gbps to 12.5Gbps serial data rates of current and emerging differential standards.

"Engineers are challenged to accurately characterise the effects of the signal path on multi-gigabit serial data transmissions," said Brian Reich, general manager, Electrical Optical Product Line, Tektronix. "For serial data network analysis applications, the Tektronix DSA8200 solutions provide engineers with a versatile, time and cost-effective toolset. The primary alternative has been the Vector Network Analyser, a specialised, dedicated frequency-domain instrument. However, the VNA requires extensive setup and calibration routines, and is significantly more expensive than the new Tektronix TDR-based solution. TDR and S-parameter measurement routines for serial data network analysis that often require hours to set up and execute using a VNA can be performed in a few minutes using the DSA8200 mainframe, electrical modules and IConnect."

Four electrical modules feature an unparalleled combination of high bandwidth and low noise to address the trend towards lower power, higher bit rate differential signalling. The modules include advanced usability features such as channel-to-channel and module-to-module de-skew of ±250ps, user-selectable bandwidth, and small form factor remote samplers. Each channel has a fully integrated 2m cable with a remote sampler that brings the TDR head very close to the device under test, minimising the effects of probes, cables and fixtures. This ensures the highest system fidelity for measurement accuracy and repeatability. The 80E10 Dual Channel True Differential TDR module provides a 12ps incident and 15ps reflected TDR rise time, 50GHz bandwidth and 600µVRMS noise, the lowest noise at this performance level. With independent step generation for true differential measurements and industry-leading specifications for a fully integrated system, the 80E10 represents the most significant advance in TDR performance in twenty years, said Tektronix.

Other modules include the 80E08, a dual channel TDR electrical module with 18ps incident and 20ps reflected rise times, and 300µVRMS noise at 30GHz bandwidth. Two new dual channel low-noise electrical modules—the 80E09 and 80E07, feature 450µVRMS noise at 60GHz and 300µVRMS noise at 30GHz, respectively.

The IConnect software provides efficient and easy signal integrity analysis for gigabit serial data interconnect links. It measures insertion and return losses, reflections, eye diagrams, jitter, crosstalk, reflections and ringing. The IConnect product family has three product configurations: IConnect, IConnect S-parameters, and IConnect with MeasureXtractor. IConnect applications include signal path integrity analysis, impedance characterisation, S-parameters (insertion and return loss), eye diagram compliance tests and fault isolation.

A new command line interface (CLI) enables automation of multi-port S-parameter measurements, and other compliance test needs, significantly reducing calibration and test times while increasing test repeatability. With automated CLI scripts, test routines typically requiring hours for set-up and execution can now be performed in a few minutes, greatly improving productivity.

When combined with the TDR modules and IConnect capabilities, the new DSA8200 solution provides the most complete and cost-effective solution for the analysis and characterisation of complex serial data networks.

List prices for the new DSA8200 mainframe begin at Rs.9.66 lakh ($20,900), the TDR modules at Rs.12.52 lakh ($27,100), the sampling modules at Rs.10.17 lakh ($22,000), and the IConnect software packages at Rs.3.65 lakh ($7,900).

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