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Agilent connectorless logic analyzer adopted as standard

Posted: 29 Jun 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:agilent technologies? pro series? logic analyzer probe? e5404a? probe?

Agilent Technologies Inc. announced that its Pro Series soft touch connectorless logic analyzer probe interface has been adopted by logic analyzer vendors as the industry standard.

The standard interface, based on Agilent's soft touch connectorless probing technology, is an array of probe pads arranged in a common footprint that can be probed by equipment from multiple vendors.

Now, the company said, engineers in the computer, semiconductor and communications industries can benefit from connectorless probing without having to choose between competing connectorless probe interfaces.

30 percent footprint reduction

The Pro Series soft touch connectorless logic analyzer probes offer a 30 percent smaller footprint than its original soft touch probes. They use the same proprietary micro spring-pin technology as previous models to provide one of the industry's most reliable performance.

The micro spring-pin technology features a four-point crown tip that can pierce any contamination on the board and provide redundant contact to maximize reliability. The new top-mount retention module accommodates varying PCB thicknesses.

The probes are also said to be the only connectorless logic analyzer probes compatible with lead-free finishes such as organic-coated copper that support the electronic industry's migration to lead-free products, as well as other frequently used finishes including gold, silver and hot-air surface level.

"Our customers have realized significant benefits in reliability, ease-of-use and space savings provided by our soft touch connectorless probes, but also expressed frustration at the lack of a standard connectorless logic analyzer interface," said Ron Nersesian, VP and GM of Agilent's Design Validation Division. "We worked closely with them [customers] and logic analyzer vendors to develop the new standard."

The soft touch probes enable a direct connection from the probe to targets on a PCB without the use of a connector. This reduces capacitive loading and minimizes the effect of the probe on system performance. According to Agilent, this is an important consideration for engineers developing products using today's high-speed technologies such as double data rate (DDR) and PCI Express. Eliminating the need to place a connector on the target, regardless of the speed of the signals being measured, simplifies the validation of designs that are tight on space or that require minimal disruption of signal routing.

The E5404A soft touch probe measures single-ended data and clocks, and can be used with any Agilent logic analyzer with a 40-pin cable connector. The E5405A probe supports differential data and clocks, while the E5406A supports single-ended data and differential clocks. Both the E5405A and E5406A probes can be used with any Agilent logic analyzer with a 90-pin cable connector.

All soft touch connectorless logic analyzer probes are priced at $2,750 each.





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