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Agilent rolls two jitter analysis toolsets for its realtime scopes

Posted: 23 Feb 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:pci express? ethernet? fiber channel? agilent technologies? agilent?

As serial bus speed increases, the need for higher data bandwidth and smaller bus form-factors are forcing many design engineers to forgo previous parallel bus designs and switch to multi-gigabit serial buses such as PCI Express, Ethernet, and Fiber Channel. These topologies typically use differential pairs and multiple lanes of pairs.

These new bus layouts present great challenges, however, including limited channel bandwidth on existing FR-4 board copper traces, additional noise from crowded circuit paths, and high-frequency transmitters.

In response, test-and-measurement goliath Agilent Technologies has two new jitter analysis software packages for its previously released Infiniium DSO80000 series 10GHz, 12GHz, and 13GHz realtime oscilloscopes.

The software packages can also be used with Agilent's Infiniium 54850 series 2.5GHz, 4GHz, 6GHz and 7GHz realtime scopes.

The ASA connection

Agilent's E2690A time interval and jitter analysis software was developed for Agilent by Amherst Systems Associates (ASA). The ASA-developed package analyzes repetitive and random signals. Agilent's N5400A jitter analysis software is based on Agilent technology; it analyzes repetitive signals.

Both packages separate random and deterministic jitter (Rj/Dj) components, as required for compliance by many high-speed serial bus electrical-layer specifications such as PCI Express, and Fiber Channel.

Both the E2690A and N5400A packages let you analyze the reliability and interoperability of high-speed serial transmitters and links. The software helps to identify sources of jitter in these designs due to faulty parts, impedance discontinuities and data pattern dependencies. They provide the measurement insight to illustrate the shapes and contents of the jitter signals that may be distorting data or clock signals.

ASA's M1 package

The Agilent E2690A represents Version 4 of ASA's M1 jitter analysis product. This product is considered by Agilent to be its most comprehensive and primary software tool for characterizing and debugging jitter measurements with a realtime oscilloscope, offering a comprehensive set of tools to analyze random or repetitive signals.

The AutoMeasure capability (part of the ASA M1 package) automatically detects the oscilloscope, assesses which inputs have signals, auto-scales those signals, and determines which standards the signals are using. It provides immediate, accurate and detailed results.

Several decomposition techniques

For jitter analysis, several Rj/Dj decomposition techniques are available, as documented by the INCITS (International Committee for Information Technology Standards) T11.2 methodologies for jitter and signal quality (MJSQ) specification task group, plus a new ASA proprietary technique called SEEj.

ASA's SEEj is based on neural network analysis. It's TestScript capability enables you to quickly automate repetitive measurement sequences, systematically run them, and easily share applications such as compliance tests.

For its part, the N5400A jitter analysis software is based on Agilent's proprietary Rj/Dj separation algorithms for analyzing repetitive signals.

The E2690A software v4 is available for about $6,500. It's expected to begin shipping with Agilent realtime scopes in March. If you already have the E2690A software, you can upgrade to v4 with a software subscription service priced at $3,000 (if you've already purchased E2693A software subscription service, you'll get the upgrade free).

The E2692A, a subset to the E2690A (includes basic time interval and jitter analysis software), is available at less than about $2,700. Meanwhile, the N5400A jitter analysis software is priced at $8,000 and will be shipping with the Infiniium DSO80000 series oscilloscopes and will ship with the Infiniium 54850 series oscilloscopes in March. If you already have the E2681A jitter analysis software you can upgrade to the N5400A by buying the N5401A upgrade software for $5,000.

- Alex Mendelsohn


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