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Oscilloscope function steps up system integrity analysis

Posted: 23 Jan 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IC-based oscilloscope function? embedded waveform viewing?

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. claims its advanced high-speed IC-based oscilloscope function will significantly change the economics of signal integrity analysis and network reliability. VScope, an IC-based embedded waveform viewing technology, is said to open up new possibilities to redefine the dynamics and economies of backplane design, signal integrity analysis, test and measurement equipment, and remote monitoring in communication systems

VScope embeds the oscilloscope function into the receiver of ICs used in communication systems, thus offering direct viewing of signal characteristics similar to traditional lab oscilloscopes. Vitesse said the patented technology provides a more accessible and cost-effective signal analysis tool that can be remotely monitored through network connections, delivering the industry's first offering of true in-line imaging of the real-time data stream on a per-pin basis.

By replicating the oscilloscope function within the IC, the equivalent of countless engineering test labs can now be deployed throughout the network. This creates exceptional visibility in monitoring signal integrity in ICs, systems and networks, said Vitesse, and the same monitoring function used during system development can now be used as an ongoing health monitor for systems and networks.

The VScope DAQ architecture uses dual adjustable sampling channels for simultaneously receiving and scanning. It is said to deliver superior accuracy over external measurement methods because it reflects the true behavior of the data stream as it is captured, thus avoiding correlation errors between the measurement circuitry and live data path. Post-equalizer scanning delivers an unobstructed view of the internal IC signal compared to oscilloscopes that offer only an extrapolated view of signals from outside the chip, said Vitesse.

Evaluation boards will be available in Q2.

Meanwhile, Vitesse will present a paper entitled, "Design and Application of Embedded Waveform Viewing Technology for Integrated Circuits" at DesignCon 2008, February 4-7.

- Gina Roos

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