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Agilent scopes add serial bus triggering, decoding

Posted: 12 Feb 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:oscilloscopes? serial bus triggering? real-time decode?

Series 5000 oscilloscopes

Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced serial bus triggering and real-time decode support for its 5000 Series oscilloscopes. These capabilities give embedded system developers greater insight into their designs' CAN, LIN, I?C, SPI, RS-232/UART and USB serial buses. Having these capabilities in the 5000 Series eliminates the need for a more expensive bench scope and accelerates the troubleshooting process.

CAN, LIN, I?C, SPI, RS-232/UART and USB buses were designed to meet specific needs in applications such as automotive control and chip-to-chip communications. In recent years, these low-speed serial buses have replaced proprietary serial and parallel buses in most embedded designs. Their low cost and breadth of development tools make them popular in a wide variety of embedded applications.

"Unfortunately, designers have been unable to view these buses with their traditional portable oscilloscopes," said Jay Alexander, VP and general manager of Agilent's oscilloscope business. "Until now, they've had to use more expensive bench oscilloscope models. With this introduction, engineers can troubleshoot their embedded designs quickly with a very affordable oscilloscope."

The Agilent 5000 Series oscilloscopes now offer triggering for these buses as a standard feature. Customers who already own a 5000 Series scope can add this feature by downloading firmware version 5.0 or higher from here. There is no charge for the firmware download, said Agilent.

To make it even easier to find and debug errors, the optional Agilent N5423A I?C/SPI, the N5457A RS-232/UART and the N5424A CAN/LIN protocol decode toolsets give designers hardware-accelerated decoding that updates at rates matched only by other Agilent oscilloscopes. In contrast, competitive oscilloscopeswhen they offer serial decodinguse software-based decoding. This can slow waveform update rates dramatically, increasing the chance that important information is missed in the "dead time" between acquisitions.

The Agilent N5423 I?C/SPI serial decode option for 5000 and 6000 Series oscilloscopes is available now at a price of $1,000. The Agilent N5424A CAN/LIN automotive decode option for 5000 and 6000 Series oscilloscopes is available now and is priced at $1,500. The Agilent N5457A RS-232/UART option for 5000 Series and 6000 Series oscilloscopes is available at a price of $1,250.

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