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Agilent logic analyzer touted as industry's fastest

Posted: 15 Aug 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:logic analyzer? debugging? validating? DDR system?

Agilent Technologies Inc.'s AXIe-based U4154A claims to be the industry's fastest logic analyzer with state capture speed of 4Gb/s on 68 channels and 2.5Gb/s on 136 channels.

Debugging and validating while developing circuitry can be very challenging for designers. According to Agilent, the device has the ability to capture data on openings as small as 100ps by 100mV. These capabilities allow engineers to measure the increasingly fast digital signals used in emerging technologies, as well as validate and troubleshoot their designs confidently, Agilent added.

The U4154A logic analyzer module is ideal for engineers working on double data rate (DDR) systems (DDR3 2133 and higher), high-speed application specific integrated chips, analog-to-digital converters and FPGAs operating at speeds of up to 4Gb/s. The module works across all four stages of the connect, acquire and view/analyze process.


At high speeds, signal integrity validation becomes critical for reliable performance. Validating signal integrity on all channels of a DDR system using an oscilloscope can be very tedious. The eye-scan capability of the U4154A allows a quick overview of signal integrity on all signals of a DDR system in a fraction of the time it takes using alternative methods.

The U4154A module comes with software and probes to ease the engineer's tasks. The B422A DDR2/3 protocol compliance and analysis tool automates measurements on deep DDR bus traces to help engineers quickly identify protocol problem areas. The software also provides an overview of system performance.

Sampling resolution of the 100 ps/100 mV data valid window is 5 ps/5mV, and the fully colorized false-color display (user choice) eases observing all the complex signals and waveforms. Memory depth is up to 200 Msamples/channel.

Sampling resolution

There are a variety of probing solutions offered by Agilent and its channel partners that are compatible with the U4154A, including the DDR BGA probes and interposers. Agilent's soft-touch probes for midbus probing are also compatible with the U4154A.

Working with Agilent's M9502A two-slot AXIe chassis, the U4154A can combine multiple modules on a single time base trigger sequence. Multiple modular systems, including the company's 16900 series frames, can be combined for time-correlated measurements on multiple buses in a system. The logic analyzer module's trigger sports a 2.5GHz sequence rate, with up to eight sequencer levels and several burst recognizers (burst of 8 x 4, 4 x 8 and 2 16). Burst scans allow you to view each sample in a DDR burst and view all signals relative to each other. Scans that took hours can now be done in minutes.

For DDR and LPDDR, the analyzer includes a protocol violation check that looks for three types of violations and 12 types of protocol timing violations. It also includes performance analysis that gives bus statistic information and a histogram view of the number of access at a specified memory address. The U4154A also comes with a trigger setup for automation of the physical address trigger setup. Timing zoom offers simultaneous sate measurements, with 80 ps resolution and 256 ksample depth, for insight over a 20-?sec span.

The U4154A is available now. A 136-channel unit, with chassis and probe cables (but not probes) starts at $115,500.

- With input from Bill Schweber
??EE Times

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