04 Jul 2012
Tektronix simplifies serial bus debug
As serial bus standards become faster and more complex, debug has emerged as a major engineering productivity issue.
Tektronix has unveiled a broad set of oscilloscope firmware and software upgrades designed to simplify and shorten serial bus debug cycles and enhanced support for a number of important serial bus standards including PCI Express, CAN/LIN, FlexRay, MIL-STD-1553B and MOST (Media Oriented System Transport).
Over the past several years, serial buses have increased in diversity and complexity while engineers have less time than ever to focus on solving signal integrity issues. Tektronix is responding to this trend by building a deep level of intelligence about serial buses into its Performance Oscilloscope Series.
“We’ve heard from customers that serial bus debug is a growing challenge for them, due to the rapid pace of change and ever-growing complexity. What they need is a way to simplify serial bus debugging and verification,” said Brian Reich, general manager, Performance Oscilloscopes, Tektronix. “Responding to this need, we are rolling out major updates that build on our standards expertise to provide complete system confidence and maximise productivity. Through the use of a single instrument – the oscilloscope – customers can quickly identify timing or protocol-based errors saving engineering time and lowering equipment costs.”
With signal complexity rising, capturing a unique event on an oscilloscope requires a trigger system with a high degree of flexibility. Tektronix meets this need with what it believes is the industry’s most flexible trigger system; Visual Trigger.
Visual Trigger allows engineers to create highly customizable shapes using their mouse or touchscreen that closely match the desired waveform of interest. This highly intuitive capability will change the way engineers interact with the trigger system on an oscilloscope. Also, with a new Mark All Trigger Events capability, the system ensures capture and search of all potential complex behaviors in a given acquisition of interest.
Tektronix is also providing the custom analysis interface for use with MATLAB, giving oscilloscope users unique plotting and filter capabilities for greater depth of analysis.
As serial bus speeds continue to increase, crosstalk has emerged as a growing concern. With this latest update, Tektronix oscilloscope users will be better equipped to identify crosstalk in their designs without having to resort to a bit error rate tester.
The DPOJET jitter and eye diagram analysis tool now incorporates an algorithm for correctly identifying crosstalk induced jitter as bounded uncorrelated jitter (BUJ). This means real-time oscilloscopes can be used for measuring total jitter and can separate crosstalk or ISI from other jitter sources.
Also, libraries can be created using Microsoft Visual Studio to customize measurements in DPOJET, for instance.
“At today’s fast clock and data rates, we know that crosstalk problems significantly impact our jitter budget. The problem has been that historically it has been very hard to tell whether jitter is coming from crosstalk or some other source, which slows down the debug process considerably,” said Dr. Mike Li, Altera Fellow. “In our initial assessment, we believe that the new BUJ-aware version of DPOJET does accurately represent crosstalk, and gives us a lot more confidence in the accuracy of the TJ@BER (Total Jitter at Bit Error Ratio) numbers coming from the oscilloscope.”
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