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Active Probe Solution for Emerging High-Speed Links

Introspect PV113 October 2017 – Introspect Technology offers the PV1 Active Probe, an in-system measurement solution that is compatible with any 50 Ohm instrument whether it be an oscilloscope, a protocol analyzer, or a spectrum analyzer. The PV1 is ideal for probing full-width data transfer links such as those found in MIPI CSI-2 or DSI/DSI-2 system implementations. And by having a completely non-proprietary instrument interface, it dramatically enhances productivity by facilitating the attachment of a wide range of instruments to devices under test while minimizing circuit loading and maintaining signal integrity.

When coupled with Introspect’s Personalized SerDes Testers, the PV1 assists in the debug of subtle, long-term system-level issues by offering a high signal integrity and low circuit loading. For example, the combination of a handful of PV1 probes and a single SV3C DPRX MIPI D-PHY Analyzer allows for long-term error-rate testing on MIPI enabled vision systems that are increasingly used in safety critical applications such as Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS). The same probes – attached to the same devices under test – can then be combined with an oscilloscope or a spectrum analyzer for investigating in-situ electrical artifacts in the time domain or the frequency domain.

“When putting together entire mixed-technology systems, it is critical to be able to perform a myriad of measurements at the system level, and this is where a non-proprietary active probing solution becomes critical,” said Dr. Mohamed Hafed, CEO of Introspect Technology. “Recognizing this need, Introspect set out to create a no-frills solution that provided low circuit loading and sufficient bandwidth for a wide range of applications,” he continued.

Typical Applications

MIPI imaging and display systems are starting to exceed the 1 Gbps regime, and they require a large number of connections to be analyzed. To address this, the PV1 is offered with a compact power supply that can power up to 10 probes simultaneously. Similarly, implementations of peripheral buses such as QSPI constantly push printed circuit board limits in terms of frequency, timing, and latency. Such implementations benefit tremendously from a low-loading active probe solution that could attach to a protocol analyzer, oscilloscope, or tester. Finally, analog structures such as power distribution networks (PDNs) or termination circuits can be analyzed in the frequency domain through interfacing the PV1 to a spectrum analyzer.

Key Features

The PV1 has been optimized for low voltage applications covering a voltage dynamic range of -0.4V to +1.8V. It has a male SMA connector for attachment to any instrument. The probe amplifier is enclosed in a miniature body to allow for attachment in confined spaces, and a female signal socket allows for extending reach through short solder-in leads.


The PV1 is available for purchase immediately from Introspect, (Europe), and Xsoptix (North America).

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