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High-Speed Interconnect Testing and Validation

TLC WavePulser05 June 2019 – Teledyne LeCroy introduced its WavePulser 40iX high-speed interconnect analyzer, a uniquely capable solution for complete interconnect testing and validation. The WavePulser 40iX is the ideal single tool for high-speed hardware designers and test engineers to characterize and analyze interconnects and cables for high-speed serial protocols such as PCI Express, HDMI, USB, SAS, SATA, Fibre Channel, InfiniBand, Gigabit Ethernet, and Automotive Ethernet.

Until now, interconnect testing and validation has been bifurcated between time- and frequency-domain testing. For the former, signal-integrity engineers have used TDRs to characterize step/impulse response by generating an impedance profile. TDRs are characterized by high spatial resolution, enabling precise location of impairments along the transmission line, noted by changes in the impedance profile. For the latter, VNAs, characterized by high dynamic range, are typically used by microwave engineers to measure S-parameters of radio-frequency (RF) components. When adapted to high-speed interconnect testing, VNAs suffer from the need to extrapolate response to DC and from sub-par analysis tools for time-domain simulation, emulation, time gating, and jitter analysis. Neither test instrument fully meets the needs of design engineers who test and validate high-speed interconnects.

 The WavePulser 40iX greatly simplifies the process of high-speed interconnect testing and validation by unifying time- and frequency-domain characterizations. The WavePulser 40iX, in a single acquisition and in one instrument, performs complete S-parameter frequency characterization like a vector network analyzer (VNA), impedance profiling like a time-domain reflectometer (TDR), and also delivers deep analysis capabilities. Quick to calibrate automatically and easy to use, the WavePulser 40iX unravels the complexities of the physical signal path, accurately characterizing serial data cables, channels, connectors, vias, backplanes, printed-circuit boards, chip and SoC packages, and more. The measured S-parameters also may be used for additional analyses, including time gating, de-embedding of interconnects, eye diagrams, optimized equalization settings, serial-data pattern simulation, and advanced jitter analysis with breakdown into component elements.

“The WavePulser 40iX combines the time and frequency domains in one instrument and enables detection of impairments such as poorly-assembled connectors, mechanically damaged cables, or the location of discontinuities in the channel,” said Eric Bogatin, Signal Integrity Evangelist at Teledyne LeCroy. “Such impairments are impossible to detect using S-parameters in the frequency domain alone because these effects are dispersed across the DUT’s frequency response, but the WavePulser 40iX easily identifies and locates them with spatial resolution of less than 1 mm. It also provides both single-ended and mixed-mode S-parameter measurements (ready for simulation) from DC to 40 GHz. Without a WavePulser 40iX, it may take four different software tools to measure S-parameters, de-embed fixtures, display in time or frequency domains as single-ended or mixed mode, and simulate eye diagrams.”

Price and Availability

 The WavePulser 40iX high-speed interconnect analyzer, bundled with analysis software and external calibration kit, is priced at less than $50,000.

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