Electronic Design

30-GHz Scope Claims Speed And Bandwidth Titles

Building on last year’s WavePro 7 Zi series of oscilloscopes, LeCroy has now launched a followup. The WaveMaster 8 Zi series of digital oscilloscopes, serial data analyzers, and disk-drive analyzer are, according to LeCroy, the market’s widest in bandwidth as well as the industry’s fastest real-time scopes; provide a sample rate of 80 Gsamples/s; 512 Megapoints of analysis; and greater than 15-GHz edge triggering (see the fig). The series comprises a single hardware platform with eight models spanning from 4- to 30-GHz of bandwidth. As a result, engineers can stay current with emerging high-speed technologies and serial data standards by purchasing only the bandwidth needed for current designs, and upgrading to additional bandwidth as needs change.

Oscilloscopes with bandwidths up to 30 GHz are needed to test the fastest emerging technologies in the most difficult measurement environments. Challenges that were not very pronounced at rise times of 50 ps, or bit rates of 2.5 Gbits/s and slower, become more problematic as rise times approach or become less than 25 ps, and bit rates exceed 5 Gbits/s. At these speeds, engineers face signal-integrity problems that were formerly limited to the microwave frequency domain, such as imperfect test fixtures and test circuit connections. In addition, engineers implementing the next generation of high-speed serial data standards are faced with the challenge of faster and more complex signals.

Meanwhile, the serial data channel (interconnect, transmission line, and/or backplane) speeds have not kept up, leading to signal degradation issues in the channel. In addition, emerging serial data standards, such as USB 3.0, require simulation (emulation) of the signal transmission path to ensure reliable performance in all user environments. Lastly, serial data receiver hardware is specifically designed to equalize for signal degradation, yet engineers have no way of characterizing the performance of their measured signals with receiver equalization applied.

With exceptional instrument responsiveness, 10- to 100-times faster analysis processing time, a large 15.3-in., 16:9 high-definition touch screen display (50% larger than 12.4-in. displays), and both 50-Ω / 1-MΩ input capability, the WaveMaster 8 Zi Series is claimed as the most versatile oscilloscope platform available for meeting these high-speed challenges. Features previously announced with the Zi platform, such as TriggerScan rare-event capture; a removable front panel; an integrated second display; and fast LSIB external data transfer (up to 250 Mpoints/s) are also available. The combination of performance, speed, precision, and capability provides engineers with deeper insight, faster debug, and more efficient validation.

The standard sample rate is 80 Gsamples/s for 20- to 30-GHz bandwidths (40 Gsamples/s on all four channels at reduced bandwidth). For bandwidths from 4 to 16 GHz, the standard sample rate is 40 Gsamples/s on all four channels with an option to increase the sampling rate to 80 Gsamples/s on two channels. A 10 Mpoints/channel is provided, with memory options up to 256 Mpoints/channel available. All memory is available at full record lengths for analysis processing. In 80 Gsample/s mode, memory can be interleaved to 512 Mpoints/channel.

For serial data applications, eight serial data analyzer (SDA) models provide the same high bandwidth range (from 4 to 30 GHz), sample rate, and analysis memory capability (with 20 Mpoints/channel standard), and are combined with LeCroy’s SDA II serial data analysis tools and standard 3.125 Gbits/s serial trigger to provide unmatched capability for implementing and debugging emerging, high speed serial data standards, such as PCIe 3.0 and USB 3.0.

The SDA 8 Zi serial data analyzers are based on the WaveMaster 8 Zi Series oscilloscope and are equipped with double the standard memory to capture more unit intervals in the eye diagram. They include an enhanced high-speed serial pattern trigger that operates on up to 80 bit patterns and at speeds up to 3.125 Gbits/s.

Included within the SDA II toolset are superior jitter breakdown methodologies and more precise jitter breakdown tools to increase confidence in measurements, and offer more complete insight, faster than competitive tools. Eye-diagram analysis can be accomplished 100 times faster than competitive tools, it’s claimed. Nearly 1 million unit intervals of PCI Express can be captured, analyzed, and displayed in 3 seconds. Additional tools, such as IsoBER (which identifies lines of constant bit error rate) and the Mask Violation Locator make it easy to understand complex problems. The cable de-embedding feature allows cable distortion effects to be removed to achieve more accurate timing and amplitude measurements on high-speed eye diagrams. Complete, simultaneous views of eye diagrams, time interval error, bathtub curves, jitter histograms, and other jitter breakdown analysis is standard in the new SDA 8 Zi analyzers.

LeCroy’s advanced SDA II tools simplify the path to compliance testing by decreasing debug time and increasing the understanding of jitter through superior and more precise analysis of Rj+Dj breakdown. At the compliance stage, automated QualiPHY packages are available for a variety of established standards, such as PCI Express, SAS, SATA, HDMI, DisplayPort, and XAUI.

A critical element of the WaveMaster 8 Zi scopes’ ability to handle high-speed measurement challenges is the Eye Doctor signal integrity tool set. These tools provide for cable and test fixture de-embedding, modeling of pre-emphasis and de-emphasis, serial data channel emulation, and serial data receiver equalization. It is now possible, within the scope environment and on full 256-Mpoint record lengths, to compensate for or emulate signal-path effects and serial data receiver equalization so as to precisely measure waveforms with the highest signal fidelity at any place in the test circuit under any test condition. With the launch of the WaveMaster 8 Zi, Eye Doctor is now available in a new, more streamlined and more easily accessible form.

Another key to the scopes’ performance is X-Stream II technology. Designed for long memory operation and responsiveness, X-Stream II technology enables high throughput of data—even when the oscilloscope is analyzing eight 256-Mpoint waveforms. This architecture uses variable waveform-segment lengths to improve CPU cache memory efficiency, resulting in 10 to 20 times faster processing compared to other oscilloscopes. This eliminates the trade-offs between long memory length and quick processing. WaveMaster 8 Zi’s proprietary architecture design is augmented with an Intel Core2 Quad processor, high-speed serial databuses, a 64-bit OS and up to 8 GB of processor RAM.

Based on the WaveMaster 8 Zi Series models, the DDA 8 Zi Series disk-drive analyzers are available in 16- and 25-GHz models and come equipped with 20 Mpoints/channel of acquisition memory. Dedicated disk-drive measurements, trigger and zooming for failure analysis, and serial data measurement capability with a disk-drive analyzer user interface are also standard to address high-capacity disk-drive designs. The instruments operate in either DDA or SDA mode to analyze the serial data links or the physical media behavior on a hard drive. All DDAs also include all capability included in SDAs (with the exception of the 3.125 Gbits/s serial trigger).

LeCroy provides a range of high-bandwidth probes and differential amplifiers from 11- to 18-GHz of bandwidth, most available with browser or solder-in tips. In addition, the recently launch WaveLink probes with up to 6-GHz of bandwidth are the perfect solution for 4- and 6-GHz WaveMaster 8 Zi models. Because the WaveMaster 8 Zi is equipped with a ProBus interface, a wide range of general-purpose current probes, active voltage probes, high-voltage probes, and passive probes and accessories are also available for use without requiring additional adapters, amplifiers or power supplies.


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