Tektronix Debuts Serial Bus Debug Tools

July 3, 2012. Tektronix Inc. has announced a broad set of oscilloscope firmware and software upgrades designed to simplify and shorten serial bus debug cycles, and the company announced 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).

“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 for performance oscilloscopes at Tektronix. “Responding to this need, we are rolling out major updates that build on our standards expertise to provide complete system confidence and maximize 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.”

Enhanced Trigger Capabilities

With signal complexity rising, capturing a unique event on an oscilloscope requires a trigger system with a high degree of flexibility. Tektronix said it meets this need with its Visual Trigger triggering system, which allows engineers to create highly customizable shapes using their mouse or touch-screen that closely match the desired waveform of interest. Also, with a new Mark All Trigger Events capability, the Tektronix Performance Trigger system ensures capture and search of all potential complex behaviors in a given acquisition of interest.

Customized Data Analysis Using MATLAB

Engineers have traditionally turned to Tektronix performance oscilloscopes for fast measurement acquisition. Often, waveform data is then analyzed in a variety of user-defined ways with processing and analysis tools such as MATLAB. Now, Tektronix is providing the custom analysis interface for use with MATLAB, giving oscilloscope users plotting and filter capabilities for greater depth of analysis.

DPOJET Analysis and Debug Engine

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 capability enables real-time oscilloscopes to 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.”

DPOJET has also been enhanced with the ability to add customized measurements and now includes support for logic signals acquired using the mixed-signal functionality in Tektronix MSO5000 and MSO70000 Series oscilloscopes. This logic channel capability allows up to 16 address and command bus signals to be integrated into the DPOJET debug environment.

Serial Decode/Trigger/Search

While most serial buses are similar in signaling architecture, there are important nuances that vary from standard to standard. By providing automated test suites, Tektronix eliminates the need for engineers to be experts in every standard. This latest release speeds up serial bus verification for design engineers in two important industries: automotive and high-end computing.

In support of the growing use of electronics in automotive, Tektronix is rolling out robust CAN/LIN support and new capabilities for analyzing FlexRay and MOST buses.  These buses are widely used across the automotive industry as well as a number of other segments such as lightweight aircraft and heavy equipment.

With the increase in the number and complexity of high-speed serial buses in the enterprise server industry, Tektronix is also offering PCI Express PHY-layer decode support for all variations of this bus standard. This enhances 8b/10b decode capability while speeding up PCIe design verification and troubleshooting for engineers.

The new version of DPOJET is available now. Firmware updates for DPO/MSO5000 Series, DPO7000C and DPO/DSA/MSO70000C/D Series oscilloscopes are available free.


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