Vendors tout test and measurement at DesignCon

(Updated February 1, 2013) DesignCon is convening this week in Santa Clara, with the goal of helping board and systems designers, software developers, and silicon manufacturers gain design expertise, learn about emerging design tools, and network with peers and industry experts. Test is a key focus as well, with companies including Agilent, Anritsu, Instek America, Introspect Technology, Kozio, National Instruments, Noisecom, Pickering Interfaces, Rohde & Schwarz, Stanford Research Systems, TEGAM, Tektronix, Teledyne LeCroy, and XJTAG all showing their wares on the exhibit-hall floor.

Update, Friday 9 a.m.: Teledyne LeCroy showcased its 10 Zi Series 65-GHz oscilloscopes, which offer up to 40 channels; the HDO 12-bit high-definition oscilloscope; and the SDAIII-CompleteLinQ, a multilane serial data analysis package for oscilloscopes that simultaneously displays four eye diagrams. The company also said that Peter J. Pupalaikis, vice president of technology development, has been named an IEEE Fellow in recognition for contributions to high-speed waveform digitizing instruments.

Stanford Research Systems exhibited its lineup of test and measurement equipment, including RF signal generators. In particular, the company highlighted its CG635 clock generator, which generates stable square-wave clocks between 1 µHz and 2.05 GHz.

Update, Thursday 8 a.m. PT: Rohde & Schwarz highlighted EMC testing on the exhibit floor Tuesday and Wednesday, featuring its new ESR test receiver, introduced in August at the EMC Symposium. The company also highlighted the FSV spectrum analyzer family as well as EMI probes and antennas. Rohde & Schwarz also demonstrated the use of its RTO oscilloscope for troubleshooting EMI problems.

Kozio on the show floor highlighted its VTOS verification and test operating system. The company said it is working to expand the number of processors it supports.

Update, Wednesday 9:30 a.m. PT: Jay Alexander, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Oscilloscope Products Division, outlined some key issues that are driving Agilent's innovations in the digital design space. Click here for more.

Update, Wednesday 8 a.m. PT: EDA and methodology development constituted the focus of a DesignCon Tuesday keynote address by Jonah Alben, senior vice president of engineering at NVIDIA. Click here for more.

Update, Wednesday 7 a.m. PT: Mentor Graphics announced the newest release of its HyperLynx product for high-speed design and analysis. Key features include advanced 3D channel and trace modeling, improved DDR signoff verification, and accelerated simulation performance. Click here for more.

Update, Tuesday 8 p.m. PT: Agilent announced it has expanded its mixed-signal oscilloscope line and introduced a solution for PCI Express 3.0 receiver characterization. In addition, Agilent and SiSoft said they were offering a pre-standard IBIS-AMI Modeling guide. Click here, here, and here for more.

Update, Tuesday 7 p.m. PT: National Instruments debuted its NI PXIe-5162 digitizer with 10 bits of vertical resolution and a 5-GS/s sample rate; the company also announced updates to the LabVIEW Jitter Analysis Toolkit. Click here for more.

Update, Tuesday 9 a.m. PT: Anritsu said it is conducting live demonstrations of its 32-Gb/s test solution featuring the Anritsu MP1800A BER Testers. The company is also displaying its VectorStar Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) platform. In addition, TE Connectivity is using the MP1800A BER Tester as part of live high-speed next-generation demonstrations of TE’s QSFP+ active optical cable and TE’s 25-40 Gb/s STRADA Whisper connector. See here and here for more.

Update, Tuesday 7 a.m. PT: Signal Integrity Software Inc. (SiSoft) announced that it has developed an interface to the JMP statistical discovery software from SAS that lets high-speed system designers characterize extremely large design spaces to make informed engineering decisions. Click here for more.

Update, Monday 4 a.m. ET: Tektronix said it would demonstrate its new Serial Data Link Analysis Visualizer software package (SDLA Visualizer) for serial data-link analysis and its new 30-GHz Probing System for serial data measurements. See here and here for more.

Check back here throughout the week for updates. As of Sunday, companies had announced these highlights:

Simulation will also be a topic of interest at the show. ANSYS and its subsidiary Apache Design will exhibit modeling, co-analysis, and advanced optimization simulation solutions for chip-package-system convergence. Technical papers to be presented include “Thermal Co-analysis of 3D-IC/Package/System” and “A Reverse Nyquist Approach to Understanding the Importance of Low-frequency Information in Scattering Matrices.”

Signal integrity will also be a focus at the show. Molex said it would demonstrate the latest derivatives and extensions of its NeoScale connector, a high-speed mezzanine connector that operates at 28-Gb/s+ data rates. The demonstration will feature an integrated test board, a Molex connector, a Texas Instruments chip, and Teledyne LeCroy test equipment. Molex also said it would demonstrate zQSFP+ stacked thermal-management technologies, recounting that wind tunnel testing has been found to offer accurate, repeatable tests.

Molex also said it will participate in several technical paper presentations. One will present modeled and measured data to characterize flex circuits; another will examine how critical system signal integrity and radiated EMI impact conventional implementation of AC coupling capacitors in a 25-Gb/s+ system through 3D modeling, channel simulation, and measurement.

In addition, Isola Group S.a.r.l., a maker of copper-clad laminates and dielectric prepreg materials, said it will introduce a new signal integrity analyzer demo at DesignCon. Attendees can view the high-speed digital performance of I-Tera, Isola’s ultra-low-loss resin system, in an eye diagram generated by a Tektronix BERTScope. The PCB design used in the demo features a daughter-card backplane configuration with single-ended transmission lines ranging from 41 cm to 152 cm routed on I-Tera. Isola will display the signal integrity of I-Tera by analyzing its rise/fall times, eye width/height, jitter at eye crossing, and other key data points to demonstrate the high speed of its data rates.

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