Scope Upgrades Simplify Serial-Bus Testing

July 30, 2012
Tektronix makes serial-bus testing much simpler with recent oscilloscope upgrades.

In response to faster and more intricate serial-bus standards, Tektronix believes the best bet is to simplify serial-bus test complexity. To make this simplicity a reality and shrink tedious debug cycles, the company offers up an extensive lot of oscilloscope firmware and software upgrades plus greater support for critical serial bus standards including PCI Express, CAN/LIN, FlexRay, MIL-STD-1553B, and Media Oriented System Transport (MOST).

The firmware upgrades and enhanced support for the company’s DPO/MSO5000, DPO7000C, and DPO/DSA/MSO70000C/D series oscilloscopes are both necessary and timely (Fig. 1). According to Brian Reich, general manager of performance oscilloscopes at Tektronix, scope users are reporting that serial bus debug is a growing challenge because of the accelerating rate of change and growing complexity. “What they need is a way to simplify serial bus debugging and verification,” he says.

1. To simplify serial bus debugging, Tektronix offers a wide range of firmware upgrades and enhancements for its DPO/MSO5000, DPO7000C, and DPO/DSA/MSO70000C/D series oscilloscopes.

Targeting the steady rise in signal complexity, Tektronix offers Visual Trigger. Enabling a high degree of flexibility, Visual Trigger allows users to create customizable shapes closely matching a waveform of interest using either a mouse or touchscreen (Fig. 2). The Mark All Trigger Events capability ensures the capture and search of all potential complex behaviors in a given acquisition of interest. Also, a custom analysis interface for use with MATLAB will add several unique plotting and filter capabilities to the oscilloscopes, enabling deeper analyses.

2. Via mouse or touchscreen, the Visual Trigger feature allows users to create customizable shapes that closely mimic a desired waveform.

When the serial bus speeds up, crosstalk grows. Enter the DPOJET Jitter and Eye Diagram Analysis Tool, an option for DPO, DSA, and MSO series scopes. The DPOJET analysis and debug engine helps identify crosstalk without the need for using a bit error rate (BER) tester. It now includes an algorithm for correctly identifying crosstalk-induced jitter as bounded uncorrelated jitter. As a result, the real-time scopes can measure total jitter while separating crosstalk and/or inter-symbol interference (ISI) from the jitter sources.

Adding more flexibility, DPOJET users can customize measurements by creating libraries with MS Visual Studio. Other added DPOJET features include support for logic signals acquired using the mixed-signal functionality in MSO5000 and MSO70000 series oscilloscopes. The capability allows the integration of as many as 16 address and command bus signals into the DPOJET debug environment.

Lastly, the company offers automated test suites that address the subtle nuances and variations between standards applied to the signaling architecture shared by many serial buses. The suites eliminate the need for users to be authorities on every standard. Tektronix is now offering CAN/LIN support and added capabilities for analyzing FlexRay and MOST buses plus PCI Express PHY Layer Decode support for all variations of the bus standard.

The latest version of DPOJET is available, and firmware updates for DPO/MSO5000, DPO7000C, and DPO/DSA/MSO70000C/D series oscilloscopes are available for download free of charge at



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