Time- and frequency-domain details in a single acquisition

June 07, 2019 //By Julien Happich
acquisition
Teledyne LeCroy has introduced its WavePulser 40iX interconnect analyzer, a single tool enabling 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, vector network analyzers (VNA), 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 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 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.ç

“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


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