For designers of high-end computer, networking and communications systems, Hewlett-Packard (HP; Palo Alto, CA) introduces new modules that increase the speed of its general-purpose logic analyzers. The new modules offer up to 333MHz state and up to 2GHz timing, plus added features to make the HP 16600A and 16700A logic analysis systems easier, more powerful and more efficient to use than previous versions.
Fast state speed is critical to designers who use the latest microprocessors and high-speed data buses because it allows them to capture state data accurately while the device under test runs at full speed. Running a system at full speed while monitoring and analyzing its data ensures that no data will be missed or erroneously clocked when debugging a microprocessor-based architecture or validating a computer system.
New timing zoom technology allows data capture with a variable sample rate from 250MHz to 2GHz. The ability to vary the placement of the window surrounding the trigger point, combined with deep memory and 500-picosecond resolution, finally allows engineers to use the wide channel count of a logic analyzer in place of an oscilloscope for hardware characterization.
The analyzer's new triggering interface includes a scroll bar that allows users to select any of the most commonly used trigger functions quickly. When a trigger is selected, it is graphically depicted on-screen. This helps the design engineer see exactly how trigger conditions will be defined. Once the trigger is on-screen, the designer simply fills in the names of the buses and patterns desired to complete the setup.
To set up more complex trigger definitions, design engineers will be able to combine trigger functions just like building blocks. For example, "find edge" and "find pattern" can be combined to create "find edge followed by pattern."
When used with an HP logic-analysis-system mainframe, each of the new modules allows up to 16 steps to be completed sequentially in defining a trigger. For example, a user may want to trigger on the rising edge of one signal followed by the rising edge of another. To do this, the logic analyzer finds the first rising edge before looking for the next rising edge.
The three new modules each support 68 channels. Five modules can be combined for a total of 340 channels in one system. All the modules work with both the HP 16600A and 16700A logic analysis systems.
Hewlett-Packard Company, Test and Measurement Organization, 5301 Stevens Creek Blvd., MS 54LAK, Santa Clara, CA 95052. Phone: 800-452-4844 ext. 6445.