Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (7-2-12): Having fun with probes, scopes & analyzers - Embedded.com

Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (7-2-12): Having fun with probes, scopes & analyzers

Embedded Newsletter for 07-02-2012

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July 2, 2012

Tech Focus: Having fun with probes, scopes & analyzers


Verifying serial buses and components in embedded designs

Troubleshoot and verify 8b/10b encoded signals with a real-time oscilloscope

A cheap, high quality probe

Of slaves and scopes

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

In his recent column on “A cheap, high quality probe “, Jack Ganssle takes us through building and using a do-it-yourself high quality scope probe. I enjoyed this column immensely. It involved me every step of the way even though I didn't actually build the probe. Jack loves good, well designed tools and has a lot of fun using them and then writing about his experiences. This column is the follow-on to two recent columns on testing and using probes: “Probing pointers,” and “Probing pointers, Take 2,” both equally enjoyable.

I went back into the Embedded.com 20-year knowledge base of design resources and found some of other favorite columns and articles by Jack. Sure enough, he has always been at his best when he had a chance to write about the best ways to use hardware tools such as oscilloscopes, signal probes, and logic analyzers. Here below are some of my favorites :

Of slaves and scopes
An MSO for the masses
Examining your most important tools
Making system debug easier: useful hardware & software tips
Tips on building & debugging embedded systems

Reflecting this kind of hands-on experience, here are a variety of other columns, articles, white papers, and online classes, of which my Editor's Top Picks are:

Verifying serial buses and components in embedded designs
Troubleshoot 8b/10 bit encoded signals with a real-time oscilloscope
Debug your MCU-based design with a mixed-signal oscilloscope

If this is your kind of fun, be sure to attend the 2012 ESC DESIGN East in Boston Sept. 17-20 for more such hands-on demonstrations and classes from Jack and other embedded engineering professionals. To qualify for 30 percent off the attendance fees, go to the registration page and sign up using the following promo code: EMB0627.

Design How-Tos

Verifying serial buses and components in embedded designs

This article describes three application examples of how signals on peripheral chips can be correlated with serial bus data to verify system operation using a mixed signal oscilloscope.

Troubleshoot and verify 8b/10b encoded signals with a real-time oscilloscope

This article provides an important update on the latest techniques for using a real-time oscilloscope to troubleshoot and verify devices with the 8b/10b serial coding used in such standards as PCI-Express, Serial ATA, SAS, Fibre Channel, InfiniBand, FireWire, MIPI M-PHY, HDMI, DisplayPort, CIPRI, OBSAI, XAUI, USB3.0 and others.

Examining your most important tools

What is your favorite tool for embedded systems design?

Making embedded system debug easier: useful hardware & software tips

Here are some useful tips and techniques to employ during the initial design & construction of your embedded system design to make it easier to debug both the hardware & software at later stages.

Tips on building & debugging embedded designs: Part 1

In a two part series, Jack Ganssle, editor of “Embedded Systems: World Class Designs,” passes on some tips about embedded systems design gained from his experiences as both a designer and a manager of hardware and software projects.

Choosing and using the right tools for high-speed serial data analysis

Because serial bus technology has raised the bar in performance requirements for high-performance test and measurement instruments, designers need tools that can support critical signal integrity measurements and eye diagram analysis.

Two good test probes are all you need

If you're using a probe that doesn't match the specifications of the device under test, what you see on your scope may not be what's going on in your circuit.

Troubleshooting real-time software issues using a logic analyzer

This logic analyzer technique is a power-tool for the embedded software engineer's toolbox.

Back to the basics: Debug your MCU-based design with a mixed signal oscilloscope

Here's a brief tutorial on how mixed signal oscilloscopes can be used as effective tools for debugging mixed signal designs incorporating either MCUs or DSPs.

Capturing and Debugging System Crashes

While system crashes can be difficult to debug, this article clarifies and explains the concepts, techniques, and logic analyzer tools that can be used to troubleshoot your embedded design effectively.

Extracting clock signals from high-speed communications

One of the tricks to high-speed communication is embedding the clock signal within the data. Getting the clock back out, and using it to recover the data, requires some careful design.

Using Real Time Spectrum Analyzers to test passive RFID tags

Real Time Spectrum Analysis is an effective tool for testing RFID-based designs for transient signals, bandwidth inefficient modulations and backscattered data.

Understanding the impact of digitizer noise on oscilloscope measurements

Whether you are designing or buying a digitizing system, you need some means of determining real-life performance. How closely does the output of any ADC, waveform digitizer, or DSO follow an analog input signal? ENOB testing provides a means of establishing a figure of merit for dynamic digitizing performance.

2012 Embedded Market Survey webinar

UBM Electronics' 17th annual survey of embedded systems designers worldwide shows trends in software and hardware usage. The 2012 Embedded Market Survey also looks at languages, productivity, and the challenges design teams rank as most important. A webinar on Friday April 20 will examine the results from over 1,700 respondents from across the embedded industry, the dataset enables a deep analysis to track key changes in this important electronics industry segment. There will also be the opportunity to ask questions online. To register click here .


LeCroy pushes RT DSO bandwidth war to 65 GHz, works on 100 GHz for 2013

The 10Zi series of LabMaster modular real-time oscilloscope systems now offer a 65-GHz bandwidth acquisition module.

Agilent Infiniium oscilloscope reaches 63-GHz-bandwidth

Examines Agilent's 63-GHz-bandwidth real-time-sampling DSO as it compares to other high-performance scopes available today.

DSOs have 2.4 Mpts memory and LAN interface

The 2540B and 2542B oscilloscopes from B&K Precision offer bandwidths of 60 MHz and 100 MHz respectively with 1 GSa/s sampling rates.

Agilent launches scopes for engineering educators

Agilent Technologies' InfiniiVision X-Series oscilloscopes are optimized for low-cost and high-performance and to fit the needs of engineering education.

Tektronix delivers test solution for Thunderbolt physical layer electrical validation

Tektronix, Inc. has announced a comprehensive test solution for Thunderbolt technology, a new, high-speed, multi-protocol I/O technology designed to provide headroom for next generation display and I/O requirements.

Logic protocol analyzer enhanced for PCIe

Additional software capabilities for the Tektronix TLA7SA08 and TLA7SA16 Logic Protocol Analyzer Modules provide support for PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0. The additions include a Bird's Eye View (BEV) to help engineers visualize and investigate difficult flow control problems along with one-click calibration and auto configuration.


A cheap, high quality probe

It's not hard to make a high quality scope probe.

Probing pointers

The wrong probe can cause your circuit to fail or even physically destroy components. Here are some of the issues.

Probing pointers, Take 2

Jack tests several probes to see how different probes change the results.

Of slaves and scopes

If robots do all our work, what will happen to us? And a tiny oscilloscope sparks the imagination.

An MSO for the masses

Jack Ganssle takes a look at Tektronix's MSO2024, the oscilloscope being given away at the ESC SV 2010.

Probing questions

Probes seem to be gaining importance as bus speeds increase and test contacts become smaller and denser. Now Agilent Technologies Inc. has made an interesting move, which it says is based on customer feedback, by introducing a Tektronix-to-Agilent probe adapter.

Sponsored White Papers

TekConnect Probes: Signal Fidelity Issues and Modeling

ABCs of Probes

Restoring Confidence in Your High-Bandwidth Probe Measurements

6 Tips for Successful Logic Analyzer Probing

Logic Analyzer Triggering Techniques to Capture Elusive Problems

Power Supply Measurement and Analysis with Tektronix Bench Oscilloscopes

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