LeCroy extends WaveMaster to 3GHz - Embedded.com

LeCroy extends WaveMaster to 3GHz

Following on from the introduction in January of the WaveMaster Series, LeCroy has added a 3GHz bandwidth model to the series. As Waveshapes are becoming faster and more complex the successful use of an oscilloscope depends on the ability to understand these complex waveshapes.

Incorporating the patented X-Stream technology, the WaveMaster is said to processes measurements 10 to 100 times faster than before.

The WaveMaster 8300 oscilloscope captures signals up to 3GHz and provides advanced Waveshape analysis with an array of analysis measurement functions. The X-Stream architecture starts with SiGe front end amplifiers and matching ADCs. These track the incoming signal up to 3GHz and digitize it at 10Gsamples/s on each channel. Outputs from the ADCs are stored in custom CMOS memory chips at the 10Gbytes/s data rate.

In one or two channel mode the WaveMaster doubles the sampling rate to 20Gsamples/s and also doubles the memory length. The standard sample memory is 500kpoints/ch and options of 2M, 8M, 16M and 24 Mpoints/ch are available, the longest memory in any oscilloscope on four channels. When using one or two channels up to 48Mpoints are available.

With a clock accuracy of 1ppm, interpolator resolution of 1ps, and clock jitter of a 150fs, the scope is equipped to make accurate timing measurements and analysis on high-speed clock and data signals. The choice of triggers and a SiGe chip ensuring edge triggering up to the full 3GHz bandwidth of the input channels.

The scope uses an intuitive graphical user interface which can be operated in three ways — touch screen (10.4in SVGA TFT), standard optical mouse or using the front panel knobs as in the past. The scope functions can be accessed using any of the thee modes of control.

The acquisition memory used in X-Stream technology is a proprietary LeCroy design that arranges the data from the ADC into packets and transfers them in a streaming mode via dual gigabit Ethernet links to the PCI bus and then to the microprocessor.

Simultaneous time, frequency and statistical views.

LeCroy has twelve patents pending for the software system which handles the data and performs calculations. The result of the software innovations in X-Stream is that data packets, and the algorithms for calculating pulse parameters or waveform math, are managed in a fashion that optimizes the likelihood for all elements to be simultaneously resident in cache memory. Using this approach instructions and calculations can be fetched and performed at up to two orders of magnitude faster than traditional architectures that operate on data stored in RAM.

Once the first batch of data arrives at the CPU, display, measurement and analysis routines can be invoked. Using X-Stream technology, the initial part of a long complex waveform can be under analysis by the CPU while the remainder of the signal is still flowing through the streaming architecture.

The software architecture used allows scripts from selected third party software packages to be integrated into the oscilloscope processing chain. Once defined, implementation of a customer measurement or math function is no more difficult than a typical Windows 'cut and paste' activity. If a certain signal parameter or measurement is not available the WaveMaster oscilloscope lets you create customized parameter measurements and high-level waveform math routines, which can be inserted into the processing chain of the oscilloscope. A visual basic script can be inserted to provide the flexibility needed to create and perform these customized measurements.

WaveShape Analysis is provided by the Master Analysis Package (XMAP). This option expands the basic FFT function to accommodate all acquired points, provides averaging in the frequency domain and enables measurement of spectral power density, real and imaginary components and frequency domain parameters. This package also provides measurement of 12 additional timing parameters for jitter and timing analysis, plus time vs. time JitterTrack plots.

Histicons provide better understanding of signal data and statistical information can be read at the same time.

Histogramming is provided for up to 2 billion events, and histogram measurements are enhanced through the availability of 18 parameters that statistically define the shape of the distribution. In addition to the wider range of math functions and signal parameter measurements, the Master Analysis Package also permits the user to create customized parameter measurements and custom math functions, perform parameter math, and doubles the number of math traces from 4 to 8.

Published in Embedded Systems (Europe) April 2002

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