LeCroy lines up armada for Thunderbolt testing

LeCroy Corp. is providing test support for the Thunderbolt serial data standard with a number of physical layer test instruments which provide transmitter and receiver electrical physical layer testing.

LeCroy's SDA 8 Zi-A serial data analyzers, SDA II and Eye Doctor II analysis software, SPARQ signal integrity network analyzers, and PeRT3 protocol-enabled receiver transmitter tolerance testers will provide toolsets for Thunderbolt design analysis, debug, and validation.

The LeCroy SDA 825Zi-A serial data analyzer and oscilloscope models provide two input channels at 25 GHz which can be used to capture the fifth harmonic of 10 Gb/s NRZ serial data. The SDA 825Zi-A may also be used in a four channel 20 GHz mode  and provides 25 GHz with two input channels and 20 GHz with four input channels.

This flexibility in bandwidth and input channel count is beneficial when the test engineer needs both the ability to perform a crosstalk analysis between multiple lanes using cable inputs and also to measure with the highest signal fidelity possible for validation of jitter performance on a single differential lane using cable inputs.  

The SDA 825Zi-A comes with SDA II serial data analysis software, 32 Mpts/ch of memory, a hardware serial data trigger, and a variety of other standard software packages commonly used in serial data analysis, debug, and validation.  

For higher bandwidth the SDA 8 Zi-A can be upgraded to up to 45 GHz while the LabMaster 9 Zi-A allows up to 20 channels at 20 GHz, 10 channels at 30 GHz, and 5 channels at 45 GHz. LabMaster provides multi-lane serial data jitter and crosstalk analysis.  

SDA II Software provides fast eye diagram analysis, two jitter decomposition methods for better debugging of crosstalk issues, and  jitter analysis tools for deeper insight into root cause issues.  

The IsoBER eye analysis feature included in SDA II adds insight to the traditionally non-quantitative view of eye openings by providing an extrapolated view of the eye opening for a user-adjustable bit error rate. The ability to show mask failures helps to identify sources of eye failures by pinpointing the failure location in the acquisition data.

The SPARQ signal integrity network analyzer provides S-parameter measurements with one button push at a fraction of the price of a conventional vector network analyzer (VNA). It connects directly to the device under test (DUT) and to PC-based software through a single USB connection for multi-port (up to 12) S-parameter measurements. S-parameter measurements have traditionally been made using a VNA but LeCroy believes that SPARQ simplifies measurements, making S-parameters accessible at the desktop of the Thunderbolt engineer.

The SPARQ provides calibrated measurements with a single connection to the DUT and offers simple setup choices. The user is able to start and complete the entire measurement with a single button press. Calibration standards are built into the SPARQ, which enables measurements to be made without multiple connection steps and removes the need for additional electronic calibration (ECAL) modules. Calibration proceeds quickly without user intervention, so calibration can be done often without relying on out-of-date saved calibrations. SPARQ can be used  characterizing multi-port Thunderbolt devices.

PeRT3 fills the space between physical layer test and protocol test for performance testing of receivers and transmitters. PeRT3 Phoenix specifically addresses PCI Express Gen3 test requirements.   

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