Scope-on-a-chip method redefines integrity analysis - Embedded.com

Scope-on-a-chip method redefines integrity analysis

Camarillo, Calif. – Claiming a development that could change the economics of signal integrity analysis, Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. has taken the wraps off VScope, an IC-based embedded waveform viewing technology.

The technology – which will be described in more detail in “Design and Application of Embedded Waveform Viewing Technology for Integrated Circuits” at DesignCon 2008, February 4-7, 2008 ” is aimed by the company at changing fundamentally the dynamics and economies of backplane design, signal integrity analysis, test & measurement equipment, and remote monitoring in communication systems.

According to Juan Garza, product marketing manager for Vitesse's Signal Integrity Products, what the company has done with Vscope is to embedded the oscilloscope function into the receiver of ICs used in communication systems, thus offering direct viewing of signal characteristics similar to traditional lab oscilloscopes.

He said the patented technology provides a more accessible and cost-effective signal analysis tool that can be remotely monitored through network connections,delivering the industry's first offering of true in-line imaging of thereal-time data stream on a per-pin basis.

“By replicating the oscilloscope function within the IC, the equivalent ofcountless engineering test labs can now be deployed throughout thenetwork,” he said. “This creates exceptional visibility in monitoring signalintegrity in ICs, systems, and networks, and the same monitoring function used during system development can now be used as an ongoing health monitor for systems and networks.”

The VScope data acquisition architecture uses dual adjustable samplingchannels for simultaneously receiving and scanning. Garza said VScope is able to deliver superior accuracy over external measurement methods because it reflectsthe true behavior of the data stream as it is captured, thus avoiding correlation errors between the measurement circuitry and live data path.

“Post-equalizer scanning delivers an unobstructed view of the internal ICsignal compared to oscilloscopes that offer only an extrapolated view ofsignals from outside the chip,” he said.

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