Tektronix brings a team effort to hardware analysis/debug

Santa Clara, Ca. – At DesignCon this week Tektronix took on the difficult challenge of helping companies manage and coordinate widely dispersed hardware design teams – and their scope and analysis tools – with introduction of its PC-based TekScope Anywhere cloud service.

According to Chris Loberg is a Senior Technical Marketing Manager at Tektronix, the cloud-based software tooling is designed to extend the visualization, analysis, and reporting capabilities found on Tektronix oscilloscopes to Microsoft Windows-based PCs, tablets and servers.

“By decoupling analysis tools from the oscilloscope, engineers can now do much of their work away from the lab and collaborate more effectively with colleagues around the world,” he said. “But even more importantly, it allows project team managers to maintain tight control over team efforts and rationalize reporting and analysis methods.

Loberg said TekScope Anywhere (Figure 1 below ) enables managers and team members who are collaborating to collect and analyze results without being tied to instruments in the lab.

Figure 1. Tekscope Anywhere allows hardware designers to access oscilliscope measurements and perform a variety of analysis operations remotely via any PC/laptop/tablet.

The cloud-based service, he said, also deals with the fact that in current project development, more analysis is being done prior to arrival of silicon in simulation. “For these such siutations, a test setup incorporating the TekScope Anywhere tools, enables measurements on simulation data using the same algorithms that the oscilloscope will use during silicon PHY characterization post-fabrication,” said Loberg.

After after linking to an an oscilloscope (Figure 2 ) to collect waveform data and measurement results, the Windows based PC or tablet can be used to access the TekScope Anywhere service in the cloud, where the developer or manager has access to a set of common analysis tools independent of the hardware used to make the acquisition. A broad set of waveform formats from oscilloscopes or simulation environments are supported including .h5, .wfm, .csv, .bin, .trc, and .tr0.

Figure 2. TekAnywhere Export Session utility allows you to save the instrument state from a Tektronix oscilloscope for use on the cloud.

To speed up analysis, TekScope Anywhere features a composite save/recall function to help users get started at the right place every time. An included measurement library offers over 70 measurements, including parametric, jitter, and eye diagrams.

Powerful visualizations include waveform and plot displays with interactions for zooming, cursors, and annotations along with math support for basic operations including operands (-, +, etc.), FFT, and arbitrary filters. Advanced jitter measurements are also available.

“A common issue that arises when taking lab measurements is correlation between instrumentation and simulation,” he said. “The source of differences can be related to a difference in measurement algorithms.

Additionally, said Loberg, it is often useful for not only engineers, but their managers who be thousands of miles away to be able to compute the measurement results in a common analysis environment.

“Using this cloud-based capability, they can import multiple waveform formats, including .wfm, .csv, .bin, .trc, and .tr0 and use them to extract information important to them,” he said. “For example, you can simultaneously compare the eye opening of a waveform captured in the lab vs. a simulated waveform or waveform captured on a different oscilloscope.”

Session files, including configuration and measurement details, can be saved on any Tektronix SO/DPO5000, DPO7000, or MSO/DPO70000 series oscilloscope and used within TekScope Anywhere, eliminating the need to re-configure hardware setups.

Sharing data acquired on the oscilloscope for offline analysis is also possible with a TekScope session export utility in combination with the platform's offline analysis software. “When sharing data for remote debug sessions or for archiving for future use it is often necessary to save the entire oscilloscope configuration including measurement configuration and waveform data,” said Loberg.

The session export untility, he said, allows creation of a single file with all the necessary information to recreate the setup for analysis using TekScope Anywhere. Adding to its collaboration capabilities, measurement results can be compared simultaneously across multiple waveforms and reports easily generated with the results.

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