Agilent Technologies' Logic Analysis Application Suite

Agilent Technologies has announced five software applications that provide advanced measurement capabilities and ease-of-use that engineers need to more quickly and accurately solve advanced design problems. The applications are supported across Agilent's entire logic-analysis portfolio, including the new 16800 series logic analyzers as well as its 1690, 1680 and 16900 series logic analyzers.

In addition to using logic analyzers for general-purpose signal and bus timing and for state measurements, design teams often spend hours turning low-level measurement data into meaningful insight related to their system. In some cases they write their own application software to perform these tasks. Agilent has addressed this need with this suite of application software, which can save up to weeks of development time and eliminate errors caused by manual data interpretation.

Key industry shifts and associated Agilent logic analysis applications include:

- High-Speed Serial
High-speed multilane serial buses are quickly moving from the computer industry to embedded applications. Using Agilent's Packet Viewer, design teams view serial data in a protocol-rich manner for quick analysis. In addition, trigger setup is done at the protocol level. This allows design teams to operate at a higher level of abstraction and more quickly resolve protocol debug issues. The application supports a number of multilane serial buses, including PCIe, SATA, Parallel Rapid IO, ASI and Infiniband.

- Advanced FPGAs
Design teams continue to implement faster and larger designs using FPGA technology. FPGA vendors are seeing significant growth in the number of design teams incorporating "soft", or synthesizable, processors. Agilent's new E9524A trace toolset for Xilinx MicroBlaze provides a trace core for quickly connecting the right processor signals to logic-analyzer channels, and an inverse assembler to display software-execution measurements. An industry first, the Agilent application facilitates deep trace measurements captured by an external logic analyzer, even when Xilinx MicroBlaze cache is enabled. In addition, Agilent is updating its B4655A FPGA dynamic probe by adding support for Xilinx's recently introduced Virtex-5 family.

- High-Speed Signals
The Agilent View Scope application is the industry's first solution that connects scope and logic-analyzer measurements using off-the-shelf BNC and LAN cables. The application quickly allows designers to time-correlate parametric scope measurements with functional logic-analysis measurements when high-speed design problems cross both domains.

- Wireless Analog/RF Boundary
Wireless design teams are quickly moving to architectures where the measurement spots for analog RF signals are no longer present. Rather, measurement is only available on digital signals. Agilent has combined logic-analysis capture of these signals with its digital VSA (vector signal analysis) software. Since the 1's and 0's that a logic analyzer captures tend to be foreign to wireless designers, the ability to import this information into the digital VSA application allows teams to view the information in the traditional formats required to validate and optimize wireless designs. In addition, Agilent's new signal extraction software allows design teams to quickly extract I and Q information from digital acquisitions.

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