Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Publication Date: 05/1/2009
Archive >  May 2009 Issue >  Electronic Mfg. Products > 

Agilent Intros Physical Layer Test System Option
Physical layer test system.
Santa Clara, CA — Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced a breakthrough advanced calibration option together with the release of its Physical Layer Test System (PLTS) version 5.0 software. This new option integrates a suite of wizards for automatic fixture removal, Thru-Reflect-Line calibration and differential crosstalk calibration.

The Thru-Reflect-Line calibration cuts design time in half. The automatic fixture removal wizard saves weeks of nonrecurring engineering time and up to $10,000 of printed circuit board (PC board) fabrication costs. This "first-of-its-kind" functionality is well suited for high-speed digital designers or signal integrity laboratories performing interconnect design, test and verification of high-speed connectors, cables, backplanes and PC boards. The advanced calibration option, in conjunction with the PLTS version 5.0 software, can be used with the company's Vector Network Analyzers (VNA) to simplify signal integrity test. By extending the usability of the VNA, the option sets the standard for VNA-based signal integrity analysis by enabling a common platform for optimizing interconnect design, characterization and validation. The option's calibration wizards include Thru-Reflect-Line (TRL) Calibration Wizard — described as the world's first software tool for the design and validation of a PC board-based TRL calibration kit. According to the company, this wizard is designed to simplify the tedious, error-prone process of TRL fixture design. By reducing the number of board spins required, it effectively reduces design cycle time, from beginning to end, by at least 50 percent. Moreover, by comparing the TRL connector launch quality and line impedance variation for each TRL structure, the wizard is able to quickly verify the overall quality of the TRL calibration kit, including the critical high frequency performance.

Also included is the Differential Crosstalk Calibration Wizard — which enables extremely accurate error correction by taking into account the coupling of differential transmission lines on the test fixture. The result is reportedly an improvement of 25dB at a given frequency compared with other standard TRL methodologies. The Automatic Fixture Removal Wizard enables quick and easy differentially coupled fixture de-embedding by requiring only a thru structure. Otherwise, it would be necessary to create a complex fixture model for S-parameter de-embedding.

Contact: Agilent Technologies, Test and Measurement Organization, 5301 Stevens Creek Blvd., MS 54LAK, Santa Clara, CA 95052 800-452-4844 Web:

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