Probe measures signal variations on a DC power/voltage rail

6th December 2016
Posted By : Alice Matthews
Probe measures signal variations on a DC power/voltage rail

Two products have been launched by Teledyne LeCroy: the RP4030 active voltage rail probe and a MIPI System Power Management Interface (SPMI) serial decoder. The RP4030 probe measures small signal variations on a DC power/voltage rail, while the SPMI decoder monitors and correlates SPMI serial bus messages with DC power/voltage rail changes. 

These two products are suitable for testing line or battery-powered computing and embedded systems that use digital Power Management ICs (PMICs) to reduce power consumption and increase system efficiency. They add to the capabilities already provided by Teledyne LeCroy’s HDO8108 (1GHz, 8 channel, 12-bit) and HDO9404 (4GHz, 4 channel, 10-bit) High Definition oscilloscopes.

RP4030 active voltage rail probe
The RP4030 has a large (±30V) built-in offset range, low attenuation (1.2x), and high DC input impedance (50kΩ). This combination of capabilities permits acquisition of DC power/voltage rails with offset equal to the nominal DC rail voltage thereby permitting the DC signal to be centered on the oscilloscope screen and the use of high-sensitivity oscilloscope gain settings (e.g. 5mV/div) to view the noise and small signal AC variations on the DC rail voltage. The probe has 4GHz of bandwidth and matches the Teledyne LeCroy HDO9404 High Definition Oscilloscope for power-integrity testing.

The RP4030 comes with a wide combination of tips and leads. A standard 36” (914mm) SMA to MCX cable attaches to the probe and permits connection to a 4GHz MCX solder-in lead, 4GHz MCX PCB-mount receptacle, or 3GHz MCX coaxial cable to U.FL receptacle which then connects to a U.FL PCB-mount receptacle. An optional browser tip is also available. The high bandwidth and small size of the solder-in lead or the U.FL PCB-mount receptacle (3x3mm) make these the preferred choices for attaching many tips and leads to compact mobile/handheld and battery-powered systems. Additional receptacles or leads may be purchased as accessories and left connected in-circuit for quick and easy connection of many different signals during different test or validation stages.

MIPI System Power Management Interface (SPMI) serial decoder option
Developers of mobile/handheld and battery-powered systems often turn to the MIPI SPMI to facilitate communication between embedded system CPUs and Power Management ICs (PMICs). The goal is to maintain desired system performance while adjusting power levels to achieve the best embedded system efficiencies. Teledyne LeCroy’s SPMI decoder provides a transparent, colour-coded protocol decode overlay for the acquired SPMI physical-layer waveform. The SPMI protocol decode information is also displayed in a single time-interleaved table with other protocol data. Touching a row in the interactive table quickly zooms to the selected protocol packet, and pattern searches and filters provide a means of locating the desired protocol packets and messages. The SPMI decoder is multi-master/multi-slave capable, provides full command and arbitration sequence support, and supports all sequences with pauses.

Teledyne LeCroy’s HDO8108 8-channel, 1GHz, 12-bit resolution oscilloscope finds use in all facets of system power management including: digital power management transient rail response testing, PMIC current sharing/tracking testing, rail voltage power integrity testing, power rail startup and sequencing testing, power response timing measurements, and crosstalk and harmonics evaluation. The eight channels are ideal for viewing many power/voltage rails simultaneously along with other correlated signals. Long memory (up to 250Mpts/ch) provides the ability to capture long time periods at high sample rates, and Mixed-Signal Options (MSO) permit serial clock and data signal capture without using analogue input channels. With 4GHz of bandwidth, the HDO9404 is the suitable choice for power integrity testing when more bandwidth is desired (e.g. when probing close to the CPU). Many specialised single-ended and differential active voltage probes and amplifiers are available in addition to a variety of current probes allowing for complete test coverage.

Advanced rail analysis tools
Teledyne LeCroy is also announcing 'Alpha' availability of an advanced rail analysis toolbox. This toolbox performs a cycle-by-cycle analysis on the rail voltages and displays a variety of mean parametric values in a Numerics table. Per-cycle Waveforms and Zoom+Gate can then be used to vividly display time-varying DC rail behaviors enabling faster Time-to-Insight when troubleshooting system power behaviours.


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