Test & Measurement

SPMI decoder combines with oscilloscope for power integrity test

2nd December 2016
Mick Elliott

Two new products, the RP4030 active voltage rail probe and an industry first MIPI System Power Management Interface (SPMI) serial decoder have been launched by Teledyne LeCroy. 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 ideal 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 extensive capabilities already provided by Teledyne LeCroy’s HDO8108 (1GHz, 8 channel, 12-bit) and HDO9404 (4GHz, 4 channel, 10-bit) High Definition oscilloscopes.

The RP4030 has a large (±30V) built-in offset range, low attenuation (1.2x), and high DC input impedance (50 kΩ).

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. 5 mV/div) to view the noise and small signal AC variations on the DC rail voltage.

The probe has 4GHz of bandwidth twice that of competitive probes and ideally 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 36in (914mm) SMA to MCX cable attaches to the probe and permits connection to a 4GHz MCX solder-in lead, 4-GHz MCX PCB-mount receptacle, or 3-GHz 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 very high bandwidth and very small size of the solder-in lead or the U.FL PCB-mount receptacle (3mm x 3mm) make these the preferred choices for attaching many tips and leads to very 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.

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 an intuitive, 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 an easy 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 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 behaviours enabling faster Time-to-Insight when troubleshooting system power behaviours.

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