You need to test, we're here to help.

You need to test, we're here to help.

08 August 2022

Using TF-USB-C-HS for USB 3.2 PHY-Logic Layer Debug

Figure 1. USB 3.2 electrical decoding with ProtoSync
view of protocol packets, captured using TF-USB-C-HS.
Click on any image to enlarge it.
In a USB-C connector, link training for USB 3.1/3.2 is negotiated using an LTSSM (Link Training and Status State Machine) through electrical signaling on the TX1/RX1 and TX2/RX2 connector pins. Link training must be completed on the link before high-speed data transactions can occur.  One problem you might encounter during link training is a failure to train to USB 3.2 Gen 2 specifications. Teledyne LeCroy customers report that most system-interoperability problems are caused by either link-training or sideband-negotiation failures, which in turn can result from an electrical problem, a digital problem or a combination of both. 

TF-USB-C-HS enables you to probe all points on the USB-C connector to measure and analyze live links. The insertion-loss profile of the included cable and coupon is tuned to be the equivalent of a golden 0.8-m USB Type-C cable, so you can replace a 0.8-m cable with the coupon and not experience any difference in link performance. The coupon also has a loop to allow a current probe to make load-current measurements, and the HS version is compatible with Teledyne LeCroy DH Series probes for making high-speed differential measurements.

We'll show how to trigger, acquire and decode to find problematic link training packets synchronous with the physical-layer electrical waveforms, so you can tell if the source of your interoperability  problem is electrical, logical or both.

05 July 2022

A Tale of Two Calibrations: Vector Network Analyzer vs. WavePulser 40iX

Figure 1: This sequence diagram of the
classic SOLT 2-path calibration shows
the order of connections required. 
It was the best of S-parameter measurements, it was the worst of S-parameter measurements…and the difference was in the calibration.  Calibrating a vector network analyzer (VNA) before making any measurements is required in order to reduce errors from imperfect channel matching, less than optimal directivity in the directional couplers and cable response issues. While VNAs are precisely calibrated at the factory, that calibration only extends to the front panel measurement ports. There will inevitably be drift on the internal paths over time. Also, any cables, adaptors or fixtures connected to the measurement ports must be characterized and de-embedded in order to make exact measurements of the device under test (DUT).  

There are many possible calibration methods depending on the number of ports and paths being measured.  For simplicity, let’s consider the common 2-port, 2-path calibration.  This calibration method will yield a full set of S-parameters for the two ports: S11, S12, S21 and S22.  It requires the use of a short, open, load and through (SOLT) calibration reference standard, along with the cables used in the test setup, as shown in Figure 1.

27 June 2022

Get Ready for PCIe 6.0 Base Tx Testing--Compliance, Jitter and Eye Diagrams

Figure 1. The four levels and three eyes of the
PCIe 6.0 PAM4 signal.
Click on any image to enlarge.
The PCI Express® 6.0 Base specification was officially released in January 2022 at version 1.0, meaning it is considered final. The CEM and PHY test specifications are currently at version 0.3, and 0.5 versions of both will probably be released sometime in the third or fourth quarter of 2022. As both the CEM and PHY test specifications are still at an early stage, it's hard to predict exactly when the PCIe® 6.0 compliance test program will start, but it's safe to say it is at least a few years out. However, PCIe 6.0 Base testing is upon us, especially those of us working on chip design.

So, what can implementers expect as they retool for PCIe 6.0 Base Tx and Base Rx physical layer testing?

20 June 2022

Is It OK to Use an External 50 Ohm Terminator with an Oscilloscope?

Recently, a reader posed the question in the Comment field on Dr. Eric Bogatin's blog post, How to Choose Between the Oscilloscope's 50 Ohm Input and 1 MOhm Input:  "Is there any difference between using an external 50 Ohm terminator instead of the internal 50 Ohm termination on the oscilloscope--for example, using a RG58/RG174 cable?"

Eric answered:

"In principle, you can use the oscilloscope input set for 1 MOhm termination, then add an external 50 Ohm termination resistor on a BNC Tee connector, for example. This has the advantage that you can actually use any resistor for a load, or terminate signals with an RMS voltage larger than 5 V.

However, there are two problems with using this approach for high-speed signals with rise times shorter than 1 nsec, which require an oscilloscope with bandwidth larger than 1 GHz.

13 June 2022

Oscilloscope Basics: Cal Out and Aux Out

Fig. 1: Cal Out and Aux Out 
provide many useful outputs.
Oscilloscopes are generally thought of in terms of the signals that are input to them, but even oscilloscopes that are not equipped with function/signal generators can usually output some useful test signals.

Nearly all oscilloscopes have a Cal Out (calibration output) terminal on the front. Most Teledyne LeCroy oscilloscopes also have an Aux Out (auxiliary output) connector on either the front or back, depending on  model. Both outputs provide configurable signals that can assist you to compensate probes and attenuators, test frequency response, trigger waveform acquisition and coordinate multiple test instruments.

06 June 2022

What Happens When You Connect a USB-C Cable

The USB Type-C® connector is designed to be very simple for the user to use: you insert it in either orientation, and a multitude of services just “work”. Though simple to use, it is a complicated connector to program and test, with a very complex system of protocols behind it. There is USB power delivery (USB-PD) and multiple rates of USB data delivery from USB 2.0 through USB4®, specified by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF®). There are protocols other than USB, such as DisplayPort™, High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI™), Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe®), Base-T Ethernet and Thunderbolt™. 

So, what actually happens when you connect a USB-C cable? To understand that, first let’s take a look at the signals and pin assignments in the USB-C connector receptacle (Figure 1).

Figure 1: The USB-C receptacle pin assignments showing the key signals used for device-to-device communications. Related pins have matching color overlays.

23 May 2022

Four Essential Oscilloscope Network Security Practices

 Currently manufactured Teledyne LeCroy oscilloscopes utilize either the 64-bit Microsoft® Windows® 10 Professional or 32-bit Microsoft CE platforms to support the oscilloscope application. From a networking perspective, they are for all intents and purposes Personal Computers (PCs).

Using a commonly available computer operating system such as Microsoft Windows on a Teledyne LeCroy oscilloscope offers a multitude of advantages, such as the ability to link third-party software to oscilloscope operations and to connect to a wide variety of hardware. The downside of using a common operating system is the threat of malware. 

Malware (including but not limited to viruses, Trojan horses, worms, bots, keyloggers and spyware) can infect a PC via many paths. Examples include websites, USB memory sticks, emails and your local area network. Simply connecting an unprotected PC (i.e., unprotected Windows-based oscilloscope) to a “compromised” network is enough to infect the PC within seconds. Likewise, a compromised oscilloscope can infect an entire network.

Below, we list four practices Teledyne LeCroy strongly encourages all users to follow to minimize the risks that malware presents. Remember, the time you spend attending to oscilloscope network security is minimal compared to the cost of having to clean up an infected instrument. . .or network!