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Agilent Technologies introduces first event identification software for digital designers


InfiniiScan software for high-performance Infiniium oscilloscope quickly and easily identifies signal integrity issues in electronic designs

PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 14, 2006, Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today introduced the industry’s first event identification software that allows digital designers who use Infiniium oscilloscopes to quickly and easily identify signal integrity issues found in electronic designs. The software works by scanning through thousands of acquired waveforms per second and then isolating anomalous signal behavior.

“InfiniiScan moves an oscilloscope a few steps closer to the ideal of a ’Find Problem’ button,” said David Churchill, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s Design Validation Division. “InfiniiScan identifies signal integrity issues that were previously difficult or impossible to find with traditional hardware triggering or deep memory approaches. This software is a valuable addition to any digital designer’s toolbox for many oscilloscope applications.”

Engineers have traditionally relied on hardware triggering and deep memory to capture elusive signal anomalies in their designs. Hardware triggering systems have several limitations, including:

* The number of events that can be monitored simultaneously.
* The number of occurrences of that event that can be identified.
* The variety of events that can be identified.
* The maximum speed of events that can be isolated.
* The difficulty in defining the proper setup to capture the event.
* Finding an event of interest in a deep memory capture.

InfiniiScan overcomes these limitations by automatically inspecting each signal it acquires, then informing the user of any potential signal integrity issues it discovers. With InfiniiScan, digital designers can monitor up to five different events or the same event on four channels simultaneously. The software can also isolate events as narrow as 70 ps, well beyond the 300 ps limitation of hardware-based approaches. There is no need to manually inspect waveforms; InfiniiScan scans waveforms automatically and is able to identify a single waveform anomaly out of 10,000 screens of data without requiring programming.

There are two main components that comprise InfiniiScan: the InfiniiScan software finders and the measurement limit test.

InfiniiScan software finders can be used in conjunction with an Infiniium oscilloscope hardware trigger via the delay from hardware trigger control. They include the following:

* Measurement finder -- sets boundary conditions to the specified measurement results (inside/outside limits). The oscilloscope informs the user if it finds such an event. For example, a user can set a measurement finder to have the oscilloscope identify a rise time that has been specified.
* Zone qualify finder -- draws a “must pass” and a “must not pass” zone on the oscilloscope screen to visually determine the event identification condition. If a user can see the event of interest on the screen, it can quickly be isolated without having to figure out how to set up a trigger or needing to repeatedly press the “Single” key.
* Generic serial finder -- sets up to an 80-bit serial pattern for the oscilloscope to identify (up to 8.5 Gbs). Hardware solutions are currently limited to 40 bits and a maximum speed of 3.125 Gbs. Serial patterns can be expressed in hexadecimal or binary. User-definable CDR (clock data recovery) methods are available, and fixed frequency CDR is standard.
* Non-monotonic edge finder -- identifies non-monotonic edges caused by signal reflections, which helps identify poor signal terminations. There is no method of finding such an event with hardware triggering.
* Runt finder -- identifies under-sized signal pulses to resolutions that are beyond the capability of hardware approaches by using user-defined hysteresis and threshold levels.

Measurement limit test counts the number of violations against specified measurement value conditions. The feature lets users set up to five different conditions over all channels. A user can monitor the valid rise time window for channel 1 while monitoring the valid signal period window on channel 3. The navigation capability of measurement limit test will move the display to the exact location of any and all anomalous events that have been identified on every waveform. This type of navigation is currently not possible with any other software or hardware-based approach.

Further Information

Additional information about the Agilent N5414/5A InfiniiScan Analysis Software and the company’s complete line of validation and debug tools is available at

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Agilent N5414/5A InfiniiScan Analysis Software is available for order now at the following prices:

Model | Description | Price
N5414A | InfiniiScan Analysis Software for Infiniium
80000/54850 Series | $5,000
N5415A | InfiniiScan Analysis Software for Infiniium
8000/54830 Series | $2,500

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world’s premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company’s 20,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $5.1 billion in fiscal 2005. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at


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