Agilent offers free PLL analysis software

AUGUST 20, 2008 -- Agilent has introduced software for making precise phase-locked loop (PLL) measurements for use with the Agilent 86100C DCA-J wideband oscilloscope.

AUGUST 20, 2008 -- Agilent Technologies Inc. (search for Agilent) has introduced software for making precise phase-locked loop (PLL) measurements, also called jitter transfer measurements. Used with the Agilent 86100C DCA-J wideband oscilloscope, the software is designed to test a wide variety of PLL designs and has been approved by the PCI Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG) to perform PCI Express (PCIe) PLL compliance measurements.

The Agilent 86100CU-400 PLL and jitter spectrum measurement software is a free application that the company says makes fast, accurate, and repeatable PLL measurements using a precision jitter source and receiver. The software also can provide insight into the root causes of jitter by recording jitter spectrum/phase noise measurements on data and clock signals, the company adds.

The 86100CU-400 includes preconfigured setups and automated report generation to verify adherence to the PCIe 1.1 and 2.0 PLL compliance test guidelines, SONET/SDH jitter transfer tests, PCI Express reference clock measurements, spread-spectrum clocking (SSC) modulation analysis, and more. This Microsoft Excel-based application runs on an external PC or on an Agilent 86100C DCA-J oscilloscope with MS Excel installed.

"Starting in September 2008, PCI-SIG will test for PLL loop bandwidth as part of our compliance and interoperability tests for the PCIe 2.0 Integrators List," said Al Yanes, PCI-SIG president and chairman. "Continued investment in applications like 86100CU-400 PLL and jitter spectrum measurement software from PCI-SIG member companies will help to ensure developers have the tools they need to demonstrate PCIe interoperability."

Engineers can customize the oscilloscope and software for unique PLL applications. The oscilloscope can test inputs/outputs from 50 Mbits/sec to 13.5 Gbits/sec (data signals) and 25 MHz to 6.75 GHz (clock signals), enabling engineers to measure several classes of devices, including clock extraction circuits, multiplier/dividers, and PLLs. The system accurately characterizes PLL bandwidths of more than 80 MHz in seconds, Agilent says.

PCI-SIG members can access the Agilent 86100C DCA-J-based PLL loop bandwidth testing procedure at www.pcisig.com.

The Agilent 86100CU-400 PLL/jitter transfer analysis software is available now as a free download from www.agilent.com/find/jtf. Complete systems, including jitter source and receiver, start at $48,500.

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