OCTOBER 3, 2010 -- LeCroy Corp. has launched a new class of instrument, the SPARQ series of Signal Integrity Network Analyzers. The SPARQ measures 40-GHz S-parameters on up to four ports with single button press operation at a small fraction of the cost of traditional methods such as vector network analyzers, LeCroy asserts.
The SPARQ is a time domain test instrument, using TDR/T technology along with patented LeCroy features to rapidly acquire waveforms and measure the S-parameters of a device under test. The SPARQ measures both frequency and time domain results, and outputs standard Touchstone S-parameter files that are ready to be loaded into the user’s simulation software. The unit is small, rugged, PC-based and portable, says LeCroy. It includes all of the hardware and software tools required by the signal integrity engineer for characterizing passive devices, the company adds.
The SPARQ calibrates using an OSLT calibration kit that is internal to the unit. This allows the calibration and measurement to proceed automatically with a single button click and without any need to connect and disconnect calibration standards, LeCroy says. The -E model SPARQ units include the internal calibration capability standard, and also support manual calibration using an external calibration kit. Setting up the SPARQ is also fast and easy. LeCroy says; all configurations for the S-parameter measurements are contained within a single setup screen.
When using the automatic calibration, the SPARQ de-embeds the attached cables, adapters, and fixture to return the S-parameters of just the device under test. Users do not have to concern themselves with the location of the reference plane or employ separate software to assist in the measurement process, the company adds.
Users can measure single-ended, differential, and mixed-mode S-parameters (both magnitude and phase), and view corresponding time domain results including step response, impulse response, rho, and Z normalized to a user-selectable rise time. The TDR and TDT waveforms can also be viewed, and the unit includes what LeCroy describes as “a very lively” TDR/TDT mode of operation for debugging purposes.
The software provided with the SPARQ share the same overall look and feel and operation of LeCroy’s Windows-based oscilloscopes. Up to 16 S-parameters result waveforms can be displayed simultaneously, with the ability to zoom, reposition, and perform math and measurements on waveforms in a manner similar to LeCroy oscilloscopes.
Three models are available:
- the SPARQ-4004E (40 GHz, four-port, internal calibration)
- SPARQ-4002E (40 GHz, two-port, internal calibration)
- SPARQ-4002M (40 GHz, two-port, manual calibration).