These basic RF measurements often uncover system problems in wired and wireless communications. If you observe a signal traveling from a source to a load through a passive system of some sort, you will notice that the signal attenuates by the time it reaches the load, and you will also notice that some of the […]
What is the MIPI I3C interface and where might I use it?
I3C improves on I2C through higher speeds and backward compatibility You’ll often want to interconnect two chips on a circuit board, and a standard interface can help you design efficiently. Engineers working at a division of Philips thought so back in 1982, so they developed the Inter-Integrated-Circuit interface, which they dubbed I2C. Of course, things […]
Functional tester covers bench, production, and service applications
The midUTS from Bloomy contains a multimeter, data-acquisition, switching, and power supplies for testing boards and systems. Automating tests — whether for bench testing new designs, in production, or for service — increases productivity but comes at a price. If you’re going to build an automated test system all yourself, expect to specify the instrumentation, […]
What is an instrument driver and why do I need one?
Instrument drivers take some of the sting out of controlling test instruments by adding an abstraction layer. Almost everyone who uses computers has had experiences with drivers, and probably not good ones. In the olden days, if you had wanted to hook an old printer up to a new computer, you would have searched through […]
What is a Smith chart and why do I need one? (Part 2)
Take a journey around a Smith chart to find capacitance and inductance values in a matching network. Before computers became ubiquitous, the Smith chart simplified calculations involving the complex impedances found in RF/microwave circuits such as the one shown in Figure 1. That circuit includes a source with impedance Zs, transmission line with characteristic impedance […]
Water-cooled probe injects disturbances onto power rails
The P2124 from Picotest let’s you inject modulation signals onto your board’s power rails for noise immunity testing.
UWB automated tester receives FiRa certification
NI announces validation by the FiRa Consortium of its UWB PHY test solution. Device manufacturers can now use NI’s solution and chip designers to test the conformance of their ultra-wideband (UWB) automatically enabled products against version 1.3 of FiRa’s PHY specifications. UWB is useful for devices requiring low power, operating over a short range that can coexist with […]
I’ve got the measurement blues again
Back from a three-year hiatus, I’m covering test and measurement again. This time, it’s for EE World.
Software tests PCIe 6.0 on high-end oscilloscope
Teledyne LeCroy has released a beta version of software for automating serial-data analysis on PAM4 signals. Engineers can request a copy. By using PAM4 modulation, PCIe 6.0 doubles data rates to 64 GT/sec (256 Gb/sec when using an x16 configuration). The “secret sauce” in the doubling comes from PAM4, which puts four voltage levels in […]
What is a Smith chart and why do I need one? (Part 1)
A Smith chart provides insight into RF/microwave designs. Even if you work primarily with low-speed analog and mixed-signal designs, you could benefit from familiarity with the Smith chart as wireless products proliferate and as high-speed-serial data signals exhibit microwave-like effects. When a signal’s wavelength (λ) approaches the lengths of the conductors carrying it, you can […]