ESC Con 2015

Test & Measurement

Martin Rowe
Senior Technical Editor
Technical information about test and measurement equipment and strategies from the point of view of the R&D or design and development engineer. Topics include T&M hardware such as oscilloscopes and signal generators/analyzers, as well as software and test methodologies.

Review: The Vectawave VBM2500-3 RF amplifier

Recently, several of my clients have been requesting help with pre-compliance testing in the 10 to 50 V/m range, well beyond what the simple TPI or Windfreak RF synthesizers alone can muster. So, I’ve been continuing to look for small low-cost RF power amplifiers that can help me achieve these higher power levels. Read More...

A single misplaced atom can cause a system failure

Inside a semiconductor, a single atom deposited in the wrong place can use the device to fail. Failure analysis and inspection can uncover the failure. Read More...

Multichannel RF/analog recorder stores up to 10 Tbytes

Used for recording extremely long RF/analog waveforms, the TERAQC14 data-acquisition system from Ultraview stores up to 10 Tbytes of wideband content acquired on one to four channels, concurrently triggered by either an internal or external start signal. Read More...

Signal analyzer measures 64 IEPE channels

Connect IEPE accelerometers directly to the Data Translation VIbox, then analyze sound and vibration signals. Read More...

EMC questions answered (part 7)

Several great questions on troubleshooting radiated emissions were asked during my recent webinar, Troubleshooting Radiated Emissions, hosted by UBM and sponsored by Rohde & Schwarz last April 2015. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to answer them all, so here they are with answers. Read More...

Limit the range of a waveform measurement

With these handy hints, you can use an oscilloscope to measure what you want and ignore the rest. Read More...

Teledyne LeCroy enhances high-end oscilloscopes

Teledyne LeCroy demonstrated the LabMaster 10Zi-A and WaveMaster 8Zi-B oscilloscopes at OFC 2015. Read More...

7 data-acquisition systems attach directly to sensors

When assembling a data-acquisition system, be sure to compare these systems that require no external signal conditioning. Sensors connect directly to the systems. Read More...

New test points slash ATPG test pattern count

Embedded deterministic test shows a 2x to 4x improvement in test-pattern count, which reduces test time for digital circuits. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

De-embed transmission lines with FIR filters

This DI uses MATLAB to design de-embedding filters which clean up high-speed signal measurements. Read More...

Instrumentation amp makes an accurate transimpedance amp too

The interesting topology in this Design Idea turns a monolithic in-amp into a good transimpedance amp for photodiode or similar applications. Read More...

Transient load gives power systems a workout

Verify power supply performance with this transient load generator. Read More...

Bad-bulb finder fixes Christmas lights

15 years later, here’s a new take on one of our most popular Design Ideas ever! Read More...

Power transient buffer enables IC & circuit testing

This DI lets you use a versatile function generator to test a circuit’s response to power transients and noise. Read More...

Antilog converter linearizes carbon dioxide sensor

Simplify gas sensor interface with some analog preprocessing. Read More...

Sub-picofarad measurement with CMOS inverters

Measure capacitance down to 2.5pF full-scale using this hex inverter-based design. Read More...

Short circuit tracer/finder uses low power

Build this bench tool and become a master at pinpointing shorts. Read More...

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Multichannel RF/analog recorder stores up to 10 Tbytes

Used for recording extremely long RF/analog waveforms, the TERAQC14 data-acquisition system from Ultraview stores up to 10 Tbytes of wideband content acquired on one to four channels, concurrently triggered by either an internal or external start signal. Read More...

Signal analyzer measures 64 IEPE channels

Connect IEPE accelerometers directly to the Data Translation VIbox, then analyze sound and vibration signals. Read More...

Teledyne LeCroy enhances high-end oscilloscopes

Teledyne LeCroy demonstrated the LabMaster 10Zi-A and WaveMaster 8Zi-B oscilloscopes at OFC 2015. Read More...

PCIe, USB test benches ease simulation-measurement correlation

Aimed at semiconductor companies developing SerDes (serializer/deserializer) I/O blocks and OEMs integrating such chips onto their system pc boards, Keysight's PCI Express and USB test benches allow engineers to use simulation to ensure a candidate design yields a fabricated prototype compliant with PCI-SIG and USB-IF specifications. Read More...

Two-channel SMU sources and sinks

The GS820 source-measure unit from Yokogawa is available in 18 V and 50 V models. Read More...

600-W supplies deliver up to 650 VDC

TDK-Lambda has extended its Z+ series of programmable DC power supplies with the addition of 600-W high-voltage models to address the requirements of deposition processes, remotely operated underwater vehicles, and ATE systems, as well as general laboratory and industrial applications. Read More...

Software outfits real-time scopes for PAM-4 analysis

Measurement software from Keysight Technologies allows engineers to characterize PAM-4 (pulse amplitude modulation that uses four distinct amplitude levels) signals with Infiniium V-Series, Z-Series, and S-series real-time oscilloscopes. Read More...

Ultra-broadband RF amps withstand harsh environments

Portable bench amplifiers in the PE15A35xx series from Pasternack cover extremely wide frequency bands up to 40 GHz and are built to meet MIL-STD-202F environmental test conditions for humidity, shock, vibration, altitude, and temperature cycle, making them useful for high-traffic test labs in such industries as aerospace, defense, optical, industrial, telecom, and R&D. Read More...

Test platform scans IC surfaces for emissions

Small enough to sit on a desktop, the ICS 105 IC scanner from Langer EMV-Technik teams with ICR series near-field probes to measure high-frequency magnetic or electric fields up to 6 GHz with a measurement resolution of 50 µm. Read More...

LCR meter delivers accurate results on dual display

Operating over a frequency range of 100 Hz to 100 kHz, Global Specialties’ LCR-600 serves as a precision test meter for measuring the inductance, capacitance, and resistance of electrical components, providing a basic measurement accuracy of 0.3%. Read More...

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The Tektronix 1101 oscilloscope-probe power supply

A mechanical design is at once a masterpiece and an expensive expedient. Read More...

What's inside a smart meter? iFixit tears it down

When iFixit's Kyle Wiens had the opportunity to tear down an Elster smart meter, he jumped at it—not to come up with a repair manual but to evaluate the health and safety issues that seem to surround the utilities’ installation of smart meters. Read More...

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A single misplaced atom can cause a system failure

Inside a semiconductor, a single atom deposited in the wrong place can use the device to fail. Failure analysis and inspection can uncover the failure. Read More...

Limit the range of a waveform measurement

With these handy hints, you can use an oscilloscope to measure what you want and ignore the rest. Read More...

7 data-acquisition systems attach directly to sensors

When assembling a data-acquisition system, be sure to compare these systems that require no external signal conditioning. Sensors connect directly to the systems. Read More...

The mysterious disappearance of duo-binary signaling

At DesignCon 2015, we heard that Duo-binary modulation isn't sufficient for 56 Gbps data transmissions, yet we saw it in live demonstration. What's going on? Read More...

Testing the iCub robot’s battery with an oscilloscope

The iCub humanoid robot’s new battery backpack was tested and optimized using a Tektronix oscilloscope and power probes to keep the sensors on, the circuits powered up, and motors turning. Read More...

Real-time power GaN waveform monitoring

In this article, we compare the degradation mechanisms of GaN FETs with silicon FETs and discuss the need for waveform monitoring. Read More...

USB 3.1 testing part 2: Type-C cable assemblies

The USB type-C connector will make life easier for consumers, but will require additional compliance testing for designers. Read More...

Characterize interconnects with S-parameters, Part 2

A closer look at not only S11 (return loss or reflected signal), but also S21 (insertion loss or transmitted signal). Read More...

Test Memories at-speed with a slow clock

You may think that testing memory with a low-speed clock would miss many errors, but that's not the case. Read More...

Data-acquisition: The key to a smart electrical grid

Data acquisition of voltage, current, and power has become essential to the operation of today's smart-grid power distribution network. Read More...

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Review: The Vectawave VBM2500-3 RF amplifier

Recently, several of my clients have been requesting help with pre-compliance testing in the 10 to 50 V/m range, well beyond what the simple TPI or Windfreak RF synthesizers alone can muster. So, I’ve been continuing to look for small low-cost RF power amplifiers that can help me achieve these higher power levels. Read More...

Throw it a curve (tracer)

Time and again, curve tracing has proved itself to be an indispensable problem-solving tool. Read More...

EMC questions answered (part 7)

Several great questions on troubleshooting radiated emissions were asked during my recent webinar, Troubleshooting Radiated Emissions, hosted by UBM and sponsored by Rohde & Schwarz last April 2015. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to answer them all, so here they are with answers. Read More...

New test points slash ATPG test pattern count

Embedded deterministic test shows a 2x to 4x improvement in test-pattern count, which reduces test time for digital circuits. Read More...

OIF demonstrates 50 Gbps signals using two modulations

Two videos from OFC 2015 show how backplanes and capper cables are capable of handling 50 Gbps signals. Read More...

Ode to the Oscilloscope

Having been a teenager in the 1960s, and with popular tunes of that decade still in my head, I offer a lyrical rewrite of one of them, with apologies to the author of the ‘60s hit tune, "Hotrod Lincoln". (“You’ve heard the story of the great car race, where Fords and Lincolns were settin’ the pace ) This ode has gone through some refinement, and here is the latest version. Read More...

EMC Symposium 2015 (Santa Clara)

The IEEE International Symposium on EMC was held early this year, due to the international symposium on EMC in Dresden, Germany, this year. As always, the week's program was full with multiple simultaneous tracks. I'll summarize some of the high points. Read More...

Review: The Extech 480836 E-field meter

Needing an E-field meter and wondering how the more inexpensive ones compare to those costing thousands of dollars more, I purchased the Extech model 480836 handheld meter at $279 to characterize the accuracy. We’ll be comparing it to two other ETS-Lindgren (calibrated) meters. Read More...

How cops are finding "grow ops" with AM radios

With the help of radio frequency interference, police have stared to use AM radios in their vehicles to locate illegal indoor marijuana farms. Read More...

National Instruments ups PXI game to Gen 3

Why is National Instruments bringing PXI speeds to the next generation? Larry Desjardin interviews NI, and explains. Read More...

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