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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.

8-channel digitizer occupies a single PCIe slot

Agilent Technologies now offers an eight-channel version of its U5309A 8-bit single-slot PCIe Gen2 digitizer with onboard processing, increasing channel density and minimizing footprint in embedded OEM applications. Read More...

NI rolls out SDR-based wireless prototyping platform

To ease the prototyping of multichannel wireless communication systems, National Instruments’ USRP RIO platform combines a 2x2 MIMO RF transceiver capable of transmitting and receiving signals from 50 MHz to 6 GHz with an open LabView-programmable FPGA architecture. Read More...

Gaps in return planes - yes or no?

As a participant during the panel discussion on EMC versus SI at the recent DesignCon 2014, I sensed (along with some in the audience) that there was disagreement as to whether it was OK to cross a gap in the return plane with a high speed, fast-edged, signal. Unfortunately, there was too little time in which to come to an agreement or to illustrate the conditions in which it was OK, or not OK. Read More...

When will PAM4 take over from NRZ?

Every year, PAM4 threatens to replace non-return to zero signaling. It’s going to happen when multimoding kicks in. Read More...

Network probing can affect protocol testing

Probing problems that don’t exist at SAS 2.0 speeds can cause headaches at 12 Gbits/s SAS 3.0 speeds. Read More...

From 70 kHz to 145 GHz in a single sweep

With its new VectorStar ME7838D broadband network analyzer, RF test expert Anritsu offers industry-best frequency coverage of 70 kHz to 145 GHz in a single sweep using a coaxial test port. Read More...

New Ampere won't affect your measurements

Unless you work at the highest levels of metrology, the change in how the Ampere is realized won't affect you. Read More...

See the crosstalk in 100GbE

Thrill to a real-time view of time-varying 25Gb/s crosstalk. Read More...

Part Average Testing finds and rejects outlier ICs

There's a small tradeoff in the resulting lower yield, but Part Average Testing can weed out long-term failures. Read More...

Electromechanical measurements with an oscilloscope

Get a primer on making electromechanical measurements such as force, acceleration, pressure, temperature, and rotational speed. Read More...

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Simple capacitance meter bins parts

This simple, elegant circuit lets you quickly sort through capacitors. Read More...

Detect wire breaks with unusual CMOS gate circuit

TDR in the shop? Try this circuit to detect a wire break. Read More...

Measure inductance & capacitance over a wide range

Measure inductors and capacitors over a very wide range of values with this simple circuit. Read More...

Best Design Ideas of 2013Q3

We present the best Design Ideas of the last quarter! Read More...

Precision capacitance meter

There's an art to capacitance measurement. What do you think of this rendition? Read More...

Novel Q-meter

This highly unusual "cross-quad" circuit topology finds application measuring Q. Read More...

Voltage-to-period converter improves speed, cost, and linearity of A-D conversion

Turning a VFC on its head improves many parameters. Read More...

Complete, low-cost, software programmable ohmmeter measures micro-ohms

An ac voltage is generated by switching current into the unknown resistance. The resulting ac voltage is then amplified and filtered to produce an output voltage proportional to the resistance being measured. Read More...

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8-channel digitizer occupies a single PCIe slot

Agilent Technologies now offers an eight-channel version of its U5309A 8-bit single-slot PCIe Gen2 digitizer with onboard processing, increasing channel density and minimizing footprint in embedded OEM applications. Read More...

NI rolls out SDR-based wireless prototyping platform

To ease the prototyping of multichannel wireless communication systems, National Instruments’ USRP RIO platform combines a 2x2 MIMO RF transceiver capable of transmitting and receiving signals from 50 MHz to 6 GHz with an open LabView-programmable FPGA architecture. Read More...

From 70 kHz to 145 GHz in a single sweep

With its new VectorStar ME7838D broadband network analyzer, RF test expert Anritsu offers industry-best frequency coverage of 70 kHz to 145 GHz in a single sweep using a coaxial test port. Read More...

Current transducers measure to 25A, in PCB-mount format

LEM has added to its range a series of open-loop Hall-effect ASIC based devices measuring up to 25A DC, AC or pulsed Read More...

Multicoax connector takes multiport testing from DC to 18 GHz

Huber+Suhner’s MXP series is designed for the high speed digital testing market. Read More...

EMI receiver adds disturbance analysis

New feature lets engineers conduct discontinuous-disturbance, or click, measurements in accordance with CISPR standards. Read More...

Automated embedded test targets differential clocks

ChipVORX from Goepel Electronic now measures differential clocks and frequency within an FPGA. Read More...

PXIe embedded controller handles 12 Gbytes/s

Outfitted with a quad-core hyper-threading processor and a front-removable 240-Gbyte solid-state drive, the M9037A four-slot PXIe controller from Agilent delivers a maximum data bandwidth of 12 Gbytes/s for demanding computational processing in multi-chassis systems and secure environments. Read More...

Get 10 A through a PXI switch matrix

Pickering Interfaces announced a line of switch matrices with mechanical relays to get 10 A switching. Read More...

PCIe digitizer gains peak-detection option

A firmware upgrade for the U5303A PCIe 12-bit digitizer from Agilent enables real-time peak detection, while offering baseline stability and a self-trigger mode that reduces synchronous noise. 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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Network probing can affect protocol testing

Probing problems that don’t exist at SAS 2.0 speeds can cause headaches at 12 Gbits/s SAS 3.0 speeds. Read More...

Electromechanical measurements with an oscilloscope

Get a primer on making electromechanical measurements such as force, acceleration, pressure, temperature, and rotational speed. Read More...

Simplify DC-DC Converter Characterization

Characterize DC-DC converters for efficiency, line regulation, and load regulation. Read More...

Design Verification Testing of GPS Receivers

Anyone can sell a GPS receiver product that would be unable to hear signals and be completely non-functional. It could work most of the time, just not all the time, and not in any predictable way. Design verification testing to the rescue. Read More...

PCB characteristics affect PDN performance

Since no impedance path is perfectly flat, we need to make some design adjustments. This article aims to help you make compromises that have the minimum impact on the system performance. Read More...

Automate comparator hysteresis tests

An automated system using a programmable power supply and a high-speed digital I/O card can reduce validation time by almost 90% over manual methods. Read More...

Open FPGAs add flexibility to test

With access to an instrument's FPGA, you can add measurement science to your test applications. Read More...

Vintage test equipment: Not just for old engineers

Take a tour of a high-school student's collection of vintage test equipment. Have you used any of these products? Read More...

MSOs probe analog and digital

Mixed-signal oscilloscopes combine analog and digital inputs that provide a view of how signals interact in embedded systems. Read More...

The next generation's modulation: PAM-4, NRZ, or ENRZ?

At OFC 2014, a panel of engineers discussed three possible forms of modulation for 56 Gbps data channels. The debate continues among PAM-4, ENRZ, and NRZ. Read More...

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