LeCroy Press Release - August 2, 2009
Differential Solder-In Probes
Superior Rise Times with Low AC Loading and Probe Noise
Chestnut Ridge, NY, August 3, 2009 – LeCroy Corporation’s new line of WaveLink high bandwidth differential solder-in probes provide superior rise time performance (20 ps for a 20 GHz probe used with a 20 GHz oscilloscope, the same as the oscilloscope only rise time) with very low probe noise (25 nV/√Hz) and low AC loading at high bandwidth (175Ω minimum). This combination of performance is essential for accurately characterizing next generation of serial data signals, and comes closer in signal fidelity to cabled inputs than any other similar bandwidth oscilloscope probe.
The new high bandwidth WaveLink probes, like the lower bandwidth WaveLink probes, are of a transmission line design with an attenuating tip followed by an amplifier output to a differential transmission line connecting to the oscilloscope with a platform/cable assembly. This type of design was pioneered by LeCroy and provides superior performance at high bandwidth, and is now the standard type of design for probes of bandwidth >6 GHz.
There are three models of Amplifier/Tip Modules – D1305 (13 GHz), D1605 (16 GHz) and D2005 (20 GHz). Each of these models includes an amplifier for the rated bandwidth, two solder-in tips, 10 spare damping resistors, a variety of clips and clamps to hold the solder-in tip or amplifier and prevent movement, and a protective storage case. In addition, there are two models of Platform/Cable Assemblies – WL-PLINK-A and WL-2.92MM. Each of these models includes a mounting clamp, a probe holder, a deskew fixture, a carrying case, and product documentation. The WL-PLINK-A connects to the ProLink probe inputs which are used up to 16 GHz on all WaveMaster 8 Zi oscilloscopes (and up to 18 GHz on the SDA18000 Serial Data Analyzers). The WL-2.92MM connects to the 2.92mm inputs on the WaveMaster 820Zi (20 GHz), 825Zi (25 GHz), and 830 Zi (30 GHz) oscilloscopes. Thus, the probe architecture gives the customer the flexibility to operate a single amplifier/tip module with either the ProLink (16 GHz) or 2.92mm (up to 30 GHz) inputs on WaveMaster 8 Zi 20-30 GHz oscilloscopes. This is a significant advantage given that a large percentage of the cost of a high bandwidth probe is in the amplifier/tip assembly.
Superior Probe Noise and Rise Time Performance
The new WaveLink probes incorporate an advanced differential traveling wave (distributed) amplifier architecture to achieve superior high frequency broadband performance. Traveling wave (distributed) amplifiers are commonly used in ultra high frequency broadband amplifiers. This multi-stage amplifier architecture maximizes gain per stage and minimizes probe attenuation (only 2.5X), which provides very low 25 nV/√Hz probe noise (2.9 mVrms @ 13 GHz, 3.2 mVrms @ 16 GHz and 3.5 mVrms @ 20 GHz). This amplifier also provides ample bandwidth to provide superior rise times when the probe is used with a WaveMaster 8 Zi Series oscilloscope of equivalent bandwidth. Therefore, the rise time specification of the probe and oscilloscope combination is the same as that of the oscilloscope itself, making it possible to use an oscilloscope probe for critical measurements without sacrificing the rise time (and hence bandwidth) performance of the oscilloscope. This is especially important when
oscilloscope channels must be conserved for multiple differential signal measurements, such as with multi-lane protocols like PCI Express.
Industry Leading Minimum AC Loading
The minimum AC loading (Zmin) of the new WaveLink probe at high frequency is far superior to competitive units at 16 and 20 GHz, and roughly equivalent at 13 GHz. When a probe is connected to a 50Ω transmission line in a circuit, some of the electrical signal in the circuit will conduct through the probe and some will remain within the transmission line. If the probe impedance is higher, then less of the electrical signal will conduct through the probe and, therefore, more will remain in the circuit – a desirable result. Conversely, lower probe impedance has the opposite effect. Typically, manufacturers quote very high probe impedances at or very near DC, but high frequency signals have insignificant frequency content in this range. Thus, what engineers find important is the probe loading at very high frequencies (especially approaching the maximum probe frequency) where the probe is designed and rated to measure. In this area, the WaveLink high bandwidth differential probes shine with a Zmin of
175Ω for 13, 16, and 20 GHz probes. This is roughly equivalent for 13 GHz probes, but far superior to what is provided in competitive probes at 16 GHz (100Ω) or 20 GHz (not specified by competition, but presumably less than 100Ω). This enables the WaveLink probe to provide high signal fidelity and accurately reproduce the electrical signal without also affecting the engineer’s circuit (and thus possibly affecting the measurement) by consuming excessive current during the measurement).
Newly Re-Designed Solder-In Tip
Engineers have long appreciated the LeCroy solder-in tip for the placement of the damping resistors as near to the circuit as possible, without long wire lengths (which affect probe performance) between the damping resistor and the circuit. Not only did this provide excellent signal fidelity, but it also relieved the engineer of the burden of precision measuring, cutting, and soldering of small pieces of wire to the end of the solder-in tip before use, as is required with competitive solder-in probes. Now, LeCroy has improved on this design by making the damping resistors on the solder-in tip field replaceable so that an engineer, faced with a damaged tip, can simply solder a new damping resistor to the tip and quickly resume work. Each solder-in probe comes standard with 10 spare damping resistors, and more can be ordered.
Engineers and technicians who would like to know more can contact LeCroy at 1-800-5LeCroy (1-800-553-2769) or visit the LeCroy web site (www.lecroy.com).
Media contact: Patrick Brightman - SGW (973) 263-5475
Editors’ Technical contact: Ken Johnson – Product Marketing Manager email@example.com
Customer contact: LeCroy Customer Care Center (800) 553-2769
LeCroy Corporation is a worldwide leader in serial data test solutions, creating advanced instruments that drive product innovation by quickly measuring, analyzing, and verifying complex electronic signals. The Company offers high-performance oscilloscopes, serial data analyzers, and global communications protocol test solutions used by design engineers in the computer and semiconductor, data storage device, automotive and industrial, and military and aerospace markets. LeCroy’s 45-year heritage of technical innovation is the foundation for its recognized leadership in “WaveShape Analysis”—capturing, viewing, and measuring the high-speed signals that drive today's information and communications technologies. LeCroy is headquartered in Chestnut Ridge, New York. Company
information is available at http://www.lecroy.com.
© 2009 by LeCroy Corporation. All rights reserved. Specifications are subject to change without notice.
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