Test & Measurement

Small connectorless logic analyser probes simplify validation of digital designs

5 May 2004 Test & Measurement News Security Services & Risk Management Financial (Industry)

Agilent Technologies has introduced what it says is the industry's smallest connectorless logic analyser probes. With a footprint size of 7 x 22 mm, the 17-channel soft touch probes use 60% less board space than usual connectorless probes. In addition, they offer 75% less capacitive loading than traditional connector-based probes, according to the company. The small size and accurate measurements offered by the Agilent E5396A and E5398A 17-channel soft touch probes simplify validation of high-speed digital designs that are tight on space or that require minimal disruption of signal routing.

"In response to the ever-changing physical and electrical characteristics of our customers' environments, Agilent continues to innovate better ways to probe high-speed digital designs," said Ron Nersesian, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Design Validation Division. "Not only do the soft touch probes work with our current logic analysers, the technology is also compatible with all our portable and system logic analysers sold over the past 20 years."

As PC board sizes become smaller and bus speeds increase, the ability for design engineers to make accurate measurements using minimal board space is critical. With connectorless probing applications, the connector traditionally used for validating digital designs is replaced by an array of probe pads. By eliminating the need to attach connectors to a target system and reduce electrical loading, design engineers are able to make test time more efficient and reduce costs.

Agilent's E5396A soft touch probe is a 17-channel, single-ended, connectorless probe that is compatible with all Agilent logic analysers that use a 40-pin connector interface. The E5398A is the same but for those that use a 90-pin connector interface. Agilent says both probes use spring-pin technology that does not require special cleaning or special surface finishes of the probe pads to make a reliable connection.


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