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Tektronix Intros New TDR Hand Probe

Introduces a new time domain reflectometry hand probe for its sampling scopes

June 16, 2005

2 Min Read

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Test engineers, quality engineers, manufacturing managers, and test technicians working with high speed serial buses in excess of 1 GB/s and who need performance validation and conformance testing of electrical impedance of PCBs, connectors, and components when mounted onto a PCB will benefit from a new high performance time domain reflectometry (TDR) hand probe now available for Tektronix sampling oscilloscopes.

The P80318 18 GHz 100 Differential Impedance TDR Hand Probe and P80318X 18 GHz 100 Differential Impedance TDR Hand Probe for Manufacturing significantly improve differential TDR measurement integrity for electrical serial data signals compared to using two single ended probes. The new probes provide customers with the only adjustable pitch differential hand probe from a major manufacturer. The ability to accommodate a wide range of differential line spacings on PCBs and superior spatial resolution provide customers the best in-circuit measurement tool for PCB traces.

PCB quality can vary within a flat due to thickness variations, warping, moisture content, and alignment issues. These problems are difficult to identify if users can only test on test coupons at the edge of the board. An example of a use case for P80318 is a computer manufacturer making motherboards, where SATA and PCI-Express standards are both used on each board. The multi-layer board is complex and includes strip lines and micro-strip differential transmission lines. The two types of transmission lines require different design dimensions to meet the targeted impedance goals. The P80318 allows the test technician to measure both types of transmission lines, even though the spacing between the differential pairs is completely different. It is easy to measure in-circuit traces due to the flexibility of the probes adjustment capability, and no circuit ground is needed for a balanced differential measurement. The probe can resolve small spatial features for determining the differential impedance and if the differential lines are matched in length. This capability allows the manufacturer to determine the quality of the board prior to component placement and lower manufacturing costs by not populating a board with differential impedances that are out of specification.

According to Jim Roth, Marketing Manager for the Electro-Optical Product Line at Tektronix, "Incorrect differential impedances, trace lengths, or impedance discontinuities are common problem that cause bit errors, or result in non-functional designs. Providing customers with fast, easy to use, TDR hand probes for measurements on differential in-circuit PCB traces enables fast and accurate measurement of differential impedance and speeds the debugging of problem designs. The Tektronix P80318/P80318X hand probes provide the ability to measure in-circuit differential lines for manufacturing or design debug."

Tektronix Inc.

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