Digital Timing Measurements by Wolfgang Maichen

By Wolfgang Maichen

As many circuits and purposes now input the Gigahertz frequency variety, exact electronic timing measurements became an important within the layout, verification, characterization, and alertness of digital circuits. to achieve success during this endeavour, an engineer wishes an information base masking instrumentation, dimension strategies, sign integrity, jitter and timing thoughts, and information. quite often even the main skilled electronic try out engineers, whereas learning a few of these matters, lack systematic wisdom or adventure within the excessive velocity sign area.Digital Timing Measurements provides a compact, practice-oriented review on all these matters. The emphasis is on useable innovations and real-life instructions that may be with ease positioned into perform, with references to the underlying mathematical thought. It unites in a single position a number of info proper to excessive velocity trying out, dimension, sign constancy, and instrumentation.

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But alas, another complication awaits us: Capacitance and inductance are not lumped (concentrated) at one point, but rather they are distributed over the length of the transmission line. Ltot (a) Ltot = ¦ Lu Ctot Ctot = ¦ Cu length l LU LU LU LU Z0 Æ (b) CU CU CU CU length l Figure 10: (a) Lumped model of a transmission line. (b) Discrete, distributed model of an ideal, loss-less transmission line. Why is this important? As we know, the rise times (and even clock periods) of our high-speed signals are so fast that the signal has no way of traveling through the whole path during that time, and therefore there is no way it can “experience” the action of the total line capacitance and inductance.

Figure 22 illustrates the process graphically: 1. The acquisition (sampling) process itself runs without interruption, and data is transferred continuously into the capture memory. When the end of the memory is reached, the storage goes back to the beginning, overwriting the oldest captured data, so we can see the capture memory as a cyclical buffer of a certain length (a few hundred to several million samples is typical). 2. When the trigger event is detected, the acquisition process continues to run for a certain time (see below) and then stops (this is what we meant with “the trigger stops the acquisition”).

This component samples the signal at regular intervals and so translates the incoming (analog) voltage into a stream of binary (digital) numbers that get then stored in a fast acquisition memory. From there the numbers are read by the scope’s microprocessor and – possibly after a lot of mathematical manipulation like averaging, scaling or more advanced operations – displayed as a waveform on the screen. Thus the screen no longer has the purpose of information storage – the display is more like a side effect rather than a crucial part of the scope’s operation.

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