The Tinker's Toolbox - Bill Driver of LeCroy on High-Bandwidth Test
Hosted by Alix Paultre, the Tinker's Toolbox is the Advantage Design Group's web-based interview show where we talk about the latest technology, components, and design issues for the electronic design engineering community.
In this episode we talk to Bill Driver of LeCroy about testing and measurement in general and their high-bandwidth WaveMaster 8 Zi-A oscilloscope. WaveMaster 8 Zi-A combines 45 GHz high bandwidth and 120 GS/s sample rate with superior signal fidelity performance and 20 GHz on all four input channels.
Here is a link to the podcast in case the play button is not visible: LeCroy Podcast 
Here are releases on a few of their latest products:
LeCroy Corporation introduces a line of 12-bit resolution WaveRunner oscilloscopes, the WaveRunner HRO (High Resolution Oscilloscope) 6 Zi, that features an industry leading 12-bit Analog to Digital Convertor (ADC), deep memory of 256 Mpts/ch, and superior DC accuracy specifications. These features are in addition to the extensive analysis capabilities of the WaveRunner 6 Zi. Engineers no longer have to compromise the analysis functions of an oscilloscope to get the high resolution they need.
Designed for the medical, automotive, power, and electro-mechanical markets, the WaveRunner HRO has higher resolution and greater measurement precision than 8-bit alternatives. Traditional oscilloscopes use 8-bit ADCs to digitize the data, which is not precise enough for applications that require viewing signals with both a large and small voltage component. The reduced noise and improved resolution of the 12-bit ADC architecture provides finer measurement accuracy and better waveform clarity. This can be seen with the superb 55 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and ± 0.5% DC vertical gain accuracy; four times more precise than 8-bit oscilloscopes.
The 256 Mpts/ch deep memory capability permits long acquisitions to capture 30 seconds of data sampled at 10 MS/s, or shorter capture times, with the highest resolution at 2 GS/s. This performance is augmented by a huge offset and timebase delay adjustment to allow easy signal and amplifier performance assessment and zooming on vertical and horizontal signal characteristics.
In addition, LeCroy provides a pivoting display that permits viewing signals vertically and horizontally to obtain more detail, for optimal analysis. This is an advantage, particularly when viewing up to 36 channels using the mixed signal option, when operating in the frequency domain using the spectrum analysis package, or when viewing decoded waveforms using the vast selection of tools focused on the embedded and communications markets.
The comprehensive toolset includes a wide range of application packages, advanced triggering to isolate events, a user interface developed for quick and easy navigation, a wide range of probing options, and lightning-fast performance to validate designs, debug errors at board bring up, and characterize an embedded system. The WaveRunner HRO 6 Zi is the ultimate debug machine.
Most Comprehensive Serial Data Analysis
Solving serial data problems requires intimate knowledge of the protocol. With the WaveRunner HRO 6 Zi, the oscilloscope is the expert. Simply connect the probes or cables and the scope provides the correct level of detail needed to view, debug, and analyze the serial data signals. A combination of decode, trigger, measure/ graph, ProtoSync, and compliance tools address the embedded, military/avionics, and handset/mobile/cellular market with a combination of decode, trigger, measure/ graph, ProtoSync, and compliance tools.
A New Way to Navigate and View
The WaveRunner HRO 6 Zi features the industry first pivoting display introduced by LeCroy in February. Simply slide the button on the left side of the display and rotate upwards 90º. The display will automatically change from landscape to portrait mode. The display also pivots upward and downward to optimize the viewing angle.
In addition, the WavePilot control area provides convenient operation of cursors, decode, WaveScan™, history, LabNotebook™, and spectrum by their respective function buttons on the front panel. The SuperKnob is a joystick-like knob in the center of the WavePilot control area used to easily navigate through tables, zoom and position waveforms, and quickly document and annotate your setups.
More Trigger Capability Isolates More Problems More Quickly
A powerful combination of high-bandwidth edge and 10 different SMART triggers, four-stage cascade triggering, measurement trigger, and TriggerScan™ are all standard, and will isolate a problem quickly to permit rapid focus on the cause. The measurement trigger offers a powerful option to qualify a trigger event based on a qualified measurement with great resolution. A full range of serial triggers (I2C, SPI, UART, RS-232, Audio I2S, LJ, RJ, TDM, CAN, LIN, FlexRay, MIL-STD-1553, 8b/10b, USB2 and many others) are also available.
Only LeCroy completely integrates third-party programs into the oscilloscope’s processing stream by allowing you to create and deploy a new measurement or math algorithm directly into the oscilloscope environment and display the result on the oscilloscope in real-time. Use C/C++, MATLAB® Excel, Jscript (JAVA), and Visual Basic to create your own customized math functions, measurement parameters, or other control algorithms.
History mode lets a user scroll back in time to isolate those anomalies, measure them with parameters or cursors, and quickly find the source of the problem. History mode is always buffering waveforms, so no user action is required to save traces other than to invoke the viewer.
TriggerScan uses high-speed hardware triggering capability with persistence displays to capture only the signals of interest and provide answers up to 100 times faster than other methods. Traditional fast display update modes work best on frequent events occurring on slow edge rates while TriggerScan excels in finding infrequent events on fast edge rates.
In addition to the general purpose WaveShape Analysis tools, application-specific solutions are available for serial data compliance, embedded design, digital design, and automotive. These options extend the LeCroy standard measurement and analysis capabilities and expand the WaveRunner HRO 6 Zi’s utility as needs change.
LeCroy Corporation, a leading supplier of oscilloscopes and serial data test solutions, announced that its 45 GHz bandwidth WaveMaster 8 Zi-A oscilloscope was the winner of the annual “Best in Test” award presented by Test & Measurement World in the oscilloscope category. Chosen by a vote of readers and editors, this award honors important and innovative new products in the electronics test and measurement industry.
This is the second industry award this year for the WaveMaster 8 Zi-A scope, which received the annual DesignVision Award presented by UBM Electronics in the Test and Measurement Equipment category at DesignCon 2011 in January. “LeCroy’s WaveMaster 8 Zi-A oscilloscopes broke bandwidth barriers and offer the user unmatched real-time performance,” said LeCroy President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Reslewic. “The WaveMaster was part of the first round of LeCroy’s most comprehensive series of product introductions in the Company's history that began last year and continues today. We are proud to receive this award from Test & Measurement World and to have satisfied our customers’ high-speed requirements for developing next-generation data communication systems.”
“The oscilloscope category has been very competitive over the last few years,” said Rick Nelson, Test & Measurement World editor-in-chief. “Readers and editors have named LeCroy’s WaveMaster 8 Zi-A the best in test because of its significant contribution to the advancement of the industry.”
WaveMaster 8 Zi-A combines 45 GHz high bandwidth and 120 GS/s sample rate with superior signal fidelity performance and 20 GHz on all four input channels. Models are available from 4 to 45 GHz with complete bandwidth upgradability throughout the range.
Company information is available at http://www.lecroy.com .