Anritsu Company continues to address the test needs of signal integrity (SI) engineers with the introduction of options for its VectorStar and ShockLine vector network analyzers (VNAs). The VectorStar Eye Diagram and ShockLine Advanced Time Domain (ATD) options are part of the expanding SI capabilities offered by Anritsu and provide SI engineers with improved tools to conduct channel diagnostics and model validation of high-speed digital circuit designs.
The VectorStar and ShockLine VNA families provide complementary capabilities that enable SI engineers to meet their measurement needs. VectorStar is Anritsu’s highest performance VNA and is often used by SI engineers with the most challenging design requirements. For example, some designers want their test systems to be able to include up to the 5th harmonic of their system clock. VectorStar offers 2- and 4-port broadband configurations from 70 kHz to 70 GHz, 110 GHz and 145 GHz with a single coaxial connection, supporting the latest digital data rates, including 25/28 Gbps and 43 Gbps. Anritsu’s ShockLine VNA family also has excellent performance, but less capability at a lower price for less demanding SI applications. This makes ShockLine VNAs well suited for lower data rate systems or manufacturing applications.
VectorStar is well suited for SI engineers responsible for the design of high-speed data transmission requirements critically needed to support emerging network systems, such as 5G and IoT. The new Eye Diagram option updates the VectorStar display via a trace-based process rather than a conventional file-based method, eliminating the need to manually transfer .SnP files. Unlike other VNAs, there is no need to store the S-parameter performance in a file and then recall the file to observe the eye diagram. It greatly improves measurement efficiency, analysis, and tuning of a data transmission signal path, allowing users to see the results of circuit changes in near real-time.
With this innovative approach, engineers can observe the likelihood of bit errors due to effects such as level compression, jitter, slew, and edge distortion while tuning for improved performance. This is particularly valuable in identifying data stream SI issues that may occur within a given transmission path and can help conduct accurate subsystem fault location analysis.
The new option, coupled with the industry leading performance of the VectorStar, provides SI engineers with the ability to monitor transmission quality of digitally modulated signals. VectorStar now provides the unique ability to display all key parameters, such as eye diagram, time domain/TDR, and S-parameters, on the same channel while continuously sweeping.