Anritsu has added the VectorStar Eye Diagram and ShockLine Advanced Time Domain (ATD) options to its VectorStar and ShockLine vector network analysers (VNAs). The new options are part of the expanding signal integrity (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 solutions provide complementary capabilities that enable SI engineers to meet their measurement needs across a wide range of applications. VectorStar is Anritsu’s highest performance VNA product line and is often used by SI engineers for the most challenging design requirements. VectorStar offers two- and four-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 has excellent performance but less capability at a lower price for less demanding SI applications. This makes it well suited for lower data rate systems or manufacturing applications.

VectorStar is used by SI engineers for the design of high speed data transmission requirements critically needed to support emerging network systems such as 5G and internet of things. The new Eye Diagram option updates the VectorStar display through a trace-based process, rather than the conventional file-based method, thereby eliminating the need to manually transfer .SNaPshot report 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 in for improved performance. This is particularly valuable in identifying data stream issues that may occur within a given transmission path and can help conduct accurate subsystem fault location analysis.

The new option, coupled with the performance of VectorStar, provides SI engineers with the ability to monitor the transmission quality of digitally modulated signals. VectorStar now provides the unique ability to display all key parameters such as eye diagram, time domain and S-parameters on the same channel.

Meanwhile, the ATD option provides tools for SI engineers building circuit models and conducting validation measurements on them as well as troubleshooting SI issues. The ATD option includes a subset of popular SI capabilities, including the ability to plot eye diagrams, determine single-ended or differential near-end crosstalk and far-end crosstalk, and apply various equalisation techniques.

With the ATD option, engineers can select from among several specifications and compare the power sum of coupled noises, insertion loss crosstalk ratio, insertion loss deviation and integrated crosstalk noise. It also features a skew utility that converts S-parameter data into an impedance profile, a time domain reflection (TDR) with an open end or a TDR/time domain transmission with matched terminations.

With the introduction of the VectorStar Eye Diagram and ShockLine ATD options, engineers now have a more complete set of tools to meet SI design and channel modelling requirements.