Industry News Test and Measurement Channel

Agilent Introduces Million-Bit-Per-Minute Channel Simulator for Signal Integrity

Agilent Technologies Inc. introduced a million-bit-per-minute signal integrity channel simulator for multigigabit chip-to-chip data link design. The Channel Simulator -- part of Agilent’s Advanced Design System (ADS) EDA software platform -- allows an interactive eye measurement from channel simulations inside the ADS signal integrity design and analysis environment.

“With a throughput that is a thousand times faster than SPICE, it is now practical to make changes to the channel or the transmit-and-receive equalization and see eye measurement results instantaneously,” said Colin Warwick, signal integrity product manager with Agilent’s EEsof EDA division. “The Channel Simulator is unique because it allows our customers to build the model from regular ADS circuit- and physical-level components. They can access tuning, optimization and batch mode -- all from an intuitive user interface.”

The most common applications for the ADS Channel Simulator are design and verification of chip-to-chip multigigabit/s serial links. These are found in almost all consumer and enterprise digital products produced today -- from laptop computers to data center servers to telecommunication switching centers to Internet routers. At the very high data rates at which these links operate, signal-integrity engineers must take into account physical phenomena such as impedance mismatch, reflections, electromagnetic coupling, crosstalk and microwave frequency attenuation due to the skin effect and dielectric loss tangent.

The ADS Channel Simulator allows signal integrity engineers to address these challenges by performing “what-if” design space exploration. To aid this workflow, ADS Channel Simulator uses impulse response analysis to automatically extract a fast, linear FIR model from any combination of ADS circuit-level and physical-level components. This results in simulation throughputs of more than a million bits per minute. Fast eye measurement lets signal-integrity engineers interactively produce the resulting eye measurements -- and optimize transmit and receive equalization -- in serial links such as PCI Express®, USB 3.0 and 10-gigabit Ethernet.

Agilent’s Advanced Design System is a powerful electronic design automation platform. It offers complete integration to designers of multigigabit/s serial links: consumer and commercial wireless electronic products, such as mobile phones, wireless networking and GPS; and radar and satellite communications systems.

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