Agilent Technologies Inc. introduced the latest version of its premier signal integrity test solution: the Physical Layer Test System (PLTS) version 4.0.

Featuring new multiport enhancements, this robust calibration, measurement and analysis platform is ideal for signal integrity engineers doing high speed digital design and encountering microwave transmission line effects in their printed circuit boards, cables, IC packages and backplanes. Agilent also introduced PLTS Studio, an analysis-only version of the PLTS platform that provides a low-cost-to-entry for engineers performing post-measurement data analysis of Touchstone files.

Agilent’s new PLTS version 4.0 features a number of significant enhancements that provide engineers with complete design confidence -- a key benefit considering today’s ever-changing digital validation requirements.

Simplifying multiple aggressor differential crosstalk measurements in high speed backplanes, it easily imports 12-port S-parameter data and rapidly pinpoints the physical location of crosstalk problems. A customizable device configuration map manages the large S-parameter files from the n-port data set, organizing them according to port name. When only 4-port data is available, the tool’s advanced file import functionality automatically builds larger Touchstone models, thereby eliminating the time-consuming task of writing custom import software or performing a manual cut-and-paste of Touchstone data. Additionally, fast and easy electronic calibration modules allow for quick Short-Open-Load-Thru calibration of a 12-port VNA in about eight minutes.

An added benefit of the Agilent PLTS version 4.0 is that it allows for time domain, frequency domain and eye diagram analysis with maximum correlation to all tools. As a result, it can be easily used in place of three or four separate tools.

Eye diagram analysis takes place by utilizing a novel user-programmable virtual pattern generator. Rather than requiring the engineer to buy an expensive pseudo random binary sequence generator, the Agilent PLTS version 4.0 has a virtual one built directly into its software environment. To ensure the utmost in accuracy, the eye diagram results are correlated to other Agilent test and measurement equipment. This information makes it dramatically easier for the engineer to quickly troubleshoot and fix any crosstalk problems.

The PLTS Studio analysis engine provides valuable insight that helps the engineer fix signal integrity problems faster.