The Tektronix P7700 Series TriMode probes, which introduced the industry’s first “chip on the tip,” have been named a finalist for the prestigious 2016 R&D 100 Awards. The R&D 100 Awards have a 50-plus year history of recognizing excellence in innovation, earning the name the “Oscars of Invention.” The winners will be announced at the 2016 R&D 100 Conference, which runs Nov. 3-4 in Oxon Hill, Md.
According to Chris Witt, general manager, Probe Solutions and Mainstream Oscilloscopes at Tektronix:
“The P7700 Series probes are the highest fidelity probes available for real-time oscilloscopes with unmatched usability for connecting to today’s most challenging electronic designs. It’s gratifying to be recognized by the R&D community in this way as we continue to innovate and help our customers ease the challenges associated with new mobile and enterprise computing designs.”
For test engineers working with new semiconductor and hardware designs, the mobile and enterprise markets present several new challenges, including:
Lower voltages -- Battery powered devices now operate with lower voltage logic levels that make signal acquisition and analysis more difficult. Also, semiconductor devices designed for low power consumption can operate with their I/O in a high impedance, unterminated state. These challenges require a low noise and high impedance acquisition system.
Interoperability testing – Increasingly engineers need to check the interoperability of components. This is particularly true in mobile where engineers who have used and understood Intel chipset based systems now have to learn the ins and outs of new vendors with ARM cores and I/O that they have not used before.
Signal access -- As the size of mobile and computing devices continues to shrink and more power packed into a tighter space, there is a need for probing solutions that can be used in today’s tightly packed spaces.
The Tektronix P7700 Series TriMode probes, for use with Tektronix performance oscilloscopes, deliver several innovations that improve the ability to probe and acquire signals in the face of these challenges. These include:
- The P7700 series probes use an active input buffer directly on the tip of the probe, an industry first. Other probes have traditionally located the amplifier several inches or feet back from the actual probing point. To see how this works, check out this video on YouTube.
- The P7700 introduces an innovative set of probing accessories called TekFlex. These new accessories provide several improvements in signal access for today’s tightly spaced components and hardware.
- The probes feature very low probe loading on the circuit under test which is critical for buses such as LPDDR and MIPI D-PHY and C-PHY which can run in unterminated, low power states.
- The probes and tips are full characterized with S-parameters allowing automatic de-embedding of the probe with one-click.
- The P7700 series probes offer lower cost per connection with accessories that are easily replaceable and low in cost.
- The probes are upgradeable from 8 GHz to 13, 16 or 20 GHz as needed.
In addition to be recognized as a finalist in the R&D 100 Awards, the P7700 probes earned broad media coverage following their launch in March including Martin Rowe’s news coverage in EDN and Patrick Mannion’s write up in his Test.Pass column in Electronic Design, to name a few.
You can also get the inside scoop on all the innovations in the P7700 probes in this blog post right here on Bandwidth Banter.