Agilent Increases Test Coverage with Mid-bus Probing for PCI Express

9/17/2003 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) enhanced the serial protocol tester XC for PCI Express with the introduction of a mid-bus probe that increases protocol test coverage and eliminates the need for time-consuming test board setups.

Engineers and lab managers in R&D, validation and QA labs who are testing PCI Express drivers, BIOS, chipsets, boards, systems and platforms, can now perform protocol measurements in parts of the system, such as chip-to-chip, which would otherwise be inaccessible due to lack of slot or connector.

Agilent now offers a dual approach to connect the E2960A Protocol analyzer to PCI Express designs; either through slot interposer probe boards or through the connectorless E2941A mid-bus probe. Agilent is the only supplier offering a mid-bus probing solution utilizing soft touch technology for both logic analyzers and protocol analyzers.

The new Agilent E2941A mid-bus probe increases the flexibility of the E2960A protocol analyzer by enabling a direct connection from the probe to the targets on a printed circuit board without the use of an adapter. This approach simplifies the validation of high-speed digital designs that are tight on space or that require minimal disruption of signal routing.

With the E2941A soft touch mid-bus probe for PCI Express, engineers are able to analyze a high speed PCI Express chip-to-chip communication without influencing the signals. The soft touch connectorless probe utilizes micro spring-pin technology to provide a reliable connection to the signal pads without the need for special cleaning or special surface finishes of the probe pads.

With the addition of the Agilent E2960A test series, Agilent offers the most complete and innovative array of test equipment for PCI Express, supporting the industry's move from parallel to serial I/O buses for duplex speeds of x8, x4 and x1 bandwidth. The Agilent E2960A test series for PCI Express is the first protocol implementation in the Agilent serial protocol tester XC, which offers a universal hardware approach with analyzer and exerciser applications, protecting the customers' investment.

"Agilent is providing the full benefits of connectorless and interposer probing to meet our customers need for flexibility in developing high-speed circuit designs such as PCI Express," said Siegfried Gross, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Digital Verifications Solution Division. "We are committed to continuous improvements of the new Agilent serial protocol tester XC in order to foster the PCI Express technology and the move from parallel to serial buses for all computer interconnects."

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Agilent E2941A Soft touch Mid-Bus Probe for PCI Express is available for ordering and is priced at $19,000. Shipments are expected to start in January 2003. More information on the Agilent PCI Express mid-bus probing for the Agilent serial protocol tester XC is available at

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 30,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6 billion in fiscal year 2002. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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