Agilent, TDA Demonstrate Signal Integrity Model of 40 Gbps Backplane

2/3/2004 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) and TDA Systems demonstrated the industry's first signal integrity model of a 40 Gbps backplane assembly. The 40 Gbps backplane assembly runs 16 times faster than today's 2.5 Gbps backplanes. The new signal integrity modeling capability helps engineers design interconnect products, such as backplanes, that run at higher speeds than ever before. Interconnect devices such as printed circuit boards, cables and connectors, and integrated circuit packaging are used in a variety of products, including high-speed backplanes, servers, routers and computer peripherals.

Agilent's new Physical Layer Test System Software (PLTS v2.0) provides a direct data import link into TDA System's IConnect MeasureXtractor automated model extraction tool, enabling digital designers for the first time to use Agilent PNA Series network analyzers to obtain the industry's best measurement accuracy by a factor of five. Accurate modeling shortens design cycle time, which makes the prototype process faster, reduces the number of printed circuit board turns, and provides a better understanding of how differential transmission lines work.

"Digital designers now face the challenge of the same high-frequency effects as microwave design engineers, but they often lack the measurement and analysis tools that microwave designers typically have," said Greg Peters, operations manager of Agilent's Signal Integrity Operation. "This new signal-integrity modeling capability gives digital designers affordable, high-frequency tools that provide the accuracy needed to meet today's high-speed standards."

TDA Systems, an Agilent channel partner, addresses the critical need for efficient, easy-to-use solutions for measurement-based signal integrity and failure analysis of gigabit interconnect links and devices. TDA Systems' IConnect is the preferred tool in the signal integrity industry for measurement-based signal integrity analysis of gigabit interconnects. The IConnect MeasureXtractor allows designers to obtain an accurate measurement-based model of the interconnect with a press of the button.

Traditionally, the most common signal integrity tool available to digital designers has been time domain reflectometers (TDRs). Vector network analyzers (VNAs) offer a higher dynamic range and a lower noise floor compared to TDRs, enabling designers to develop models that perform accurately at higher frequencies in simulators, including Agilent Advanced Design System, Synopsis HSPICE, Cadence SPECCTRAQuest and Mentor Graphics ICX.

Agilent's PLTS v2.0 is now able to make measurements with TDRs as well as VNAs. PLTS provides an easy-to-use calibration wizard that saves time by enabling engineers to calibrate 4-channel TDR instrumentation in approximately 40 minutes. Previously, complete 4-port calibration would have taken up to four hours.

"The requirements of our 40 Gbps backplane are extremely challenging and require the use of concurrent time and frequency domain analysis," said Kevin Grundy, CEO of SiliconPipe, San Jose, California. "This complete characterization enables design optimization for gigabit transmission. PLTS and MeasureXtractor provide the right combination of design tools to help us succeed in our aggressive goal of achieving serial 40 Gbps over copper."

Further Information
Agilent and TDA Systems will present a paper, "Utilizing TDR and VNA data to develop 4-port frequency dependent models," on Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 3:00 p.m., at DesignCon 2004 in the Santa Clara Convention Center. A copy of the paper is available at Additional information about Agilent's PLTS v2.0 is available at Additional information about TDA Systems' IConnect MeasureXtractor is available at

U.S. Pricing and Availability
Agilent's N1930A PLTS v2.0 is available now from Agilent, with prices starting at $18,500. IConnect MeasureXtractor is available now from TDA Systems. The price for IConnect is $20,000 and the price for MeasureXtractor is $9,000.

About TDA Systems
TDA Systems, located in Lake Oswego, Oregon, provides the electronics industry with efficient interconnect link analysis tools. TDA Systems addresses the critical need for efficient and easy-to-use solutions for measurement-based signal integrity and failure analysis of gigabit interconnect links and devices. For more information call 503-246-2272 or visit TDA online 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 28,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6.1 billion in fiscal year 2003. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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