Agilent Launches FPGA Dynamic Probe Application for Logic Analyzers

3/2/2004 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) introduced the industry's first commercially available dynamic probe application for logic analyzer-based debug of field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).

The Agilent B4655A FPGA dynamic probe logic-analysis application yields significant productivity improvements for engineering teams debugging Xilinx FPGAs, including the Virtex-II, Virtex-II Pro and Spartan-3 families. The new application interacts with an on-chip virtual probing technology to enable logic analyzers to measure up to 64 internal FPGA signals for each debug pin compared to traditional logic analyzers, which measure a single internal FPGA signal for each debug pin. The new logic analysis application enables engineers to select new groups of internal signals to probe without requiring time-consuming design recompiles.

"Agilent is building on a long history of logic analysis leadership with this announcement," said Steve Lass, director of Software Product Marketing at Xilinx. "This solution helps R&D engineers shorten debugging time, cuts development costs and accelerates time to market for products built using Xilinx FPGAs."

Programmable logic can handle advanced circuit functions and offers design engineers the flexibility to meet the economic and market constraints of demanding projects. Logic analyzers are used extensively for FPGA debug and validation. Until now, changing probe points could sometimes consume hours of time because engineers were required to change the design and recompile the FPGA in order to select a new group of internal signals. Designers can now perform the same task in seconds using the FPGA dynamic probe, giving design teams a new way to validate their Xilinx FPGA designs faster than ever before.

When used in conjunction with an Agilent logic analyzer, the FPGA dynamic probe allows developers to instantaneously select which groups of internal signals are probed. In addition, the FPGA dynamic probe features:

"FPGAs play an increasingly important role in our customers' product development, and logic analyzer measurements are critical in the debug of these FPGAs and surrounding systems," said Ron Nersesian, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Design Validation Division. "The combination of Agilent's new 16900 Series logic analysis system and the FPGA dynamic probe will dramatically shorten debug and validation time, and help digital designers bring new products to market faster."

The FPGA dynamic probe is compatible with the new Agilent 16900 Series logic analyzers, as well as the Agilent 1680 Series standalone and 1690 Series PC-hosted logic analyzers.

Further Information
Additional information on Agilent's new FPGA dynamic probe, 16900 Series logic analysis system, and the company's complete line of validation and debug tools is available at

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Agilent B4655A FPGA dynamic probe application can be ordered now with shipments expected to begin in July 2004. Agilent is offering a special introductory price of $995 through December 2004.

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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