Agilent Sets Soft Touch Connectorless Probing Interface Standard

6/24/2004 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) announced that its Pro Series soft touch connectorless logic analyzer probe interface has been adopted by logic analyzer vendors as the industry standard. The standard interface, based on Agilent's soft touch connectorless probing technology, is an array of probe pads arranged in a common footprint that can be probed by equipment from multiple vendors. Now engineers in the computer, semiconductor and communications industries can benefit from connectorless probing without having to choose between competing connectorless probe interfaces.

The new Agilent Pro Series soft touch connectorless logic analyzer probes offer a 30 percent smaller footprint than its original soft touch probes. The Pro Series probes use the same proprietary micro spring-pin technology as previous models to provide the industry's most reliable performance. Agilent's micro spring-pin technology features a four-point crown tip that can pierce any contamination on the board and provide redundant contact to maximize reliability. The new, easy-to-use top-mount retention module accommodates varying printed circuit board thicknesses. These probes are the only connectorless logic analyzer probes compatible with lead-free finishes such as organic-coated copper that support the electronic industry's migration to lead-free products, as well as other frequently used finishes including gold, silver and hot-air surface level.

"Our customers have realized significant benefits in reliability, ease-of-use and space savings provided by our soft touch connectorless probes, but also expressed frustration at the lack of a standard connectorless logic analyzer interface," said Ron Nersesian, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Design Validation Division. "They wanted Agilent's proven soft touch probe technology, which has been widely embraced by the industry since its introduction, to form the basis of the new common interface. We worked closely with customers and logic analyzer vendors to develop the new standard."

Agilent's soft touch probes enable a direct connection from the probe to targets on a printed circuit board without the use of a connector. This reduces capacitive loading and minimizes the effect of the probe on system performance, an important consideration for engineers developing products using today's high-speed technologies such as double data rate (DDR) and PCI Express. Eliminating the need to place a connector on the target, regardless of the speed of the signals being measured, simplifies the validation of designs that are tight on space or that require minimal disruption of signal routing.

Agilent is the only vendor to provide connectorless probing that supports its entire line of logic analyzers. The E5404A soft touch probe measures single-ended data and clocks, and can be used with any Agilent logic analyzer with a 40-pin cable connector. The E5405A probe supports differential data and clocks, and the E5406A supports single-ended data and differential clocks. Both probes can be used with any Agilent logic analyzer with a 90-pin cable connector.

Additional information about Agilent soft touch connectorless logic analyzer probes is available at High-resolution images are available at

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Agilent E5404, E5405 and E5406 soft touch connectorless logic analyzer probes are priced at $2,750 each and are available for order now with deliveries expected in August 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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