Tektronix buys TDA Systems to aid complex, fast-serial networks

To give users solutions for complex networks carrying fast serial data, Tektronix Inc. reports that it has acquired TDA Systems, which manufactures interconnect analysis software tools.


To give users solutions for complex networks carrying fast serial data, Tektronix Inc. reports that it has acquired TDA Systems, which manufactures interconnect analysis software tools. Both based in Oregon, TDA reportedly will be integrated with Tektronix’ sampling scope products.

TDA’s software already is integrated with Tektronix' measurement instrumentation, such as its TDS8200 sampling oscilloscope. With support from the TDR measurement system, TDA software provides integrated simulate-and-compare links between Spice/Ibis simulators and measurements and includes interfaces to electromagnetic field solvers and other analytical interconnect model generation tools. The acquisition of TDA Systems reportedly will enable Tektronix to augment signal acquisition and complex analysis for complex networks used to carry fast serial data.

The two companies report that increasing serial data bit rates leads to shrinking design tolerances. As a result, the characterization of electrical signal paths and interconnects are becoming increasingly critical to ensure signal integrity. Users need to accurately and easily characterize design performance. They add that combining TDA’s analysis software with its TDS8200 sampling oscilloscopes gives users an excellent measurement package that speeds diagnosis and resolution of signal impairment problems.

For example, TDA’s IConnect and MeasureXtractor software tools extract gigabit interconnect models when used with Tektronix’ TDR/TDT (time-domain-reflectometry/time-domain-transmittance) TDS8200 oscilloscopes. The firms say this technique is a proven alternative and more accessible methodology, when compared to using a vector-network analyzer (VNA) for obtaining S-parameter measurements to predict and display eye-diagram, jitter, losses, crosstalk, reflections and ringing in PCBs, flexboards, packages, sockets, connectors, and cable assemblies.

By comparison, they add that TDR/TDT measurements are much more straightforward to make. TDR gives immediate feedback between the probe and the trace during reference and device under test (DUT) measurements, while, with a VNA, it’s not transparent to the user. Time domain waveforms reportedly are much more intuitive to understand when seeking to determine the effects of different aspects of a particular DUT. The ease of the calibration structures and measurement procedure, together with related expenses of VNA, reportedly make time domain measurement a compelling method for obtaining frequency domain data.

—Jim Montague, news editor, Control Engineering, jmontague@reedbusiness.com

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