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Agilent Technologies Introduces Industry-First Flying Leads Probe for Embedded PCI Express(r) 2.0 Design, Validation

May 12, 2008

Probing Solution Simplifies Signal Access for Embedded PCIe(r) 2.0 Systems Testing

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today introduced the industry's only flying leads probing solution for its PCI Express (PCIe) 2.0 E2960B Series analyzers. The flying leads probe 2.0 allows access to PCIe 2.0 links with no designed-in connectors at both 2.5 Giga Transfer per second (GT/s) and 5.0 GT/s rates. This type of probing access is essential for debugging embedded designs.

The PCI Express technology is expanding beyond the computer segment into embedded designs in medical instruments as well as into the communication and military sectors. Unlike traditional PCI Express, which has connections typically through a slot connector with easy probing solutions, in embedded designs, space and signal access for debugging is a big challenge. Space constraints dictate the test and debug strategy for any given design, and it may not be possible for debug connectors to be designed into the system. Without the right type of probe, designers cannot easily see the protocol exchanges, and debugging becomes much more challenging. The Agilent N4241F flying leads probe for PCIe 2.0 offers a method to probe these embedded signals effortlessly.

"Our flying leads probe is designed for embedded designers and test engineers," said Jun Chie, marketing manager of Agilent's Logic and Protocol Test business. "In conjunction with our powerful protocol analyzer, the flying leads probe will allow embedded designers to monitor the PCI Express protocol in space-constrained designs and find issues quickly."

"Having the right probe form factor with good performance is a critical part of our debug plan," said Yuji Fukuoka, technical engineer at the Engineering department 1, Platform Department Division, ProDes Group, PFU Ltd. "Agilent's flying leads probe for PCIe 2.0 and its protocol analyzer can expose hard-to-reach signals and give us visibility to debug our designs quickly. Having this probe can save many days and costs of debugging for us, and key to our product development. "

At PCIe 2.0 speeds, reliable probing becomes even more important. Without a reliable probing solution and the right form-factor, reliable data capture becomes difficult if not impossible. Agilent's flying leads probe is designed with reliable and consistent signals in mind and includes the following features:

  • with its very low capacity loading, it enables insight without influencing the monitored signals;

  • the probe amplifier is outside of the probe tip, ensuring the probe tip size is kept to a minimum to address space constraints and thermal concerns; and

  • it can be used to probe link widths from x1 to x8 PCI Express, and two probes can be combined for x16 analysis.

Agilent understands that probing is key to enable reliable monitoring and debugging of the PCIe 2.0 link. With the introduction of the flying leads probe, Agilent provides an industry-unique probe portfolio for PCIe 2.0, including the midbus probe (straight, swizzle and split styles available), slot interposer probe and now the new flying leads probe. Agilent's extensive probing capabilities are combined with a powerful PCIe 2.0 analyzer, with a reliable data capture engine, easy-to-use graphical user interface and a versatile form factor, making Agilent's E2960B Series the leader in the industry for PCI Express 2.0 test and debugging.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Agilent E2960B Series and the N4241F flying leads probe 2.0 are available now. Pricing starts at $47,600. More information is available at

More information about Agilent's PCIe test solutions is available at

Product photos are available at

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 19,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $5.4 billion in fiscal 2007. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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