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Agilent Technologies Introduces Free Phase-Locked Loop Analysis Software

Aug 22, 2008

Software is PCI-SIG Approved for PCI Express 2.0 Compliance Testing

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today introduced advanced software for making precise phase-locked loop (PLL) measurements, also called jitter transfer measurements. Used with the Agilent 86100C DCA-J wideband oscilloscope, the software can test a wide variety of PLL designs and has been approved by the PCI-SIG(r) (PCI Special Interest Group) to perform PCI Express(r) (PCIe) PLL compliance measurements.

The Agilent 86100CU-400 PLL and jitter spectrum measurement software is a free application that makes fast, accurate and repeatable PLL measurements using a precision jitter source and receiver. This software also provides valuable insight into the root causes of jitter by recording jitter spectrum/phase noise measurements on data and clock signals.

The 86100CU-400 includes preconfigured setups and automated report generation to verify adherence to the PCIe 1.1 and 2.0 PLL compliance test guidelines, SONET/SDH jitter transfer tests, PCI Express reference clock measurements, spread-spectrum clocking (SSC) modulation analysis, and more. This Microsoft(r) Excel-based application runs on an external PC or on an Agilent 86100C DCA-J oscilloscope with MS Excel installed.

"Starting in September 2008, PCI-SIG will test for PLL loop bandwidth as part of our compliance and interoperability tests for the PCIe 2.0 Integrators List," said Al Yanes, PCI-SIG president and chairman. "Continued investment in applications like 86100CU-400 PLL and jitter spectrum measurement software from PCI-SIG member companies will help to ensure developers have the tools they need to demonstrate PCIe interoperability."

Engineers can easily customize the oscilloscope and software for unique PLL applications. The oscilloscope's flexible architecture can test inputs/outputs from 50 Mb/s to 13.5 Gb/s (data signals) and 25 MHz to 6.75 GHz (clock signals), allowing engineers to measure several classes of devices, including clock extraction circuits, multiplier/dividers and PLLs. In a matter of seconds, the system accurately characterizes PLL bandwidths of more than 80 MHz. This precision measurement can take an hour or more when it is performed manually.

"We continue to provide our customers with leading-edge solutions that help them get their designs to market more quickly," said Scott Sampl, general manager of Agilent's oscilloscope business. "PLLs are used in many of today's high-speed digital designs, and the 86100CU-400 measurement software enables fast and accurate characterization of these critical circuits."

Additional information about Agilent's 86100CU-400 application is available at Images are available at PCI-SIG members can access the Agilent 86100C DCA-J-based PLL loop bandwidth testing procedure at

Agilent's complete portfolio of oscilloscopes is available in a variety of form factors, from 20 MHz to 90 GHz, offering industry-leading specifications and powerful applications.

View videos of the DCA-J in use.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Agilent 86100CU-400 PLL/jitter transfer analysis software is available now as a free download from Complete systems, including jitter source and receiver, start at $48,500.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A) is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 20,000 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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