Re: O.T. Digital scopes versus Tek analogue.


cmjones01
 

On Fri, Mar 5, 2021 at 7:56 AM Sean Turner <sdturne@q.com> wrote:
Logic analyzers are headed the same way. I think Keysight is the only company that offers a true benchtop logic analyzer anymore. Tek discontinued the TLA series and directs you to buy a mixed signal scope instead.
There are good reasons for this. There are few applications for
traditional multi-channel logic analyzers these days. The remaining
uses of parallel data buses, such as high-speed DRAM, are extremely
specialized. Everything else uses serial data at hundreds of megabits
or gigabits a second.

As I write, I'm taking a break from debugging a prototype involving a
modern camera chip. It generates data as a 1200Mbit/s serial data
stream. Though I have a logic analyzer which could capture the data,
it would be a pretty poor tool for working with it. Making sense of a
serial data stream is a totally different thing than recording
parallel data bus transactions.

I can honestly say that a 15MHz tube scope (yes, it's my 535A, I'm
working from home) is a more useful tool, at least for the debug I'm
doing right now. Indeed, it's what I've actually been using. I can see
whether data is present or not, whether it contains reasonable-looking
image data, and can see the serial bus moving in and out of its
various power states, and that's enough to help me debug the firmware
that's driving the camera. All of this even though the application
would seem to be far beyond the capabilities of a 1960s instrument.
I'm actually not sure whether a modern cooking-variety 200MHz digital
scope would be any better.

Chris

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