Handspring Visor tests automated
TestQuest has extended its Pro System automated testing to Handspring™ Visor™ handheld computers. Pro System for Handspring is targeted at reducing time for manual design testing for software and hardware developers. The system is a "virtual tester," providing functional testing of Handspring devices by automatically simulating a user's actions such as pressing keys, writing with a stylus, or reading the screen. Pro then captures images on the Handspring LCD output and uses font recognition or bitmap comparison to verify test success or failure. Joe Toste, TestQuest engineer and VP of marketing, notes, "Pro for Handspring exercises a test SpringBoard module in the device non-intrusively. We can run 90% of those tests that are now done manually." Average test time is a third or quarter of manual test time. "The system connects electronically to the handheld computer via keypad and touchpanel contacts," says Toste. Keys to the functionality, he adds, are the software scripts developed to run on a Windows 2000™ system.
TestQuest : Enter 563
Picosecond accuracy for jitter analysis
J250 and J260 Jitter and Timing Analyzers from LeCroy feature a 16 GSample/sec sampling rate and up to 2 GHz bandwidth (J260). Jitter accuracy for the J260 is 1 ps with 3 sigma confidence. Applications include those with many clocking functions, such as communications equipment and component testing. The analyzer displays are custom designed for jitter testing. The VL model of each analyzer has 32 million points maximum memory, versus 16 million for the standard models. Mike Lauterbach, LeCroy director of product management, says the analyzers don't just detect jitter but "give insight as to the source and how to correct it with the easy-to-use analysis tools"—with many found on the unique Jitter Views toolbar. This allows quick access to viewing, statistical, measurement, and analysis functions for average-skill users. He also notes a log histogram scale can show rare and intermittent problems. New types of measurements possible include PLL loop bandwidth, accumulated jitter, and half-period jitter for analyzing clocking done on rising or falling signal edges.
LeCroy : Enter 564
Circuit testing speed boosted
The latest version of Mentor Graphics automated test pattern generation tool, FastScan 2001.2, offers new pattern optimization and improved "at-speed" test generation. The test patterns (or vectors) are digital and clock signals that are then used in electronic chip production defect testing. Greg Aldrich, engineer and product marketing manager for Mentor Graphics, says the optimization includes "having the most effective vectors ordered first in each pattern set for the highest coverage first. More failures are found quickly and those chips are off the tester sooner"—reducing test time for finding failing devices and overall test cost. Such optimization also allows maximum test coverage if a test set (number of vectors) is truncated due to test equipment limitations. Aldrich adds, "Unique compression of vectors allows each vector to find more faults as well," reducing the overall number of vectors needed.
Mentor Graphics : Enter 565
BERT eases optical network testing
Tektronix is marketing and supporting the Advantest D3371-2V-3V Bit Error Rate Tester (BERT) to give designers of low-cost optical networks an accurate means of testing and analyzing the performance of communications components and systems. The 3.6 Gbit/sec maximum test frequency is critical to testing Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet, and other transmission standards. "The D3371's specialized and custom components and amplifiers allow for up to 3V output amplitude with no loss of waveform quality or offset range," notes Jeff Adams, applications engineer with Tektronix' Optical Business Unit. "This allows for user variable cross point adjustment for stress testing. Special attention was also paid to the design of the output impedance-matching circuit to ensure the high quality waveform output throughout the full bit-rate range of the instrument." Built-in pattern editing software simplifies data-pattern design for exercising communications elements. And a search tool automatically sets measurement parameters to save time when setting up tests.
Tektronix : Enter 566
Find your shorts quickly
The Wavetek Meterman™ SF-10 Electronic Short Finder uses a patented wire brush to quickly sweep printed circuit boards, multiconductor cables, mass termination systems, backplanes, etc., to find short circuits. "Shorts are one of the most common failures for electronics and one of the most difficult problems to detect," says Phil Salditt, general manager, Meterman Test Tools. "With its wire brush and fast continuity response, the SF-10 is a simple way to quickly locate an electrical short without the traditional and cumbersome method of probing every test point." An audible tone indicates continuity, the exact point of which is identified by using the rigid probe tip within the area identified by the brush. Low 0.5V dc test voltage protects sensitive circuitry and eliminates false continuity indications.
Wavetek Meterman : Enter 567
Scope calibrator can be upgraded
Fluke's latest oscilloscope calibrators, the 9500B series, support oscilloscopes from dc to 6 GHz, and beyond in the future, via firmware upgrades. Peter Dack, engineer and Fluke Precision Measurement business manager notes that maintaining the integrity of the calibrated signal source at the unit under test (UUT) requires short transmission lengths and an optimized impedance match. Toward this end, designers integrated circuits into a compact Active Head™. "Active Heads are self-contained signal sources that allow close proximity to the input of the UUT," he says. "Through short transmission links, this approach minimizes aberrations and reflections [normally associated with the use of cables] during calibration." Previous 9500 units can be upgraded to support the latest head and 6-GHz bandwidth. The 9500 base unit can control up to five Active Head modules in automated operations.
Fluke : Enter 568