This section provides an overview for logic analyzers as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 9 logic analyzer manufacturers and their company rankings. Here are the top-ranked logic analyzer companies as of December, 2023: 1.Keysight Technologies, 2.Saleae, Inc., 3.Teledyne LeCroy.
A logic analyzer is a device primarily used to verify the operation of digital circuits.
They are sometimes compared to oscilloscopes, which are mainly used for analyzing analog signals.
Logic analyzers are essential tools for verifying and troubleshooting digital circuits and are used in product development and manufacturing.
For multiple signal inputs, analog characteristics are not measured, but converted to 0s and 1s using threshold values for further processing. Since signals are treated as digital data, logic analyzers are used in the following applications:
A probe is connected to the measurement point of the system under test (SUT) and the signal is transmitted to the logic analyzer, first passing through the internal comparator.
The comparator compares the signal to a threshold voltage set by the user, and if the measured voltage exceeds that of the threshold voltage, the signal is transmitted to the next stage as a 1; if the voltage is lower than the threshold voltage, the signal is transmitted as a 0. In other words, after passing through the comparator, the signal is treated as digital.
The result is output as a digital signal corresponding to the clock and trigger conditions. The clock can be either the internal sampling clock of the logic analyzer or the SUT's clock, depending on the application.
The former is done to obtain timing information between each signal, and the latter to obtain state. Trigger conditions can be set for various items such as specific logic patterns, number of events, and event duration.
It is important to set appropriate threshold values based on the signal level of the circuit being tested, and to set appropriate clock and trigger conditions for the information to be obtained.
Connect the probe to the SUT and set names for individual input signals. When measuring multiple signals such as buses, it is easier to observe the measurement results if they are grouped and registered.
Next, determine the sampling time. The higher the sampling clock frequency, the more detailed the signal measurements become. On the other hand, the amount of data that can be captured is constant, so the time range that can be observed becomes narrower. The signal sampling interval can be obtained from the following equation.
Sampling interval (sec) = 1/frequency (Hz)
Finally, set trigger conditions. In addition to defining triggers, the display method for when a trigger occurs can be specified. This allows you to specify whether to stop sampling after a trigger occurs once or to update the results each time a trigger occurs.
While oscilloscopes can observe analog characteristics such as signal waveforms, logic analyzers handle digital data from signals.
Although oscilloscopes provide more information from a single signal, they can only observe about four signals simultaneously, whereas logic analyzers can handle many input signals at the same time.
There are a few precautions to take when using a logic analyzer to prevent damage to the SUT or logic analyzer itself and to obtain accurate measurements.
Make sure the SUT is turned off.
When connecting a probe to the SUT, there is a risk of contact between the measurement point and its surroundings via the probe; if the SUT is powered, a large current may flow at that moment and cause failure. Therefore, the SUT should only be turned on after the probe is connected.
Select the probe appropriate for your application.
There are three types of probes:
Select the probe that best suits your application.
Set the measurement conditions according to the application.
Set the sampling clock and recording time according to the frequency of change of the signal to be measured and the measurement range. Depending on the performance of the logic analyzer, select the settings and model to obtain correct measurement results based on the resolution and memory capacity.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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Teledyne LeCroy was founded in 1964 and is headquartered in Chestnut Ridge, New York, with sales, service, and development subsidiaries in the US and throughout Europe and Asia. The company serves a wide variety of industries including semiconductor & computer, consumer electronics, automotive, and telecommunications. The company’s product categories include oscilloscopes, electronic test equipment, protocol analysis solutions such as SATA and USB devices, modular data acquisition devices, and sensors and calibrators. The company provides services such as SSD testing, automotive and device interoperability testing, and technology training.
Saleae, Inc., founded in 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, USA, is a manufacturer and supplier of 25 MHz to 100 MHz logic analyzers and high to low-level protocol analyzers. The logic analyzers are used for recording, measuring, visualizing, and decoding electrical circuit signals in avionics, electric cars, satellites, and submarine applications. The company also offers various accessories, including test clips, USB cables, wire harnesses, test leads, and USB host adapters.
Keysight Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1939 and headquartered in Santa Rosa, California. Keysight is a global developer and manufacturer of electronic design and test solutions to communications, networking, aerospace, defense, and government, automotive, energy, semiconductor, electronic, and education industries. Keysight’s communications solutions group solutions include electronic design automation software; radio frequency and microwave test solutions, hardware and virtual network test platforms and software applications, as well as optical laser source solutions. Keysight’s electronic industrial solutions group offers various design tools and verification tools. Keysight offers product support, technical support, and training and consulting services. It sells its products through direct sales force, distributors, resellers, and manufacturer's representatives.
Digilent is a manufacturer of educational and development boards for FPGAs, microcontrollers, and PSoCs, founded in 2000, and located in Pullman, Washington. Their development boards offer learning and experimentation opportunities, including standalone boards, carrier boards, and evaluation kits. Digilent's software facilitates FPGA, microcontroller, and PSoC programming and debugging, incorporating essential tools like a digital logic simulator, waveform viewer, and hardware description language (HDL) compiler. Their diverse range of products supports students, engineers, and hobbyists worldwide.
TEKTRONIX, INC., founded in 1946, is a manufacturer of measurement solutions used in 3D sensing, EMI/ EMC testing, high-speed serial communication, material science engineering, and Wireless & RF testing. The products include oscilloscopes & probes, signal generators, margin testers, multimeters, and analyzers. The company's products are used in advanced research, aerospace & defense, automotive, power semiconductor, and medical industries. The Bracknell Berkshire company offers calibration, repair, asset management, package assembling, and testing services following NEMA, HAlT & HASS, environmental, and shock-vibration testing.
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