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NEW Non-Invasive Measurement Information
Featured Story (See more news to the right.)

Why Talk About Flat Impedance and Power Integrity?

Today’s power supply designs require new techniques and metrics, whether you are working with CPUs, FPGAs, DDR memory, or SERDES, noise matters.

It’s not about the lowest impedance power supply but the right impedance power supply. 

Learn more at EDI CON (http://www.ediconusa.com/) and DesignCon (http://www.designcon.com/) and from these videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/Picotest1.

Want a more hands-on learning opportunity? Attend our Power Integrity workshops: https://www.picotest.com/training/index.html.

 

Picotest Announces Power Integrity Training WorkshopsUSA Tour

July 6, 2017, Phoenix, Arizona: Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test and measurement equipment, has announced a series of Power Integrity Training Workshops. The workshops are unique both for their emphasis on Power Integrity and for the hands-on nature of the workshop. Time is split between lecture and lab exercises where students get to perform real-world Power Integrity measurements on components and circuits. Full sets of lab equipment including VNAs, oscilloscopes, and customized test boards are provided. Class sizes are limited so that each student gets the full benefit of the lab environment.

Workshops are currently scheduled for 6 cities starting with Phoenix, AZ on September 6th and 7th 2017. Dates have been also been announced for Detroit, MI, Baltimore, MD, San Diego, CA, Santa Clara, CA, and Dallas, TX . Please see https://www.picotest.com/training/index.html and below for details. Workshops in other cities will also be announced shortly.

There are two Power Integrity workshops. The first is 2 days in length and is titled “Hands-On Power Integrity.” The second is 1 day long and immediately follows the first workshop. It is entitled “VRM Modeling and Decoupling Optimization.” Those interested may take one or both of the workshops.

The workshops are taught by internationally recognized power expert and popular Power Integrity author Steve Sandler.

Workshop Details
In the “Hands-On Power Integrity” workshop, Steve Sandler, who has been bringing the popular Power Integrity Bootcamp to engineers worldwide, has personally developed this in-depth training program to provide engineers with an understanding of power integrity, why it is important, and how to design for it.  In addition, engineers learn techniques for high-fidelity measurement, design, and simulation.  The lab exercises let attendees learn and explore key component, power supply, and PDN tests including the 2-port shunt through impedance measurement, stability, PSRR, ripple, and much more. State-of-the-art testing equipment is provided and customized test boards have been specially created for the class. The goal is to enable engineers to better design, troubleshoot, and optimize power and PDN related issues.

In the “VRM Modeling and Decoupling Optimization” workshop, engineers can take their Power Integrity analysis, modeling, and testing skills to the next level. Designed as a follow on to the “Hands-On Power Integrity” workshop or for designers with a solid background in power supply design and Power Integrity, this class teaches engineers about the role of the VRM (Voltage Regulator Module), the printed circuit board, and decoupling in PDN design and performance. Students learn advanced concepts by focusing on the process of modeling the VRM and optimizing decoupling component selection. The hands-on segment of the workshop guides attendees through all the measurement and simulation steps required to generate measurement based VRM and decoupling models.

The classes include all materials and class exercises. “Hands-On Power Integrity” workshop attendees also receive a signed copy of Steve Sandler’s book “Power Integrity: Measuring, Optimizing, and Troubleshooting Power Related Parameters in Electronics Systems.”

Dates: Hands-On Power Integrity Workshop (2-day)
https://www.picotest.com/training/power-integrity-workshop.html

Phoenix, Arizona, September 6 and 7, 2017
Detroit, Michigan, September 26 and 27, 2017
Baltimore, Maryland, October 18 and 19, 2017
San Diego, California, November 7 and 8, 2017
Santa Clara, California, November 28 and 29, 2017
Dallas, Texas, January 9 and 10, 2018

Dates: Hands-On VRM Modeling and Decoupling Optimization Workshop (1-day)
https://www.picotest.com/training/vrm-decoupling-workshop.html

Phoenix, Arizona, September 8, 2017
Detroit, Michigan, September 28, 2017
Baltimore, Maryland, October 20, 2017
San Diego, California, November 9, 2017
Santa Clara, California, November 30, 2017
Dallas, Texas, January 11, 2018

The price of the 2-Day Hands-On Power Integrity Workshop is $1,500. The price of the 1-Day VRM/Decoupling Workshop is $750. The cost of both is $2,150 ($100 discount). Seating is limited to a maximum of 20 students for each workshop.

For more information and details on the 2-Day Hands-On Power Integrity Workshop, please see https://www.picotest.com/training/power-integrity-workshop.html.

For information and details on the 1-Day Advanced VRM Modeling and Decoupling Optimization Workshop please see https://www.picotest.com/training/vrm-decoupling-workshop.html.

About Picotest, Inc.
Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

 


The New Bode Analyzer Suite 3.0
(BAS 3.0) Has Been Released

Bode Analyzer Suite 3.0 - A major step in usability

The new Bode Analyzer Suite 3.0 features the following improvements:

  • Unlocks your Bode 100 to 50 MHz
  • Quicker setup with measurement setup assistants
  • 7 impedance measurement modes to measure mOhm to MOhm
  • Shunt-Thru, Series-Thru and Voltage/Current Gain impedance measurement modes
  • Improved and intuitive memory handling
  • New automation interface (API) for simpler programming and faster automated measurements
  • Many export formats (Touchstone, CSV and Excel export)
  • De-embed probes and fixtures using Open, Short and Load in all measurement modes
  • Use more than one Bode 100 on one PC
  • And much more...

Feel free to download BAS 3.0 software and documentation on our support page.

 

Characterizing and Modeling Switch Mode Power Supplies (Mar 15)

Original air date: March 15, 2017

Johnnie Hancock
Oscilloscope Applications Manager
Keysight Technologies
Steven Sandler
Managing Director
Picotest

Why this Webcast is Important:
Whether your power supply designs are based on switch mode or linear technology, there are many reasons why you should characterize the frequency response of your power supply designs. Two reasons are to better to understand the stability and noise immunity under various load change conditions based on an existing design. Another good reason is to gain the missing information required to create or improve a simulation model which can then be used to simulate operation under different design conditions, including worst-case tolerances. During this webcast, you will learn how to do the following:

  • Perform a PSRR measurement using an oscilloscope.
  • Perform a Control Loop Response measurement (Bode gain & phase) using an oscilloscope.
  • Determine the PWM ramp and current sense resistance using these measurements.
  • Construct an accurate simulation model for optimization and worst-case tolerance assessment.

http://electronicdesign.com/keysight/digital-design-and-test-webcast-series?code=ED1A_031517

   

How Does a Prototyping-Only Approach Impact Product Design?

Article by   Power Electronics

One in 10 design engineers still rely on purely physical prototypes, potentially adding significant, unnecessary costs to their designs, according to engineering surveys.

Many engineers rely solely on prototyping their designs to produce reliable and cost-effective products. However, some form of simulation along with prototyping can actually improve product designs. So it begs the question: "How should engineers decide on the optimum amount of prototyping and simulation?"

One in 10 design engineers still rely on purely physical prototypes, potentially adding significant, unnecessary costs to their designs. That’s according to research from 6SigmaET, which surveyed over 350 engineers working in industrial, consumer, and mass-produced electronics. One in 10 design engineers still rely on purely physical prototypes, potentially adding significant, unnecessary costs to their designs. That’s according to research from 6SigmaET, which surveyed over 350 engineers working in industrial, consumer, and mass-produced electronics.

Rather than running simulations to test their products, the new research highlights that many engineers (49%) produce multiple physical prototypes throughout the design process. This, of course, significantly adds to the end production cost of electronics products, components, and designs.

Additional findings from 6SigmaET’s research highlight that 40% of design engineers use simulation to reduce the number of physical prototypes, while 10% rely purely on simulation and don’t produce any physical prototypes, aiming for “right first time” when designing their products. It is essential to properly validate the design before manufacture to avoid poor-quality products, potential design issues like overheating and interference, as well as costly “back to the drawing board” product recalls.

Some industry experts were asked to share their opinions on prototyping and the role it plays in the design process. Here’s what they said:

Quote by Steve Sandler below:

"In most cases, and in all of our seminars and workshops, we teach that a measurement is a snapshot of a single instant in time. The measurement tells us about what "is" and not what "can be." We use a combination of measurement and simulation in order to determine the sensitivities of operating characteristics and the impact of component and environmental tolerances to determine what "can be."

"We also use the simulation models and measurements in concert to optimize the performance characteristics. In the typical case, we make measurements using an evaluation board or first-draft prototype PCB design to obtain the component data that the manufacturers didn't provide or appeared to be suspect. These measurements then support the creation of a high-fidelity simulation model that is used for design optimization. This high-fidelity model and optimization result in a second, improved circuit and PCB design."

Read the whole article with other engineer opinions here.

   

Heidi Barnes of Keysight Receives the 2017 Engineer of the Year Award

San Francisco, February 2, 2017, PRNewswire: DesignCon, the premier educational conference and technology exhibition for electronic design engineers in the high-speed communications and semiconductor communities, today announced Heidi Barnes of Keysight Technologies as the recipient of the 2017 Engineer of the Year Award. Selected for her dedication to problem solving and enthusiasm for leading and collaborating with teams, Barnes was awarded earlier today at DesignCon. The conference took place this week, January 31 – February 2, at the Santa Clara Convention Center. For additional information please visit: designcon.com.

"I am thrilled to be named the recipient of the Engineer of the Year Award by DesignCon," said Heidi Barnes, senior applications engineer for high speed digital applications in the EEs of EDA Group, Keysight Technologies. "We've made tremendous strides in this space and it's an honor to receive an award where industry luminaries including Eric Bogatin and Michael Steinberger were also named winners."

 

Steve Sandler presents at DesignCon 2017

DesignCon 2017, Jan 31 - Feb 2, Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA

January 2017: Steven Sandler, Author of the book Power Integrity, Measuring, Optimizing, and Troubleshooting Power-Related Parameters in Electronics Systems and Managing Director at Picotest presented at DesignCon 2017. Charles Hymowitz of Picotest and AEi Systems also presented. The topics presented were:

The Measurement Based VRM Modeling Tutorial was a great success drawing 56 attendees for the three hour tutorial.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Steve Sandler - Steve@picotest.com
(877) 914-7426

New GaN Scope Probe Improves Power Integrity

December 12, 2016, Phoenix, AZ: Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test and measurement equipment for Power Integrity applications, has released a new GaN probe. The P2000A is the Picotest general purpose high voltage GaN voltage probe with a 100:1 attenuation. Its fast rise time and accurate frequency response make it suitable for a variety of measurement applications.

The P2000A high voltage passive probe is suitable for measuring the fastest GaN (Gallium Nitride), eGaN, and SiC (Silicon Carbide) edges for timing and switching losses of high voltage power switches, as well as, EMC testing or glitch detection.

The slim body and very sharp probe tip is spring loaded and minimizes the pressure to the DUT (device under test). It also prevents the probe from slipping on the board surface, especially when probing at an angle. The probe tips are changeable. Replacement tips are provided within the extensive accessory pack. The probe eliminates need to solder test cables; reduces the risk of damaging fine copper pads.

The probe is compatible with all 1MOhm equipment (BNC connection) including oscilloscopes and spectrum analyzers. For applications that need a 50-ohm connection, the Picotest J2180A Ultra Low Noise Preamp converts from the 1MegOhm probe impedance to 50 ohms allowing the probe to be compatible with all 50 ohm instruments.

GAN Probe Features– Test high voltage/high speed GAN Signals

The P2000A can be used to measure all types of SiC and GaN circuitry. It has a bandwidth exceeding 700MHz and a rise time of 500ps. It can withstand an input Voltage of 1KV RMS and has an input impedance of 50MOhm and 7pF.

The price of the P2000A is $495 in single quantities and is available now from www.Picotest.com.

This P2000A GaN Probe measurement shows the rise time of a 50 Ohm 350ps edge as seen on a 4GHz scope. Much of this rise time is due to the 7pF tip capacitance and 50 Ohm source.

 

At 700MHz the Picotest P2000A GaN Probe measurement indicates 88% of the tip voltage. The probe bandwidth after extracting the capacitance is >1GHz.

 

Images of the Picotest GaN Probe - https://www.picotest.com/products_GaN_Probe.html

 

About Picotest, Inc.

Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com. All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

 

Picotest to Give Power Integrity Seminar in Israel
1 Day Seminar on VRM Modeling and Capacitor Decoupling Measurement

November 29, 2016: Steven Sandler, Author of the book Power Integrity, Measuring, Optimizing, and Troubleshooting Power-Related Parameters in Electronics Systems will give a 1-Day Seminar in Israel, entitled “New Ways to VRM Modelling & Decoupling.”

For more information about the event including location, timing, and cost, please see: http://itech-icollege.com/steven-sandler-pi-seminar/

For information about the 1-Day seminar content including Syllabus and details about the hands-on measurements being performed, please see https://www.picotest.com/training/VRM-Decoupling-Workshop.html.

 

Steve Sandler to Give Keynote Speech at IEEE EMC Symposium

November 15, 2016: Steve Sandler, CEO of Picotest.com, a company specializing in power integrity and power supply test equipment, services, and training will give the Keynote Address at GLOBESPACE - IEEE EMC, Product Safety & Board Design Symposium on December 19, 2016, in Herzliya Israel. The address is entitled: Power Integrity: A New Way for VRM Design. Steve will speak about practical power integrity design concepts, the role played by IC vendors and the data they provide and requirements for successful hardware-software co-simulation of power distribution networks.

For more information see: http://globespace.co/program-2016/

 

How to Design for Power Integrity: Measuring, Modeling, Simulating
Capacitors and Inductors

November 7, 2016: The third video in the Picotest/Keysight How-To Design for Power Integrity series is now available.

Power supply switching ripple and control loop phase margin are dominated by the output inductor and the bulk capacitors. Simple RLC capacitor and inductor models can result in a design with more capacitors than necessary adding to the design cost, consuming valuable circuit board real estate and degrading the control loop performance. Most capacitor datasheets provide very limited information, such as maximum ESR at 100kHz and not the desired information regarding typical values and frequency dependencies of the C, ESR, and ESL.

This short video shows you how to make these measurements efficiently and how to use the results to create high fidelity models for simulation.

Click here to go to the publications section to access the video.

 

Picotest J2160A Probe Adapter Featured in Power Electronics Products of the Week

August 4, 2016: Picotest has released a new probe adapter for the popular Keysight E5061B vector network analyzer. The Picotest J2160A Probe Adapter provides a low noise, compact solution when using the E5061B T/R ports in a 2-port shunt thru measurement. The T/R ports are desirable for low frequency 2-port measurements, since these ports are semi-floating, allowing low impedance measurements without the use of a coaxial common mode transformer such as the Picotest J2102A. The floating ports allow milliohm measurements even at very low frequency and up to the 30MHz range of the T/R ports.

The current solution uses a resistive 6dB port splitter combined with coaxial cables to support this measurement. The J2160A is a slim profile adapter, converting the three E5061B BNC ports to two BNC ports for the 2-port measurement. The 6 dB resistive port splitter is included internal to the adapter so no external splitter or cables are required. The short connections are neater, consume less bench space, and can result in a lower noise measurement.

The adapter can also be combined with ultra-wide bandwidth DC blockers, such as the Picotest P2130A in order to make 2-port measurements of sensitive devices, such as opamps and voltage references, without the 50 ohm DC port loading, which could overload the device being measured and/or severely distort the measurement results.

The Picotest adapter also supports the extended 2-port shunt thru measurement, allowing higher impedance 2-port measurements by adding a series resistor to each port.

For more information, email charles@picotest.com.


New Ways to VRM Modeling & Decoupling - Thursday, November 3rd, 2016, 08:30 - 17:00

REGISTER HERE

September 6, 2016: The Voltage Regulator Module (VRM) is a fundamental element in the Power Distribution Network (PDN) with system level consequences heavily impacting Power Integrity. Very few, if any, manufacturers provide high fidelity VRM models and much of the data required to construct your own model is not published. In this compact one day workshop you will be guided through all measurement and simulation steps required to generate a measurement based VRM model. Each theory step is followed by practical measurements performed in small groups. This workshop introduces a measurement based, non-linear VRM model that simulates very quickly while supporting both, switching and AC characteristics. The model includes PSRR and input impedance, including negative resistance, as well as VRM output impedance and supports effects of decoupling capacitors as well as PCB influences via EM simulation.

The Workshop price is € 249 and includes Workshop documentation, Snacks, Lunch & Drinks, and Steve Sandler’s book on Power Integrity (€ 90,- value).

  1. Introduction to power integrity and the role of the VRM, the printed circuit board and the decoupling
  2. S-parameters, capacitor measurement and parameter extraction
  3. VRM characteristics and extraction of a measurement based model
  4. A simple guide to printed circuit board decoupling and how the VRM can make life difficult

Classroom measurements:

  • Cables, PCB traces, and Capacitors
  • 1 and 2 Port Impedance
  • Power Supply PSRR and Output impedance
  • PDN Impedance and Decoupling

For more information, email charles@picotest.com.

 

Learn about RF/microwave, EMC/EMI and Signal/Power Integrity at EDI CON USA

August 9, 2016: EDI CON USA uniquely brings together RF, microwave, EMC/EMI, and high-speed digital design engineers and system integrators for networking, training, and learning opportunities. Attendees will find solutions, products, and design ideas that they can put into immediate practice for today's communication, defense, consumer electronics, aerospace, and medical industries.

Featured presenters include: Heidi Barnes (Keysight) and Steve Sandler (Picotest) - Power Integrity, Tom Sikina, (Raytheon) - Radar Developments, Eli Brookner (Raytheon, retired) - Phased Array Technology, James Komiak (BAE) - RF Amplifier Design, Eric Bogatin - Signal Integrity, Ken Wyatt (Editor at Interference Technology) - Radiated Emissions Testing, Dan Swanson - Filter Design and more.

EDI CON USA has a robust technical program for conference pass holders that includes a kick-off plenary as well as 60 technical sessions, 27 workshops and panels, 4 short courses, an all-day RF Back to Basics seminar, and 12 sponsored talks. Register at now at www.ediconusa.com using the promo code LINKEDPASS20 to save 20% on a conference pass (exhibition is free).

For more information, email charles@picotest.com.

 

Keysight-Picotest Team for Santa Clara Power Integrity Boot Camp With Hands-on Measurement and Simulation Labs

May 24, 2016: Keysight Technologies (NYSE: KEYS) and Picotest have teamed up together to bring you this limited seating workshop to Santa Clara, CA. The workshop provides an understanding of power integrity, why it is important, how to design for it, and it teaches techniques for high-fidelity simulation, analysis and measurement. The goal is to enable you to better isolate, troubleshoot, and optimize power related issues. In this workshop, hands-on labs let the attendees explore voltage regulator module (VRM) state-space averaged model simulations, PCB EM simulations, and the VNA 2-port shunt through impedance measurements for low noise flat Z designs.

Join Heidi Barnes Keysight Senior Applications Engineer and Steve Sandler, CEO of Picotest for this 6 (six) hour long in-depth workshop at Keysight Technologies, 5301 Stevens Creek Boulevard, Santa Clara, CA 95051, May 24th from 10am-3pm.

For more information, email charles@picotest.com.

 

Keysight-Picotest Release New Video on VRM Design for Power Integrity

May 5, 2016:Kesight Technologies (NYSE: KEYS) and Picotest.com have released a new video for the popular "How to Design for Power Integrity Series" The new 10-minute video is entitled "Selecting a VRM." Many signal and power integrity issues are the result of poor VRM selection. This critical selection is often made arbitrarily due to insufficient, incomplete or incorrect data. Costly design time and multiple board spins can be minimized by following a few simple guidelines and performing a few simple simulations and measurements early in the process. This video explains why designers should avoid Voltage mode VRMs and shunt compensation for the VRM Error Amplifier. The better performance of a current mode VRM with series compensation for the Error Amplifier is clearly demonstrated with simulations and measurements.

Click to view the How to Design for Power Integrity: Selecting a VRM video.

 

Power Integrity Bootcamp at SPI2016 Turin, Italy- Picotest and Keysight Join Forces

SPI 2016 PI Bootcamp

April 8, 2016: Wokshop set for 20th IEEE Conference on Signal and Power Intergrity - Turin, Italy, May 8th 14:00 - 17:30

Power integrity is important to the entire system performance and consists of much more than power distribution noise. This Power Integrity session provides an understanding of power integrity, why it is important, how to design for it, and it teaches techniques for high-fidelity simulation, analysis and measurement. The goal is to enable you to better isolate, troubleshoot, and optimize power related issues.

Who Should Attend
PCB designers, VRM designers, signal integrity engineers, power integrity engineers and anyone involved in PDN design will receive an introduction to power integrity and the latest tips and techniques for flat impedance designs. Join Heidi Barnes Keysight Senior Applications Engineer and Steve Sandler, CEO of Picotest for this 3 1/2 hour long workshop.

Click here to Register

 

Mastering Power Integrity Webcast - Picotest and Keysight Join Forces

Keysight-Picotest Power Integrity Webcast

January 28, 2016: Power integrity is important to the entire system performance and consists of much more than power distribution noise. This webcast provides an understanding of power integrity, why it is important, how to design for it, and it teaches techniques for high-fidelity simulation, analysis and measurement. The goal is to enable you to better isolate, troubleshoot, and optimize power related issues.
Who Should Attend
PCB designers, VRM designers, signal integrity engineers, power integrity engineers and anyone involved in PDN design will receive an introduction to power integrity and the latest tips and techniques for flat impedance designs.
Join Heidi Barnes Keysight Senior Applications Engineer and Steve Sandler, CEO of Picotest for this hour long tutorial..

Click here to Register

 

Picotest Releases New Probe Adapter for the Keysight E5061B ENA

January 12, 2016: The J2160A Probe Adapter provides a low noise, compact solution when using the E5061B T/R ports in a 2-port shunt thru measurement. The current solution uses a resistive 6dB port splitter combined with coaxial cables to support this measurement. The J2160A is a slim profile adapter, converting the three E5061B BNC ports to two BNC ports for the 2-port measurement. The 6 dB resistive port splitter is included internal to the adapter so no external splitter or cables are required. The short connections are neater, consume less bench space, and can result in a lower noise measurement. The price of the Probe Adapter is $325 in single quantities and is available now. The Injector is compatible with all versions of the Keysight E5061B ENA.

Click here to view the J2160A press release | Data Sheet

 

2 Port Probe Adapter Panel for the E5061B


Power Integrity Panels and Bootcamp At DesignCon 2016

January 11, 2016: Join Steve Sandler, CEO of Picotest, during his DesignCon presentations next week! Sandler was named the Jim Williams contributor of 2015 at the ACE awards in San Jose, and he became the 23rd Keysight certified ADS expert in the United States. He will be speaking for several sessions at DesignCon. All of them look great, but we’re particularly intrigued by “Killing The Bode Plot,” a can’t-miss session at the Chiphead Theater on Wednesday, January 20.

Click here to see the list of workshops and papers

 

EDN Names New Picotest Harmonic Comb Top Test & Measurement Product

Dec. 3, 2015: Along with products from Keysight, Rhode & Schwarz, Tektronix, and others, the Picotest J2150A Harmonic Comb generator was named one of EDN's Hot 100 Products of 2015.

Click here for the full list of Test & Measurement products

 

Read the Interesting Interview with Steve Sandler,
New Innovations in Power Integrity

December 1, 2015: Steve Sandler and Picotest are featured in the December Issue of Modern Test & Measure magazine in an article called Bridging the Gap: Crucial Test Probes from Picotest Bolster Innovations in Power Integrity. Click here to read the article.

 



Lunch and Learn with Wurth Electronics Midcom and Picotest

Why Flat PDN Impedance is Critical to VRM Operation
Today’s high speed systems require clean power under challenging conditions. Extremely fast current transients and high voltage stability require carefully designed power delivery. In this session, industry expert Steve Sandler will show you how important it is to keep the power distribution network impedance of a power system flat over a wide frequency range and how to design high performance VRMs.

  • Date: Friday, December 4th
  • Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00PM
  • Location: Hilton Phoenix/Mesa 1011 West Holmes Avenue, Mesa Arizona 85210
  • Presenter: Steven Sandler, CEO of Picotest and Chief Engineer of AEi Systems

For more information or to register (required), register here, contact 1-877-914-7426 or email cj.horecky@we-online.com

Topics Include

  • Why clean power matters and how to get it
  • How to measure power – new impedance measurement techniques for key power supply and power distribution (PDN) parameters
  • How to set the Power Supply Noise Budget
  • How to Design A Flat Impedance VRM in 5 Seconds or Less
  • Why tighter regulation can hurt performance
  • What measurements you NEED to make

Demo Stations

  • Custom Flat Impedance Demo Boards in Action
  • Using Keysight VNAs, Oscilloscopes, and Signal Source Analyzers and Picotest HarmonicCombs to Debug Power Systems and Find Trouble Spots
  • ADS Simulation Workspaces

Lecturer: Steve Sandler, CEO Picotest, Founder and Chief Engineer, AEi Systems

Steve is the founder and CEO of Picotest, a company specializing in test equipment for distributed power systems He is also a Best in Test, Test Engineer of the Year Finalist (2013-2014) and winner of the Jim Williams ACE Contributor of the year award. He is also a Keysight Certified ADS Expert.

Mr. Sandler has over 35 years’ experience in the design and analysis of power conversion equipment for military and space applications. Mr. Sandler is author of several books and numerous articles on power supply modeling and simulation including, “Switchmode Power Supply Simulation with PSpice”, “SPICE Circuit Handbook.” His latest book is entitled “Power Integrity: Measuring, Optimizing, and Troubleshooting Power Related Parameters in Electronics Systems.”

Register now!

Contact Information

Wurth Electronics Midcom Inc.
+1 720 237 8929
cj.horecky@we-online.com
http://www.we-online.com

Picotest
+1 877-914-7426
Shawn@picotest.com
http://www.picotest.com

 

 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Steve Sandler - Steve@picotest.com
(877) 914-7426

New Multiple Frequency Harmonic Comb Injector
Greatly Eases EMI Testing

September 21, 2015 Phoenix, AZ: Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test and measurement equipment, has released a new test signal generator for EMI testing applications. The USB Harmonic Comb Injector, the latest edition to Picotest’s popular line of Signal Injectors, is a fast, easy-to-use, ultra-portable harmonic comb signal generator for interrogating your Power Distribution Networks (‘PDN’) to identify noise sensitivities. A comb signal generator is simply a device that produces a set of harmonically related CW signals whose spacing is based on a fundamental oscillator frequency. Other applications include a general purpose source for characterizing semi-anechoic chambers (for measurement consistency day-to-day, and comparing one chamber to another) and as a source for measuring cable, or other metallic structure, resonances especially for those who do not have access to a tracking generator on their spectrum analyzers, or those who do not have a network analyzer.

The comb injector includes impulse & square wave outputs and has multiple modes of operation including time and frequency jitter. It is designed for power supply and clock EMI spectrum testing and has a usable frequency range of 1kHz to 1.5GHz with edges as fast as 300ps. The comb injector is USB powered with a single SMA output connector. No external power supply is necessary.

There are 5 modes of operation available including 1kHz impulse, 100kHz impulse, and 8MHz impulse output, each with frequency and pulse width dithering, a stepped mode that continuously steps between the three impulse modes and a 1kHz square wave output mode that is convenient for step load testing. Modes are changed via a convenient pushbutton on the injector key with a color LED indication of the active mode.

“The Picotest Harmonic Comb Injector is different from standard signal generators”, explains Kenneth Wyatt, EMI test expert (The EMC Blog (http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/4376432/The-EMC-Blog), and here (http://design-4-emc.com/)). The ability to adjust the comb frequency from kHz to MHz is especially useful, eliminating the need to purchase multiple fixed frequency comb generators. “For example, I would use the lower frequency combs to determine structure or cable resonance in order to achieve the best resolution, but the 8 MHz combs for test chamber validation where such fine detail is not as important. Combined with a small monopole antenna and USB battery-powered voltage source, this is one tool that every EMC test lab should own to help validate their chamber measurements.”

“The portability of this EMI injector is an advantage over current competitive solutions. The variable frequency comb is tremendously useful accessory to the Keysight E5052B and N9020A, Tektronix RSA5106A and RSA306, R&S FSW, FSMR and FSUP and virtually all oscilloscopes” says Steve Sandler, CEO of Picotest. “With it I can conveniently test Power Integrity and various EMI performance characteristics without having to carry around an AWG.”

The price of the Comb Injector is $895 in single quantities and is available now from www.Picotest.com. The Injector is compatible with all 50 ohm instruments. https://www.picotest.com/news.html

Selected Specifications:

  • -13dBm typical 1kHz and 100kHz
  • -17dBm typical 8MHz
  • 10kHz square wave 13dBm, typical Duty cycle 50% typical
  • DC coupled 0 to +2.5V pulse into 50Ohms
  • Typical rise/fall time 470ps/270ps

A Picotest Harmonic Comb Injector output pulse.
A Picotest Harmonic Comb Injector output pulse.

About Picotest

Picotest, founded in 2010, is a company dedicated to providing instruments, accessories and training to support electronic test and measurements, with an emphasis on Power Integrity solutions. Picotest is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.


The Picotest Harmonic Comb Injector. https://www.picotest.com/products_J2150A.html

The spectrum of x showing y showing the Picotest Harmonic Comb Injector on the Rhode & Schwarz spectrum analyzer.
The spectrum of 125MHz clock jitter with the Picotest Harmonic Comb Injector connected to the clock power rail. Measurment is shown on the Rhode & Schwarz spectrum analyzer. Note the 7MHz resonance identified by the Harmonic Comb Generator.


The spectrum of 125MHz clock jitter with the Picotest Harmonic Comb Injector connected to the clock power rail. Measurment is shown on the Keysight N9020A spectrum analyzer. Note the 7MHz resonance identified by the Harmonic Comb Generator.

 


Picotest Becomes a Keysight Solutions Partner

September 15, 2015 Phoenix, AZ: Picotest, a leader in high resolution test and measurement equipment, is pleased to announce that it is now a Keysight Technologies Solutions Partner. Picotest will use Keysight’s products to deliver optimized and comprehensive power supply and PDN test solutions and help Keysight customers get more out of their instruments and software.

Picotest offers power system and PDN measurement capabilities, testing services, and training. The combined expertise helps power supply developers gain a competitive edge in testing the performance and improving their understanding of their products.

"In addition to being a Keysight Certified Expert, I am delighted to further extend our collaboration with Keysight. Our Signal Injector, probe, and training products greatly enhance the usability of many Keysight instruments," said Steven Sandler, CEO of Picotest.

The collaboration with Picotest demonstrates Keysight's ongoing commitment to providing optimal Power Integrity solutions.

About Keysight, Technologies, Inc.

Keysight Technologies (NYSE:KEYS) is a global electronic measurement technology and market leader helping to transform its customers' measurement experience through innovations in wireless, modular, and software solutions. Keysight's electronic measurement instruments, systems, software and services are used in the design, development, manufacture, installation, deployment and operation of electronic equipment. The business had revenues of $2.9 billion in fiscal year 2014. Information about Keysight is available at www.keysight.com.

About Picotest

Picotest, founded in 2010, is a company dedicated to providing instruments, accessories and training to support electronic test and measurements, with an emphasis on Power Integrity solutions. Picotest is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

 


Steve Sandler: A Keysight Certified Expert

Congratulations to Keysight Certified Expert, Steve Sandler, for being recognized in this year’s Annual Creativity in Electronics (ACE) Awards, presented by EDN and EE Times. Steve was awarded the prestigious Jim Williams Contributor of the Year Award.

Steve writes numerous articles for EDN and is committed to engineering education. He carries on in the same spirit as Williams’ legacy—enthusiasm and energy, and giving back to the community through engineering education. He has written books, volunteers at conferences, and gives seminars to share his knowledge with others.

Recently he published a video with Keysight to help designers understand how the voltage regulator module (VRM) interacts with the printed circuit board plans and decoupling capacitors with a power distribution network (PDN).

Click here to read the entire article and to see the video.

 


Steve Sandler: Give back more than you take in engineering

At this year’s ACE Awards ceremony presented by EDN and EE Times, Bob Dobkin, Linear Technology’s co-founder and Chief Technical Officer, awarded Steve Sandler, founder and managing director of Picotest, with the Jim Williams Contributor of the Year Award.

Sandler is a regular contributor to EDN and EE Times, and he is strongly committed to education, which he demonstrates by participation in DesignCon’s elite Technical Program Committee (TPC), as well as by mentoring new engineers and giving highly popular talks, speed trainings, and tutorials at DesignCon, and other events around the world.

Given out at the annual ACE Awards at ESC Silicon Valley this week, the Jim Williams Contributor of the Year Award is named after the analog great who passed away in 2011. Williams, an engineer and author, contributed to numerous electronics publications, including EDN (more than 125 articles), and was willing to teach anyone who wanted to learn.

Click here to read the entire article.

 


ACE Awards honor innovators in engineering and technology

The 2015 Annual Creativity in Electronics (ACE) Awards, presented by EDN and EE Times, were held last night as part of the ESC Silicon Valley event.

The awards celebrate some of the best engineers, products, and companies making a difference every day in the electronics industry. 

“The advances made each day by engineering and design are outstanding, bettering every aspect of life for today and tomorrow," said Suzanne Deffree, Executive Editor, EDN. "At the ACE Awards we celebrated some stellar examples of creativity in design, innovation, and technology. We congratulate and thank this year's ACE Awards nominees, finalists, and winners."

Click here to read more about the ACE Awards.

 


Planet Analog Spotlight on Steve Sandler, CEO – Picotest

Mr. Steve Sandler is the CEO of Picotest.com, a company that designs and distributes test equipment including the new Signal Injector product line designed for testing power systems.

Sandler carries on in the same spirit as Jim Williams’ legacy—enthusiasm and energy, and giving back to the community through engineering education. He has written books, volunteers at conferences, and gives seminars to share his knowledge with others.

This year Sandler has won the coveted Jim Williams Contributor of the Year Award. Read about it on EDN here.

Click here to read the entire article.

 

 


Steve Sandler to receive the 2015 Jim Williams
Contributor of the Year ACE Award

TUBM has announced that Steven M. Sandler, Managing Director at Picotest, Chief Engineer at AEi Systems and frequent DesignCon presenter, will receive the 2015 Jim Williams Contributor of the Year ACE Award for his outstanding and continuing contributions to the engineering industry and knowledge sharing.

http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/now-hear-this/4439732/ACE-Awards-Finalists-Recognized-for-Innovation-in-Electronics

All winners and finalists will be celebrated at the 2015 ACE Awards ceremony on July 21, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center starting at 6:30 pm.
 


 
PICOTEST specializes in high-tech precision electronic instruments and test equipment including Signal Injectors, Network Analyzers, Meters, AWGs and Counters.
Picotest Announces

Non-Invasive Stability Measurement on the
Keysight E5061B / E5071C

Measure Control Loop Stability

  • Easy-to-Use - Convert Output Impedance to Phase Margin
  • Add stability testing to the Keysight E5061B vector network analyzer
  • Filters, Opamp, Regulators (Linear and Switching), POLs, Amplifiers, References
  • Works with 1, 2 and 3 Port measurements
  • Print and Save Results
  • Works even when you can’t break the control loop
  • Works In-Circuit
  • Measure what Bode Plots can't


FREE Picotest Seminar in Detroit - April 27th

FREE 2 Hour SEMINAR
Introduction to
Power Supply Testing

Monday, April 27, 2015 1 PM - 3 PM
Embassy Suites Southfield, Detroit
NO COST

Today's power supplies are driving to a level of efficiency and performance never seen before, requiring design engineers to perform many specialized power measurements that are time consuming and complex.

This seminar will include a discussion of the required measurements to validate, verify, characterize, and improve each section of your distributed power system. New test techniques available for measuring loop stability and HANDS-ON demonstration of the test equipment required for these measurements will be shown.

  • Why you need to measure Power Integrity at GHz Frequencies
  • What test data are you missing because your test equipment is just not good enough
  • Why clean power matters and how to get it
  • How to measure power – new impedance measurement techniques for key power supply and power distribution (PDN) parameters
  • Improving Opamp, Reference, Regulator, Switcher, POL and Converter Performance while lowering development costs
  • No access to the feedback loop? Can’t Do a Bode Plot? No problem! By performing non-invasive phase margin measurements, you can determine the stability of a power supply even when you can’t get access to the control loop
  • Measuring Components for Analysis and SPICE Model Correlation; Magnetics, Capacitors, etc.

 

NEW Products Prove Popular

NEW Transmission Line
Passive Probes

50 ohm, Passive, 1x, NO LOADING

New 2 Port - Step Loading Probe
and 8GHz DC Blockers

blue divider line FREE Technical Papers

Cable tips for your next measurement

Predictive energy balance control for PDN applications

Impedance measurements stabilize op-amp buffers

Essential 1-Port PDN PROBE: Applications Abound

Simple trick to measure plane impedance with a VNA

PDN Basics For Power Designer

Voltage References Behaving Badly: Output Caps Are Key Source Of Poor Stability

Measuring Stability Key To High Performance

blue divider line
GET THE MUST-OWN BOOK FOR POWER SUPPLY AND PDN DESIGNERS NOW!
By Steve Sandler

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Book Topics, Sample Chapter Downloads,
Table of Contents, and Reviews

Picotest, 28715 North 20th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85085, USA
877-914-7426 ▪ info@picotest.comwww.picotest.com


FREE 2 Hour SEMINAR
Introduction to Power Supply Testing

Afternoon
Monday, April 27, 2015: 1 PM - 3 PM

Refreshments Served
Embassy Suites Southfield, Detroit

No COST

SIGN UP FOR THE FREE TEST SEMINAR

Today's power supplies are driving to a level of efficiency and performance never seen before, requiring design engineers to perform many specialized power measurements that are time consuming and complex. 

This seminar will include a discussion of the required measurements to validate, verify, characterize, and improve each section of your distributed power system. New test techniques available for measuring loop stability and HANDS-ON demonstration of the test equipment required for these measurements will be shown. 

  • Why you need to measure Power Integrity at GHz Frequencies
  • What test data are you missing because your test equipment is just not good enough
  • Why clean power matters and how to get it
  • How to measure power – new impedance measurement techniques for key power supply and power distribution (PDN) parameters
  • Improving Opamp, Reference, Regulator, Switcher, POL and Converter Performance while lowering development costs
  • No access to the feedback loop? Can’t Do a Bode Plot? No problem! By performing non-invasive phase margin measurements, you can determine the stability of a power supply even when you can’t get access to the control loop
  • Measuring Components for Analysis and SPICE Model Correlation; Magnetics, Capacitors, etc.
 
Learn from the Author and Guest Speaker, Steve Sandler


Power electronics rise at DesignCon

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Steve Sandler - Steve@picotest.com
(877) 914-7426

February 2, 2015 - Santa Clara, CA:

"I found a place where I feel like I belong, where I have something to share and also where I can continue to learn."-- Steve Sandler

After nearly a year of preparations, DesignCon 2015 is now behind us. We’ll take a short breather before beginning the preparations for DesignCon 2016. What’s so special about DesignCon, you might ask? For many years I was an APEC (Applied Power Electronics Conference) guy. APEC would seem to be the perfect home for a guy like me. After all, I’m an engineer who has spent more than 37 years focused directly or indirectly with power electronics. I’d like to share some of my personal DesignCon 2015 highlights while they are still fresh in my mind.

DesignCon 2015 began for me in April 2014, when I was honored with the invitation to join the technical planning committee (TPC). The TPC, led by Janine Love, has the monumental task of defining the program tracks, soliciting papers and presentations, reviewing the papers and doing all that is necessary to assure the high standards DesignCon is known for. These are hardworking, dedicated engineers who are all leaders in their fields and who want to share their knowledge and wisdom with the rest of the engineering community. The camaraderie shared by the TPC members is uplifting and I felt like I finally had a place where I belong. This community was my first highlight, though it occurred almost 9 months before the DesignCon doors opened.

The first day of DesignCon...

Click here to read the rest of the article.

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

 
Click the image to see a larger versions.


 
PICOTEST specializes in high-tech precision electronic instruments and test equipment including Signal Injectors, Network Analyzers, Meters, AWGs and Counters.
Picotest Announces
Transmission Line Probes Solve Loading/Cable & Load Step Issues
Picotest’s 1 and 2 Port 50 ohm transmission line probes are now available. These precision 1x probes support a variety of measurements including impedance (1 Port Reflection and 2 Port Series and Shunt thru), step-load, ripple, noise TDT/TDR, PCB resonances, clock jitter and non-invasive stability. They have some significant advantages over active probes and other types of passive probes.
  • Supports Measuring Impedance, Step-Load, Ripple, Noise TDT/TDR, 2 port impedance, PCB resonances, Clock Jitter and Non-invasive Stability
  • 1x for optimum in sensitivity and SNR
  • Virtually no circuit loading (< 0.2pf)
  • Single (1 Port) or Dual (2 Ports) - 50 ohm impedance
  • Includes DC Blocker 500Hz - 8GHz
  • Wide Bandwidth –1GHz+
  • Supports Non-Invasive Stability Measurement
  • Infinitely Variable-pitch probe tip
  • Full complement of accessories
  • No cable soldering - Eliminates copper pads damage
  • Small Form Factor gets into tight places
  • Slim body provides good visibility of the target


Picotest at DesignCon 2015 Santa Clara, CA 1/27-1/30
See us at DesignCon
What do clock jitter, EMI, control loop stability, SPICE modeling, rogue waves and the ripeness of fruit have in common?

Seminar: Impedance Measurement And Relating It To Control Loop Stability

Paper: Target Impedance Limitations And Rogue Wave Assessments On PDN Performance


MORE FREE TECHNICAL PAPERS

How to measure the world's fastest power switch

Techniques for accurate PSRR measurements

PDN Basics For Power Designer

Voltage References Behaving Badly: Output Caps Are Key Source Of Poor Stability

Measuring Stability Key To High Performance

Impedance measurements stabilize op-amp buffers

NEW PRODUCTS

NEW Transmission Line
Passive Probes

50 ohm, Passive, 1x, NO LOADING

New 2 Port - Step Loading Probe
and 8GHz DC Blockers

blue divider lineLearn To Test
Measurement Workshop Provides
Hands-On Instruction



blue divider line
GET THE MUST-OWN BOOK FOR POWER SUPPLY AND PDN DESIGNERS NOW! - By Steve Sandler

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Book Topics, Sample Chapter Downloads,
Table of Contents, and Reviews

Picotest, 28715 North 20th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85085, USA
877-914-7426 ▪ info@picotest.comwww.picotest.com


Impedance measurements make a difference at DesignCon

January 8, 2015

What do clock jitter, EMI, control loop stability, SPICE modeling, rogue waves and the ripeness of fruit have in common?  Do you need to develop lower cost, higher performance products, in less time and in a smaller physical space?  Or do you just need to learn the fastest method to troubleshoot issues in distributed systems?

At DesignCon 2015 on Tuesday, January 27th from 9AM-12PM we’ll show how impedance plays a role in all of these questions.  This tutorial focuses on how circuit performance is related to impedance as well as the numerous methods and instruments available to accurately measure impedance.  Finally we’ll use real world case studies to illustrate how impedance measurements provide the solutions we desperately need.

Click here to read the rest of this news item.


 
PICOTEST specializes in high-tech precision electronic instruments and test equipment including Signal Injectors, Network Analyzers, Power Supplies, Meters, AWGs and Counters.

Learn About

POWER INTEGRITY
Measuring, Optimizing, and Troubleshooting
Power-Related Parameters in Electronics Systems

With The New Textbook By Steve Sandler, Picotest Founder and CEO

Power Integrity provides engineers with expert insight on selecting and implementing appropriate test equipment to effectively measure increasingly higher speed electronics. The book contains field-tested information related to the interpretation of results, common measurement issues and resolutions, and application examples. You’ll learn how to select the appropriate equipment and use effective techniques to reduce production problems, improve performance, and provide a figure of merit for comparing different parts and manufacturers.

  • Teaches how to properly assess electronics from a black box perspective with a minimally invasive approach
  • Covers measurement and troubleshooting techniques for EMI, a particular challenge in tablets and smartphones
  • Discusses the latest devices such as Enhancement Gallium Nitride on Silicon (eGaN)

Benefits

  • GAIN VALUABLE EXPERIENCE
  • Learn how to make accurate and high fidelity measurements with confidence
  • Learn about all the key measurements necessary to test your power systems
  • Gain confidence in your test procedures
  • Learn which test is the right one to perform
  • Learn about equipment and test setup limitations and how to address them
  • Learn how to spot bad test data whether from manufacturers or from your own measurements

Book Reviews
Amazon Reviews
EDN Taranovich, Rajan Bedi in EDN Article,
Power Electronics, How2Power


The First Color Textbook by McGraw-Hill
Sample Book Download - Table of Contents Only


Click Here to Purchase.

Reviewer’s Agree
Power Integrity is a Must-Own Book for Power Supply and PDN Designers

"His practical techniques in test and attention to details regarding pitfalls and guidance in correct and accurate methods are a sure path to success for engineers to ‘do it right’."

"For those of you who design and verify spacecraft subsystems and test satellite hardware, the book will serve as a useful reference…"

"I suspect that for engineers reading this book, there may be many surprises, as they discover the breadth of methods described by the author"

"I wish labs in universities would follow Sandler’s book…"

"…Sandler focuses upon the fact that power supply performance is so very much critical to every electronic design system in the industry."

" This book would be sitting on my shelf as a designer years ago if it were available back then."

"For those of you who design and verify power supplies, I would highly recommend Steve's new book to ensure your designs are built and characterized correctly."

"…Sandler focuses upon the best practices that he and his colleagues have used as 'tried and true' methods to correctly represent the (PDN) performance of a circuit in an actual environment in which it will be used"

Picotest, 28715 North 20th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85085, USA
877-914-7426 ▪ info@picotest.comwww.picotest.com


 
PICOTEST specializes in high-tech precision electronic instruments and test equipment including Signal Injectors, Network Analyzers, Power Supplies, Meters, AWGs and Counters.
Picotest Announces
Low Cost Full Featured
POWER SUPPLY

15% Educational Discount

Outperforms the Keysight E3632A at half the price!

The P961xA Series of programmable, single output, DC power supplies with continuous autoranging and power sequencing capability.

The P9610A (105W 36V/7A, $625) and P9611A (150W 60V/6A, $535) offer features and performance not found on competing models costing twice as much.

Order now and we’ll include the USB Interface and stacking bumpers!

Beats the Competition, Available NOW!

  • Highest Quality Yet Competitively Priced
  • Continuous Autoranging
  • Better Transient Response
  • Low Noise - 35% less than competitors
  • Optical Controls - Don’t get dirty or wear out
  • Programmed Power Sequencing Capability
  • Single output - Two Models
  • P9610A 108W (36V/7A), P9611A 150W (60V/6A)
  • Remote sense - No Shorting Bar
  • Support Master - Slave Connections
  • Programming Compatible with the Keysight E3632A
  • See Detailed Feature Comparisons Here

NEW P9610A Power Supply
Programmable, Autoranging, Lightweight

NEW P9610A Power Supply

See the Detailed Specifications Here

Comparison Table to the Keysight E3632A Here


Learn About Stability/Bode Plot/VNA Testing
FREE Webinar on Using VNAs Learn more about the OMICRON Lab Bode 100 and power supply test online! The next webinar series will be hold in November 19th & 20th!

The upcoming Bode 100 webinar will cover the following:

For each topic, we are offering two different time slots for your convenience. Each session will last approximately 60 minutes and includes time for questions and discussion. 

For more information and free registration, please visit the OMICRON Lab website.

Previous Webinar Topic
Efficient Stability Measurements (Nov. 2013)
Agenda:

  • Introduction
  • What is stability?
  • Practical stability measurement
  • Time for discussion of the measurement results
  • New features (how to use your Bode 100 efficiently)
  • Wishes & feature requests - open discussion of Bode 100 functionalities
  • Closing

Feel free to download the presentation

Bode 100 Webinar 2013 (2.32 MB) Webinar presentation in pdf format

Picotest, 28715 North 20th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85085, USA
877-914-7426 ▪ info@picotest.comwww.picotest.com


Paultre on Power - Steve Sandler of Picotest on power test and noise (Podcast)

October 31, 2014

In this podcast Steve Sandler of Picotest talks to Alix Paultre of Power Systems Design on the issues of power test, especially in the area of reducing noise. Not only is noise in a system a potential interference hazard, it is also a sign that the system is not operating optimally. Speed, bandwith, and probe considerations are among the many factors involved in performing proper test. More and more application spaces need clean power and more efficient systems than ever before, and it is important to be able to develop products to address that demand. (Podcast runtime: 11 minutes)

Listen to the podcast on the Power System Design web site.


Keysight E5061B VNA Gains Non-Invasive
Stability Measurements

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Steve Sandler - Steve@picotest.com
(877) 914-7426

October 15, 2014 Phoenix, AZ: Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test and measurement equipment, has announced the availability of new software that brings the unique non-invasive stability test to the Keysight E5061B vector network analyzer. The software add-on, available now for new or existing customers, allows the instrument to perform non-invasive stability margin (“NISM”) measurement. NISM is an alternative to a Bode plot measurement that allows the user to assess circuit or filter stability even when the control loop is not accessible. It determines phase margin from an output impedance measurement via group delay. This capability, formally only available in one other VNA instrument, allows the user to measure the stability of op amps, voltage references, voltage regulators, LDOs, switching amplifiers, POLs, input filters and all types of power converters through their output impedance.

The software guides the user through a few simple steps to obtain the stability margin from a circuit’s output impedance. The measurement results can be saved or printed as with other E5061B measurements.

E5061B users can use one, two, and three port impedance measurements which the software can convert to phase margin. The software supports the low frequency and high frequency ports to assess the stability of all types of the aforementioned circuits ranging from 1mohm to 100kohm up to the full frequency range of the VNA.

The software is available immediately and is priced at $795. Options add Picotest’s 1 and 2 port PDN transmission line probes bundled with the software which greatly ease the measurement of output impedance due to their small form factor and minimal circuit loading (< 0.2pf). The NISM software with the 1 Port PDN probe is $1,595. The NISM software with both the 1 Port and 2 Port PDN probe ‘bundle’ is $3,595.

Testing Stability Where No One Has Gone Before
The stability of linear or switching regulators, including regulators with no exposed control loops, cannot be assessed using a traditional Bode plot. “Very often you cannot make a Bode plot for a number of reasons. Either the loop is not exposed or frequently newer devices have multiple loops, which are not all accessible. The non-invasive stability margin measurement is the only way to verify stability for these types of circuits”, stated Steve Sandler, CEO of Picotest. “A huge benefit of the measurement is that because it is based on impedance, it can be measured ‘in-situ’ with a one probe measurement and non-invasively, that is without impacting the result.”

In fact, given opamp and regulator dependency on loading, and the shrinking size of ICs as depicted by the TI LDO image next to a kernel of corn, in-circuit is often the only access available. Traditional loop breakage is not possible.

What is NISM?
Picotest has published many articles and application notes related to the assessment of stability without access to the control loop, since Picotest introduced the method in 2011. The method has proven to be a popular and simple technique for determining the exact level of stability and phase margin.

The mathematics behind the non-invasive measurement was first incorporated into a VNA in late 2011. Bode plot measurements and non-invasive results are generally within 1 degree of each other up to and including a phase margin of 65 degrees.

Is the Non-Invasive Stability Measurement As Accurate as a Bode Plot?
Yes. In fact, it’s accurate in cases where Bode plots are invalid and is not subject to some of the issues that plague Bode plot’s accuracy. “In many cases, the NISM is a better assessment of stability than a Bode plot”, states Sandler. More information and reference material is located at https://www.picotest.com/non-invasive-stability-measurement.html.

About Picotest, Inc.
Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

 
Click the images to see a larger versions.


New Probes Enable Accurate Frequency, Time, and Spectrum Domain Measurements in Miniature Assemblies

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Steve Sandler - Steve@picotest.com
(877) 914-7426

October 8, 2014 Phoenix, AZ: Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test and measurement equipment, has released two new 50 ohm transmission line test probes. Coined ‘PDN’ Probes, for their effective use in measuring the ultra-low impedances found in power distribution networks, these precision 1x probes support a variety of measurements including impedance (1 Port Reflection, 2 Port Series and Shunt thru, non-invasive stability, PCB resonances), transient (step-load, ripple, TDT/TDR, clock jitter), and spectrum (noise, etc.). By controlling the impedance very precisely, thereby eliminating nearly all parasitic capacitances and inductances, and incorporating an infinitely variable lead pitch design, these compact probes have much higher bandwidth than most 1X probes, lower noise than active probes, and greatly improved SNR.

The 1-port probe, being a unity gain wide bandwidth probe, allows the measurement of ripple and noise with optimum signal to noise ratio (SNR). The 2-port probe is bi-directional and can be used to transmit a load current step through one port, while measuring the response from the other port, simultaneously. Both probes can be used to inject noise for the assessment of sensitivity to the power supply for sensitive circuits such as clocks and LNAs. The probes are supported by a wide range of signal injectors and accessories, such as DC blockers, preamplifiers, and high speed current injectors.

The high-bandwidth (DC-1.3GHz), variable-pitch design enables accurate impedance measurements for high-speed PCB development and manufacturing. It eliminates the need for soldering SMA cables to your board and the risk of damaging fine copper pads or pulling up small components. You can get connectivity to circuit boards and devices without connectors. The probes come with an accessory kit that includes a variety of interchangeable probe tips and lead extenders that enable the user to reach tight places. A DC blocking device is also included.

The probes are available today. The 1 Port PDN probe is priced at $1,495. The 2 Port PDN probe is priced at $2,495. The PDN Probe Bundle, including both probes is $3,495. The probes are compatible with all VNAs, oscilloscopes, and spectrum analyzers.

High speed applications put pressure on the measurement of power supply busses to unprecedented frequencies. As an example, the measurement of power distribution network (PDN) impedance for FPGAs generally requires the measurement of impedance levels in the milliohm range at frequencies exceeding 1GHz. Measuring the high speed step load response in power systems is difficult because of the need to connect two 50Ω transmission lines to the output capacitor. Compounding this difficult task is that these measurements often need to be made in very small circuits such as cell phones, solid state disk drives, and computer tablets; to name just a few examples.

These revolutionary 1 Port and 2 Port PDN probes alleviate many of these challenges while maintaining the precision 50Ω impedance characteristics required for the wide bandwidth measurements.

The probes are designed to work with the Picotest J2180A low noise preamplifier to improve signal-to-noise performance, the J2102A common mode transformer to eliminate DC ground loops, and the J2130A DC Bias Injector to provide DC blocking to protect VNA inputs.

Transmission line probes are a special type of passive probe that replaces the high impedance probe cable found in a traditional passive probe with a precision transmission line, that has a characteristic impedance that matches the oscilloscope’s input (50Ω). This greatly reduces the input capacitance to a fraction of a picofarad, minimizing the loading on high frequency signals.

The picture to the right, at 100psec/div, shows the very fast pulse response of the 1 Port probe. The inductance of the pivoting ground pin limits the probe’s bandwidth to 1.3GHz.

The input impedance of the Picotest probes remains nearly constant over their entire frequency range. A traditional 10x passive probe has a high input impedance at DC, however, this impedance drops rapidly with frequency, passing below the input impedance of a transmission line probe at <100MHz.

The probes are useful in applications that produce fast rising, narrow pulses with amplitudes which exceed the dynamic range of active probes. They also tend to have less parasitic effects on frequency response and so they are ideal for measuring impedance.

By providing a simple yet elegant solution to probing high-frequency signals, Picotest’s one and two port transmission line probes preserve signal fidelity and allow high-bandwidth test equipment to properly measure circuit characteristics.

About Picotest, Inc.
Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

 
Click the images to see a larger versions.


 
PICOTEST specializes in high-tech precision electronic instruments and test equipment including Signal Injectors, Network Analyzers, Power Supplies, Meters, AWGs and Counters.
Picotest Announces
New PDN Passive Probes > 1GHz
Announcing the availability of Picotest’s 1 and 2 Port 50 ohm transmission line probes. These precision 1x probes support a variety of measurements including impedance (1 Port Reflection and 2 Port Series and Shunt thru), step-load, ripple, noise TDT/TDR, PCB resonances, clock jitter and non-invasive stability. They have some significant advantages over active probes and other types of passive probes.
  • Supports Measuring Impedance, Step-Load, Ripple, Noise TDT/TDR, 2 port impedance, PCB resonances, Clock Jitter and Non-invasive Stability
  • 1x for optimum in sensitivity and SNR
  • Virtually no circuit loading (< 0.2pf)
  • Single (1 Port) or Dual (2 Ports) - 50 ohm impedance
  • Includes DC Blocker 500Hz - 6GHz
  • Wide Bandwidth –1GHz+
  • Supports Non-Invasive Stability Measurement
  • Infinitely Variable-pitch probe tip
  • Full complement of accessories
  • No cable soldering - Eliminates copper pads damage
  • Small Form Factor gets into tight places
  • Slim body provides good visibility of the target

Steve Sandler Answers Your Questions
New Videos on PDN

Part 1: What Is PDN and Why It’s Important
In this 4-min. video, Steve Sandler explains what PDNs are and why they matter, particularly to developers of POLs and VRMs.

Part 2: Why It’s Important to Keep Impedance Flat
In this 6-min. segment, Steve discusses power converter output impedance and why designers of board-level power converters need to keep their output impedance curves flat. 

Part 3: Impedance Matching Is Critical
In the last video, which runs 3 min., Steve explains why the output impedance of a power converter needs to be matched to the impedance of the PDN in which it is used. 


Join the NEW POWER INTEGRITY Group on LinkedIn   Get Steve Sandler's Latest Book On POWER INTEGRITY
NEW PRODUCTS

NEW PDN Transmission Line Probes
50 ohm, Passive, 1x, NO LOADING

NEW PDN Transmission Line Probes
NEW PDN Transmission Line Probes

NEW P961xA Power Supplies
Programmable, Autoranging, Lightweight

NEW P9610A Power Supply

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New Workshop on High Fidelity Testing
Learn To Test
Measurement Workshop Provides Hands-On Instruction

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MORE FREE TECHNICAL PAPERS
Techniques for accurate PSRR measurements

The PSRR measurement is highly sensitive to setup noise, including noise from the probe-loop area and the layout of the PCB. This article explores commonly encountered setup issues that limit PSRR measurement and offers a method to overcome them using signal injectors and a highly sensitive/selective VNA.

Picotest, 28715 North 20th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85085, USA
877-914-7426 ▪ info@picotest.comwww.picotest.com


Picotest Introduces Two New Power Supplies

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Steve Sandler - Steve@picotest.com
(877) 914-7426

September 30, 2014 Phoenix, AZ: Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test and measurement equipment, has announced the availability of the P961xA Series of programmable, single output DC power supplies with continuous autoranging and power sequencing capability. The P9610A (105W 36V/7A) and P9611A (150W 60V/6A) offer features and performance not found on competing models costing twice as much.

The autoranging feature eliminates the need to manually select the optimum range allowing all of the power to be available across all of the voltage and current settings.

These “Mixed Mode” (Switched Efficiency + Linear Performance) supplies feature excellent accuracy, resolution, regulation, low noise, and superior transient response for faster recovery and better stability.

  • Resolution - Voltage 1mV, Current 0.21mA
  • Accuracy - Voltage 0.05%+10mV, Current 0.2% + 10mA
  • Regulation - Load <0.01%+2MV,<0.01%+250uA, Line 0.01%+2mV, 0.01%+250uA
  • Noise - P9610A - <0.35mVrms/<2mVp-p, P9611A - <0.5mVrms/<3mVp-p
  • Transient Response - <30us (P9610A)/50us (P9611A) - output to recover to within 15mV following a change in output current
  • Stability - 0.02% +1mV/0.1% +3mA (P9610A), 0.05% +10mV/0.15% +2mA (P9611A), maximum change in output per °C after a 30min. warm-up

They are very lightweight (< 2.5kgs (5.5 lbs)) and stackable and meet the safety requirements of EN/IEC 61010-1 and EMC 61326-1:2013.

Switched Efficiency + Linear Performance
A highly efficient switching converter allows the power supply to be very light yet supply full power at any voltage.  The tracking linear regulator reduces the ripple and noise and provides the high speed response to transients.  Isolating the noise, with low input-output voltage in the linear, created design challenges that took Picotest nearly three years to perfect.

Programming and Protection
The supplies have very accurate programming resolution (voltage 1mV, current 0.21mA) and support an output sequencing mode that allows the user to control detailed timing sequences useful in powering digital circuitry. Programming utilizes standard SCPI commands. The units are code compatible with the Keysight E3632A power supply.
The power supplies are designed to both protect the DUT and the power supply with over-voltage, over-current, and over-temperature protection. They can withstand continuous short circuits or repetitive short circuits up to 13 times per second. This is much more robust that many competing supplies.

Pricing and Availability
The power supplies are available immediately. The P9610A is priced at $735 and the P9611A is priced at $630. More information can be obtained on the Picotest website at https://www.picotest.com/products_P9610A_11A.html, or by calling 877-914-7426.

Other Features and Benefits

  • Highest Quality Yet Competitively Priced
  • P9610A 108W (36V/7A), P9611A 150W (60V/6A)
  • Optical controls - Don’t get dirty or wear out
  • GPIB and USB Interfaces available
  • Programming Compatible with the Keysight E3632A
  • Remote sense, Master -Slave Operation (P9610A only)
  • Three-year warranty

About Picotest, Inc.
Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

 
Click the image to see a larger version.


 
PICOTEST specializes in high-tech precision electronic instruments and test equipment including Signal Injectors, Network Analyzers, Meters, AWGs and Counters.
Products for Stability, PSRR, and Impedance Testing
Demo the Bode 100 VNA
Learn how to use a network analyzer.
See how many measurements you can make.
Gain Insight into why the VNA is a much more powerful instrument for testing high performance power supplies and PDN than an Oscilloscope.

There is NO COST for the two-week trial. The Bode 100 VNA and Picotest Signal Injectors are shipped directly to you allowing you and your colleagues to try out tests such as:

  • Bode Plots
  • Control Loop Stabilty
  • Output Impedance
  • Non-invasive Phase Margin
  • Output Impedance
  • Passive Component Characterization
  • PSRR
  • PDN

And much more!

Click here to contact us for a demo.


New Workshop on High Fidelity Testing
Learn To Test
New - Measurement Workshop Provides Hands-On Instruction

Steve Sandler Answers Your Questions
New Articles on PDN
PDN PACKET - Top Six Most Popular Articles on PDN. Ask for it today!

Improve Performance and Reduce Cost
PDN Basics - Paralleling Tantalum and Ceramic Capacitors Can Be Risky
Non-Invasive Phase Margin Measurement
PCB Characteristics Affect PDN Performance
Measure PDN on a Budget
Understanding Voltage Response of an LC Circuit


MORE FREE TECHNICAL PAPERS
  1. Three Stability Assessment Methods Every Engineer Should Know About
  2. Five Things Every Engineer Should Know About
    Bode Plots
  3. Assessing Point-Of-Load Regulators Using Non-Invasive Techniques
  4. Combination VNA/FRAs Offer More Capability
    and Lower Cost
  5. Measuring Op Amp PSRR

Join the NEW POWER INTEGRITY Group on LinkedIn
NEW PRODUCTS

Probe Stand
Greatly Eases, Improves Load Step & Impedance Testing

Rogowski AC Current Probe
100Hz-30MHz Probe with zero
insertion impedance measures current
in the tightest places

EMI Bundle
Measures Noise, Pinpoint the source of emissions, Test E-Fields and H-Fields




blue divider line
PDN Test Equipment
1 and 2 Port PDN PROBES
Bode 100 Vector Network Analyzer
J2112A Current Injector
J2110A Bode Box
J2180A Preamp
J2102A Common Mode XFMR
J2130A DC Bias injector


PICOTEST TV
 

Inside the 21st Century Power Test Lab


Picotest, 28715 North 20th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85085, USA
877-914-7426 ▪ info@picotest.comwww.picotest.com


May 26, 2014, Phoenix, AZ

Picotest & OMICRON Lab Have A Successful PCIM Conference

Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test measurement, demonstrated its products and technology at the annual PCIM Show in Nuremberg, Germany, May 20 - 22, 2014. PCIM (Power Conversion Intelligent Motion) is Europe's leading meeting-point for specialists in Power Electronics and its applications in Intelligent Motion, Renewable Energy and Energy Management.

The OMICRON Lab booth had many interested visitors this year. Steve Sandler (Picotest) performed hands-on demonstrations of equipment and test methods in its booth including non-invasive stability assessment, load step and clock jitter using Picotest's new 2-Port PDN Multipurpose Probe.

Demonstrations included:

  • OMICRON Lab Bode-100 VNA Demo – Invasive and Non-Invasive stability testing using frequency and transient domain techniques. Several other VNA measurements were demonstrated, such as opamp or voltage reference PSRR.
  • LeCroy Waverunner and HDO Demo – EMI and PDN measurements and much more.

About Picotest, Inc.
Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

 

March 23, 2014, Phoenix, AZ

Picotest’s New Workshop on High Fidelity Testing

Picotest.com has announced the availability of a custom new 2-day hands-on workshop covering power supply testing and measurement. The workshop is available to corporations with attendance limited to 10-20 participants. Future open seating dates and locations are planned but have not been announced.

In this workshop design and test engineers learn how to perform all the necessary measurements to ensure reliable operation of their power supply. By introducing new measurement methods like the non-invasive stability assessment, the workshop teaches how to measure the performance parameters of power supplies in their working environment. In addition, real life measurement challenges and best practices to master them are covered. The course includes an introduction to the correct measurement of all of the important power supply parameters including PSRR, Stability, Step Load, Reverse Transfer, Ripple, EMI, and more.

Highlights include: Power Distribution Network impedance and how to best measure it; non-invasive phase margin measurements and how to determine the stability of any regulator, even those without feedback loops; how to recognize if your Bode plots are correct; how instabilities of power supplies arise; how to measure PSRR and Reverse Rejection; what measurements are performed in transient, frequency, and spectrum domains; what level of cabling and test equipment capability is required to successfully perform testing with today's and tomorrow’s power supply circuitry.

The target audience includes companies involved with designing or utilizing power systems and anyone using or designing linear or switching voltage regulators.

The class includes a new McGraw-Hill textbook written by the class instructor entitled "Power Integrity – Measuring, Optimizing, and Troubleshooting Power Systems."

The workshop includes over 8 hours of full hands-on sessions. Test equipment includes oscilloscopes, VNAs, Spectrum Analyzers, EMI and PDN probes, and other support instruments are all provided.

The course is taught by Steve Sandler, founder and CEO of Picotest a leader in power supply test equipment and fonder and Chief Engineer of AEi Systems, the world's leader in worst case analysis and SPICE modeling. Steve is the author of several books and numerous articles on power supply modeling and simulation.

SAMPLE Advanced Power Measurements WORKSHOP SYLLABUS

Introduction to Distributed Power Systems

A general lack of quality data – WHY WE NEED TO MEASURE

Understanding TEST domains AND WHAT THEY YIELD

Measurement PHILOSOPHY

Measurement FUNDAMENTALS

Measurement TOOLS FOR POWER SYSTEMS

PROBES, INJECTORS, AND INTERCONNECTS

THE DISTRIBUTED SYSTEM

Making MEASUREMENTS

HANDS-ON DEMONSTRATION

About Picotest, Inc.
Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.


March 23, 2014, Phoenix, AZ

New Scope Software Enables Phase Margin Measurement-SPICE Models

Picotest.com has created a new software technology called SEPIA. Scope Enabled Power Integrity Analysis (SEPIA) is software that works insides your oscilloscope's hardware. From a single data acquisition pass and through various mathematical functions in the software, SEPIA extracts the electrical equivalent of the circuit representing the regulator.

SEPIA analyzes the circuit and calculates the stability margins, characteristic impedance, natural and forced response frequencies, maximal response voltage, circuit Q, and small-signal (and in some cases, large signal) parameters. Correlated frequency and time domain performance can be plotted on most scopes.

  SEPIA Logo
SEPIA can also synthesize and suggest circuit improvements to improve the circuit response based on rules setup by the user. The algorithms and extractions apply to many types of circuits and applications including voltage references, linear regulators, LDOs, and opamps.  Since the extraction itself is not frequency limited the software can perform extractions for multiple responses at higher frequencies, such as in PDN and SI applications.

Many manufacturers do not provide SPICE models of their power ICs. SEPIA can provide such models quickly and without additional cost.

SEPIA Features:

SEPIA Case Study – AD584 Voltage Reference

As shown below the SEPIA software is used to extract the parametric equivalent circuit for the reference at different operating conditions. Despite the very low current and small signals, each of the four mathematical reconstructions is near ideal, with each extraction obtained from just a single pair of cursor measurements. The results can be provided in frequency or time domain as S parameters, time domain, or SPICE equivalent.

AD584 Voltage Reference with 0.1uF Output Capacitor

AD584 Graphics

AD584 Graphics

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Charles Hymowitz - Charles@picotest.com
(877) 914-7426


 
PICOTEST specializes in high-tech precision electronic instruments and test equipment including Signal Injectors, Network Analyzers, Meters, AWGs and Counters.

Come See Us at APEC
Picotest Exhibits at APEC
Demonstrations, New Products, Q&A with
Steve Sandler


Steve Sandler Answers Your Questions
New Articles on Power Integrity
Five Things Every Engineer Should Know About PDN
PDN Basics - Paralleling Tantalum and Ceramic Caps Risky
PDN Issues Occur in the Simplest of Circuits
Six Tips for Better TDR Measurements


Test Equipment Issues
Oscilloscope Mistakes
Scope Analytics - Avoiding Common Pitfalls
Time Scale - Four Common Scope Mistakes


How2Power Video Series
Troubleshooting Distributed Power Systems
Measuring Impedance Using Vector Network Analyzers,
Two-Port Tests

Using Current Injectors 
The Switch
Measuring Ripple
Making Time Domain Measurements


Join the NEW POWER INTEGRITY Group on LinkedIn

PDN Test Equipment


Bode 100 Vector Network Analyzer
J2112A Current Injector
J2110A Bode Box
J2180A Preamp
J2102A Common Mode XFMR
J2130A DC Bias injector

MORE FREE TECHNICAL PAPERS
  1. Five Things Every Engineer Should Know About Bode Plots
  2. Non-invasively Assess Your Multiple-Loop LDO's Stability
  3. Combination VNA/FRAs Offer More Capability and Lower Cost
  4. Measure Small Impedances With Rogowski Current Probes
PICOTEST TV
 

Inside the 21st Century Power Test Lab

Picotest, 28715 North 20th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85085, USA
877-914-7426 ▪ info@picotest.comwww.picotest.com

 


APEC 2014 Logo

February 13, 2014, Phoenix, AZ

Come see us at APEC 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas - Booth 525

Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test & measurement, will be exhibiting at the annual APEC, Applied Power Electronics Conference in Fort Worth, Texas at the Fort Worth Convention Center, March 16 - 20, 2014 (Booth 525).

Attendance at the show is highly recommended for both the show content and the extensive and informative demonstrations happening in the Picotest booth. Picotest engineers will be performing hands-on demonstrations of equipment and test methods covering eGan, Power Distribution Networks (PDN), EMI, and power supply impedance and stability testing.

Demo stations will include:

Rhode & Schwarz oscilloscopes will be featured and application engineers will be on hand to discuss the benefits and features as compared to competitors.

About Picotest, Inc.
Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is a US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

About APEC
As The Premier Event in Applied Power Electronics™, APEC focuses on the practical and applied aspects of the power electronics business. This is not just a designer’s conference, APEC has something of interest for anyone involved in power electronics:

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Charles Hymowitz - Charles@picotest.com
(877) 914-7426

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.


January 9, 2014, Phoenix, AZ

Steve Sandler of Picotest Establishes a New LinkedIn® Group Related to Power Integrity for Distributed Systems

As edge speeds continue increasing, power integrity and PDN are causing more trouble than ever.  If you don’t yet have power integrity issues, you will.  The optimization of system performance also depends to a very large degree on the power integrity within the system. As portable electronics continue to shrink in size we cannot afford to overdesign the power supply filtering as the physical real estate is required for other devices.

This group provides a forum for discussion related to designing, measuring and troubleshooting power in distributed systems.  The group is intended to satisfy the growing needs of the more senior and experienced engineers.

Group name on LinkedIn®: Power Integrity for Distributed Systems

Click here to join our group.

  Join our group on LinkedIn

December 5, 2013, Phoenix, AZ

Steve Sandler Named a Finalist for Test & Measurement World’s Test Engineer of the Year Award
     
Contact
Shawn Winchester
Picotest
877-914-7426
Shawn@picotest.com

Online Voting Open for Readers through December 31, 2013

Phoenix, AZ, December 5, 2013 Picotest today announced that Test & Measurement World has named Steve Sandler as a finalist for Test Engineer of the Year. The awardsrecognize the best in test products and test professionals.

The Test Engineer of the Year award pays tribute to the important contributions test engineers make to the quality of electronic components, products and systems. The award winner receives a $10,000 educational grant, courtesy of sponsor National Instruments, which is presented to an engineering school designated by the winner.

If you’ve interacted with Steve, you know he is deserving of this honor. It is time to show our appreciation for all of the insights, knowledge and hard work that he has shared with us over the years.

  Steve Sandler Named a Finalist for Test & Measurement World’s Test Engineer of the Year Award
“It is with great pleasure that we present this year’s Test Engineer of the Year candidates,” said Janine Love, Editor in Chief, Test & Measurement World, UBM Tech. “These nominees received extremely high praise from those who nominated them. We celebrate all of the nominees for their achievements so far in electronics test, and we also look forward to what they will accomplish in the future.”

To vote on the award finalists, visit: http://www.edn.com/design/test-and-measurement/4424853/Presenting-the-Nominees-for-Test-Engineer-of-the-Year

or click https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5JP5RF8.

Winners will be announced during the Best in Test 2014 Awards ceremony at DesignCon 2014, January 28-31, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.

About Steve Sandler, Chief Power Supply Test Engineer, Picotest
Through new product innovations, international workshops, and nonstop publishing, Steve has had a multitude of accomplishments this year.

Steve has advanced the state-of-the-art in PDN measurement by creating new types of probes, including the two-port PDN probe, enabling engineers to more effectively make 1 and 2-port VNA measurements. He has solved one of today’s biggest test challenges: the stability assessment of power circuits with inaccessible control loops. Steve developed the current injector which, when combined with his novel mathematical conversion of impedance-to-phase margin, permits engineers to determine the stability of a power system without access to the control loop. This non-invasive solution is the only direct stability test available for integrated POLs, fixed voltage regulators and voltage references.

As the Chief Power Supply Test Engineer at Picotest, Steve draws on 35 years of expertise to help hundreds of customers troubleshoot their designs, debug their test setups and interpret their test data. Steve gives free workshops and webinars, helping engineers improve their testing techniques, methodologies and equipment selection. His international "Measuring Power" and "Troubleshooting Distributed Systems" workshops have trained hundreds of engineers on testing techniques, equipment limitations and the pitfalls of measuring distributed power systems.

Steve has continued to raise awareness of measurement fidelity and accuracy, working with semiconductor companies to improve their data sheets and demo boards, and by highlighting key problems with new products. Steve is continuously writing tutorial articles. His regular columns in Power Electronics Technology, EETimes, How2Power, and EDN cover a variety of topics including PDN issues, non-invasive stability measurement, wireless power, POL testing, probe usage, EMI and noise testing. Steve’s dedication and outstanding contributions to the industry make him a leader in the field of electronics testing.

About Picotest
Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

About UBM Tech
UBM Tech is a global media business that provides information, events, training, data services, and marketing solutions for the technology industry. Its media brands and information services inform and inspire decision makers across the entire technology market — engineers and design professionals, software and game developers, solutions providers and integrators, networking and communications executives, and business technology professionals. UBM Tech’s industry-leading media brands include EE Times, Interop, Black Hat, InformationWeek, Game Developer Conference, CRN, and DesignCon. The company’s information products include research, education, training, and data services that accelerate decision making for technology buyers. UBM Tech also offers a full range of marketing services based on its content and technology market expertise, including custom events, content marketing solutions, community development and demand generation programs. UBM Tech is a part of UBM (UBM.L), a global provider of media and information services with a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion.


 
PICOTEST specializes in high-tech precision electronic instruments and test equipment including Signal Injectors, Network Analyzers, Meters, AWGs and Counters.

Steve Sandler Answers Your Questions
New Articles on Power Integrity
How to Solve 8 OF 10 DESIGN ISSUES (A must read!)
PDN assessment - VNA or Oscilloscope?
Which Voltage Regulator do I use?
How do I measure PSRR?


Test Equipment Issues
Oscilloscope Mistakes
Insufficient Bandwidth and/or Sample Rate
Probe issues: Choosing an incorrect probe or using it improperly.


How2Power Video Series
Troubleshooting Distributed Power Systems
Why Stability Matters
Impedance Is the Critical Measurement 
Measuring Impedance Using VNAs and One and Two-Port Tests


Special Articles
EDN Profiles in Test
by Janine Love, Senior Editor, UBM Tech ' Test & Measurement

I met Steve Sandler in person at last year's "Best in Test" Awards at DesignCon where he was a Test Engineer of the Year finalist, but I already felt like I knew him before that thanks to email. Steve has a great sense of humor, an interesting technical background, and he is one of the most curious and enthusiastic people I've met. So, I recently asked him to be a part of my Profiles in Test series for EDN.

See the featured story in our news section by clicking on the "read more" link. 
Read More


PDN Test Equipment
Bode 100 Vector Network Analyzer
J2112A Current Injector
J2110A Bode Box
J2180A Preamp
J2102A Common Mode XFMR
J2130A DC Bias injector

MORE FREE TECHNICAL PAPERS
  1. Assessing Point-Of-Load Regulators Using Non-Invasive Techniques
  2. Target Impedance Based Solutions for PDN May Not Provide Realistic Assessment
  3. Making Ripple Measurements
PICOTEST TV
 

Non-Invasive Phase Margin using the J2111A Current Injector

 

PSRR Measurement using the J2120A Line Injector

 

Picotest, 28715 North 20th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85085, USA
877-914-7426 ▪ info@picotest.comwww.picotest.com



September 26, 2013, Phoenix, AZ

Oscilloscope Mistakes: #4 (Part 4 of 4)

Avoiding common pitfalls will get you better data with minimum effort. Steve Sandler takes a look at four common scope mistakes and shows how to avoid them. This part considers the time scale.

The engineering community uses oscilloscopes more than any other piece of equipment, yet many of the published results are questionable at best. Some errors are very common, so we can eliminate a great deal of bad data by considering a few simple but key points. This final part of a four-part series covers choosing the wrong timebase.

Click here to read the complete article at EETimes.com.

 

September 23, 2013, Phoenix, AZ

Oscilloscope Mistakes: #3 (Part 3 of 4)

Avoiding common pitfalls will get you better data with minimum effort. Steve Sandler takes a look at four common scope mistakes and shows how to avoid them. This part considers scope analytics.

The engineering community uses oscilloscopes more than any other piece of equipment, yet many of the published results are questionable at best. Some errors are very common, so we can eliminate a great deal of bad data by considering a few simple but key points. This third part of a four-part series covers inappropriate use of the averaging function.

Click here to read the complete article at EETimes.com.

 

September 16, 2013, Phoenix, AZ

Oscilloscope Mistakes: #2 (Part 2 of 4)

Avoiding common pitfalls will get you better data with minimum effort. Steve Sandler takes a look at four common scope mistakes and shows how to avoid them. This part looks at problems with probes.

The engineering community uses oscilloscopes more than any other piece of equipment, yet many of the published results are questionable at best. Some errors are very common, so we can eliminate a great deal of bad data by considering a few simple but key points. This second part of this four-part series covers probe issues: choosing an incorrect probe or using it improperly.

Click here to read the complete article at EETimes.com.

 

September 12, 2013, Phoenix, AZ

Oscilloscope Mistakes: #1 (Part 1 of 4)

Avoiding these common pitfalls will get you better data with minimum effort. Steve Sandler takes a look at four common scope mistakes and gives details on how to avoid them. This particular mistake focuses on bandwidth and sample rates.

The engineering community uses oscilloscopes more than any other piece of equipment, and yet many of the published results are questionable at best. Some errors are very common, and so we can eliminate a great deal of bad data by considering a few simple, but key points. This first part of a four-part series covers: insufficient bandwidth and/or sample rate.

Click here to read the complete article at EETimes.com.

 

September 11, 2013, Phoenix, AZ

Steve Sandler Answers Your PDN Questions (Power Electronics' Q&A Series)

Power Electronics received a question about why PDN is measured using a VNA and not an oscilloscope. We asked our expert, Steve Sandler to weigh in on the subject.

QUESTION: If PDN is an assessment of the voltage to a CPU then why is it measured using a VNA and not an oscilloscope?

ANSWER: First, your understanding of PDN is perfectly correct. The PDN includes the voltage regulator, printed circuit board traces or planes, via’s and decoupling capacitors including the capacitor series resistance (ESR) and inductance (ESL). The voltage arrives at the load (CPU) and must be within allowable limits. Internal to the CPU the bond wires and die capacitance also form part of the PDN.

Click here to read the Steve's complete response at PowerElectronics.com.


September 3, 2013, Phoenix, AZ

Steve Sandler Answers Your Voltage Regulator Questions (Power Electronics' Q&A Series)

Power Electronics received a question about how to pick a voltage regulator that will be good for a specific circuit. We asked our expert, Steve Sandler to weigh in on the subject.

QUESTION: There are so many different voltage regulators on the market these days.  How do I pick one that will be good for my circuit?

ANSWER: Wow, this is a tough question, but also a good one.  I’ll try my best to answer it concisely.  Figures of merit are generally used for such decisions as they provide a quantitative comparison. Neglecting the cost for the moment there are seven significant figures of merit to consider. 

Click here to read the Steve's complete response at PowerElectronics.com.


August 28, 2013, Phoenix, AZ

Steve Sandler Answers Your PSRR Questions (Power Electronics' Q&A Series Follow Up)

Earlier this month Power Electronics received a question about “How to measure PSRR of a linear regulator circuit that powers an oscillator for an ADC. How can I make this measurement using my oscilloscope?” We asked our expert in PSRR, Steve Sandler to weigh in on the subject and also encouraged readers to submit other questions they had about the space.

Click here to read the Steve's responses at PowerElectronics.com.


August 12, 2013, Phoenix, AZ

Power Electronics' Q&A series is back this month with Steve Sandler from Picotest and AEi Systems.

Would you like advice from an expert to help with a project, design problem, or help navigating your career? You can now get your questions answered by Power Electronics’ featured industry experts.

Steve Sandler, the founder of AEi Systems, a leading US company that specializes in the worst case analysis and troubleshooting of satellite systems and also the founder of Picotest, a high performance measurement company, is featured in the Power Electronics' Q&A series this month.

During a two week period Power Electronics will collect power industry related questions from readers for Steve and he will answer as many questions as possible. Some questions may be fielded by other members of the expert panel at Power Electronics. After you read the article found at the link below you can ask any questions you may have about the subject to Steve. See more information about the question submission process on the article page.

Click here to read the article and submit your questions at PowerElectronics.com.

  Power Electronics' Q&A series is back this month with Steve Sandler from Picotest.

August 10, 2013, Phoenix, AZ

Troubleshooting Distributed Power Systems: Measuring Impedance Using Vector Network Analyzers (One-Port Tests) (Part 3 of the ongoing video series)

by Steve Sandler, Picotest, Phoenix, Arizona and AEi Systems

Vector network analyzers (VNAs) have always had measurement capabilities that looked like they would be particularly useful in assessing the performance of analog and power components and circuits. Unfortunately, the input range of these instruments did not extend low enough in frequency for many power and analog applications. However, two of the more recently introduced VNAs, Omicron Lab's Bode 100 and Agilent's E5061B have changed this situation, making it possible to measure the impedance of many types of power components and circuits as Steve Sandler explains in this 10-minute video. This video focuses on single-port measurements, describing how they can be applied to low power circuits such as linear regulators, voltage references and op amps as well as semiconductors, capacitors, and inductors. Test set up requirements are discussed and example measurements are presented.

Click here to watch the video.

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

 


August 9, 2013, Phoenix, AZ

Steve Sandler Interviewed by EDN.com as part of their Profiles in Test Series

by Janine Love, Senior Editor, UBM Tech | Test & Measurement

I met Steve Sandler in person at last year’s “Best in Test” Awards at DesignCon where he was a Test Engineer of the Year finalist, but I already felt like I knew him before that thanks to email. Steve has a great sense of humor, an interesting technical background, and he is one of the most curious and enthusiastic people I’ve met. So, I recently asked him to be a part of my Profiles in Test series for EDN.

Click here to read the entire interview at EDN.com.

Headlines
5/17/2013: Picotest & OMICRON Lab Have A Successful PCIM Conference

May 17, 2013, Phoenix, AZ: Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test measurement, demonstrated its products and technology at the annual PCIM Show in Nuremberg Germany, May 14 - 16, 2013. PCIM (Power Conversion Intelligent Motion) is Europe's leading meeting-point for specialists in Power Electronics and its applications in Intelligent Motion, Renewable Energy and Energy Management.

The OMICRON Lab booth had many interested visitors this year. Steve Sandler (Picotest) performed hands-on demonstrations of equipment and test methods in its booth including eGan and high fidelity measurement in three domains. Demonstrations included:

  • OMICRON Lab Bode-100 VNA Demo – Invasive and Non-Invasive stability testing using frequency and transient domain techniques. Several other VNA measurements were demonstrated, such as opamp or voltage reference PSRR.
  • LeCroy Waverunner and HDO Demo – EMI and PDN measurements and much more.

About Picotest, Inc. Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is a US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Charles Hymowitz - Charles@picotest.com 
(877) 914-7426

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

 

PCIM 2013 - Steve Sandler at his demo bench at the conference.
5/22/2013: Picotest's Steve Sandler Presents at the Get a grip on your Power Supply Seminar in Klaus, Austria

May 22, 2013, Phoenix, AZ: Picotest's Steve Sandler was a guest speaker at the Get a grip on your Power Supply Seminar at the OMICRON European office in Klaus, Austria on May 22, 2013. The seminar had a great turn out with 40 attendees.

The seminar's focus was on Advanced Characterization, Simulation and Troubleshooting of Power Systems and included practical examples and demonstrations with the power supply specialists Steven M. Sandler (Picotest), Dr. Ali Shirsavar (Biricha Digital Power) and Bostjan Bitenc (Linear Technologies).

In this compact one-day seminar the attendees learned new state of the art methods and procedures to characterize, simulate and measure the performance of analog and digital power supplies as well as distributed power sytems.

The partners for the OMICRON Lab seminar were Picotest, AEi Systems, Biricha Digital, Linear Technology and Teledyne LeCroy.

Program Topics for the Seminar were:

Characterizing and troubleshooting distributed power systems
This session addressed some of the common distributed power system issues and how to perform high fidelity in-system measurements, using 3 domains to identify and troubleshoot problems using non-invasive testing methods. Impedance measurement, the key to assessing and optimizing PDNs (Power Distribution Networks) was explored in-depth. Demonstrations showed how to determine and interpret the stability margin of control loops, as well as filter/converter combinations using non-invasive single port and two port measurements.

Digital Power De-Mystified from DC/DC to Digital PFC
This session informed the audience of the real engineering benefits as well as the practical
challenges of digital power thus enabling them to choose the most suitable power management
solution for their application. Numerous real life examples and a case study on Digital PFC were presented. The session concluded with a live demonstration of an autotuning stable digital dc-dc converter.

SMPS Bode Analysis Using LTspice
The use of circuit simulation is mandatory to keep R&D investments as well as risk low. In this session it was shown that a frequency domain simulation of a SMPS can be quickly performed with LTSpice. A special focus was laid on methods to assess the correctness of the simulation
results. The session closed with practical demonstrations and the comparison of simulation examples with real world measurements.

Live hands-on workshop
The new measurement methods introduced during the theoretical sessions were demonstrated with live measurements.

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Charles Hymowitz - Charles@picotest.com
(877) 914-7426

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

 

 

APEC 2013 - Steve Sandler prepares a demo at his bench at the conference.
5/15/2013: Troubleshooting Distributed Power Systems: Why Stability Matters (Video)

May 15, 2013, Phoenix, AZ: Troubleshooting Distributed Power Systems: Why Stability Matters

Control-loop stability impacts power supply performance in multiple ways. Even if the control loop is not oscillating, poor stability—as evidenced by low phase margin—in voltage regulator and reference circuits can lead to problems such as poor PSRR or reverse transfer performance. What’s more, many system-level problems such as clock jitter, noise-induced degradation of circuit performance, and EMI can be traced back to poor control-loop stability in the power supply. In this 5-minute video presentation, Steve Sandler discusses how stability impacts circuit performance, offering examples that demonstrate the effects of stability problems on both power supply and system performance.

Watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uI6AYD2B9Fs&feature=youtu.be

After viewing: Rate This Video.
Answer 3 quick questions to tell us what you think of this video feature.

 

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

 

 
3/21/2013: Picotest enjoys a successful APEC 2013 in Long Beach, California.

March 21, 2013, Phoenix, AZ: Picotest enjoys a successful APEC 2013 in Long Beach, California.

Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test measurement, exhibited at the annual APEC, Applied Power Electronics Conference in Long Beach, California at the Long Beach Convention Center, March 17 - 21, 2013.

The Picotest booth had many interested visitors this year. We were also pleased to have Bernhard Baumgartner of OMICRON Lab with us this year helping to demonstrate the OMICRON Lab Bode 100 and the new OMICRON Lab ISAQ 100 Optically Isolated Data Aquisition System. Picotest engineers performed hands-on demonstrations of equipment and test methods in its booth including eGan and high fidelity measurement in three domains. Demonstrations included:

  • OMICRON Lab Bode-100 VNA Demo – Invasive and Non-Invasive stability testing using frequency and transient domain techniques. Several other VNA measurements were demonstrated, such as opamp or voltage reference PSRR.
  • LeCroy Waverunner and HDO Demo – EMI and PDN measurements and much more.

About Picotest, Inc. Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is a US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Charles Hymowitz - Charles@picotest.com
(877) 914-7426

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

 

 

APEC 2013 - Steve Sandler prepares a demo at his bench at the conference.
3/12/2013: Come see us at APEC 2013 in Long Beach, California - Booth 1110

March 12, 2013, Phoenix, AZ: Come see us at APEC 2013 in Long Beach, California - Booth 1110

Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test measurement, will be exhibiting at the annual APEC, Applied Power Electronics Conference in Long Beach, California at the Long Beach Convention Center, March 17 - 21, 2013 (Booth 1110).

Actual attendance at the show is highly recommended as Picotest engineers will be performing hands-on demonstrations of equipment and test methods in its booth including eGan and high fidelity measurement in three domains. Demonstrations will also include:

  • OMICRON Lab Bode-100 VNA Demo – Invasive and Non-Invasive stability testing using frequency and transient domain techniques. Several other VNA measurements will be demonstrated, such as opamp or voltage reference PSRR.
  • LeCroy Waverunner and HDO Demo – EMI and PDN measurements and much more.

About Picotest, Inc. Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is a US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Charles Hymowitz - Charles@picotest.com
(877) 914-7426

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

 

 
12/5/2012: PRESS RELEASE: Steve Sandler Named a Finalist for Test Engineer of the Year Award

December 5, 2012, Phoenix, AZ: Steve Sandler Named a Finalist for Test & Measurement World’s Test Engineer of the Year Award

Online Voting Open for Readers through December 31, 2012

Picotest today announced that Test & Measurement World has named Steve Sandler as a finalist for Test Engineer of the Year. The awardsrecognize the best in test products and test professionals.

The Test Engineer of the Year Award pays tribute to the important contributions test engineers make to the quality of electronics components, products and systems. The award winner receives a $10,000 educational grant, courtesy of sponsor National Instruments, which is presented to an engineering school designated by the winner.

If you’ve interacted with Steve you know he is deserving. It’s time to show our appreciation for all of his insights, knowledge and hard work that he has shared with us over the years.

“It is with great pleasure that we present this year’s Test Engineer of the Year candidates,” said Janine Love, Editor in Chief, Test & Measurement World, UBM Tech. “These nominees received extremely high praise from those who nominated them. We celebrate all of the nominees for their achievements so far in electronics test, and we also look forward to what they will accomplish in the future.”

To vote on the award finalists, visit: http://tmworld.com/electronics-blogs/other/4402438/Best-in-Test-voting-is-underway

Winners will be announced during the Best in Test 2013 Awards ceremony on January 31, 2013 in the Chiphead Theater in conjunction with DesignCon 2013, which takes place January 28-31, 2013 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.

About Picotest
Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

About UBM Tech
UBM Tech is a global media business that provides information, events, training, data services, and marketing solutions for the technology industry. Its media brands and information services inform and inspire decision makers across the entire technology market — engineers and design professionals, software and game developers, solutions providers and integrators, networking and communications executives, and business technology professionals. UBM Tech’s industry-leading media brands include EE Times, Interop, Black Hat, InformationWeek, Game Developer Conference, CRN, and DesignCon. The company’s information products include research, education, training, and data services that accelerate decision making for technology buyers. UBM Tech also offers a full range of marketing services based on its content and technology market expertise, including custom events, content marketing solutions, community development and demand generation programs. UBM Tech is a part of UBM (UBM.L), a global provider of media and information services with a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion.

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

 

 
10/4/2012: PRESS RELEASE: Fast Current Injector Beats E-Load in POL Testing
September 20, 2012 Phoenix, AZ: Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test and measurement equipment, has released a new test product designed to support high current demand Point of Load (“POL” regulators and PDN measurements.

The J2112A is a higher current version of the most popular injector product, the J2111A Current Injector. The J2112A offers a greater current range (1A vs. 100mA for the J2111A) while improving rise/fall times down to 10ns and achieving a 40MHz bandwidth.

The J2112A is used for fast and accurate (better than 1uA resolution) transient load stepping and profiling, as well as PDN, output impedance and non-invasive phase margin measurement.

The J2112A is vastly superior to traditional electronic loads in many respects including its speed, accuracy and essentially zero capacitive loading. This last feature makes it non-invasive. That means that unlike traditional electronic loads and function generators, it does not load circuit being tested or alter the measurement by its presence. These characteristics are ideal for PDN measurement.

The Signal Injectors, also known as test interface adapters, greatly improve power supply, noise, EMI, and PDN testing accuracy. The Signal Injectors work with network analyzers, real-time spectrum analyzers, and oscilloscopes, from all manufacturers.

The J2112A adds to Picotest’s already industry leading lineup of stability, PSRR, and DC Bias injectors. The J2112A is available for immediate purchase.

Don’t know what a SIGNAL INJECTOR is?
Signal injectors, or test interface adapters, greatly improve power supply, spectrum analyzer, and oscilloscope based testing accuracy. Increased bandwidth and higher resolution measurements are enabled for PSRR, stability, reverse transfer, input impedance, Bode plots, EMI, PDN, noise, and crosstalk tests along with non-invasive in-circuit testing for load transients, stability and output impedance. The Signal Injectors work with network analyzers, oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers and arbitrary waveform generators from all manufacturers. This technology is essential for design and test engineers interested in making measurements with higher fidelity.

While most engineers own a network analyzer, few own the necessary Signal Injectors to make accurate and repeatable high resolution measurements. With the Picotest family of Signal Injectors, you can make these measurements with confidence that your results will be accurate to the bandwidth and resolution levels necessary for your application. The Signal Injectors are available from Picotest (www.Picotest.com) individually and in cost saving bundles.

About Picotest, Inc.
Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

 

 

The Picotest J2112A Current Injector gives you non-invasive step loading with 10ns rise and fall times; perfect the PDN measurements.
10/1/2012: PICOTEST Sale on GP Test Instruments; DMMs, AWGs, and Counters
  PICOTEST is having a special sale on its popular line
of General Purpose Test Instruments: DMMs, AWGs,
and Counters

If you purchase a Digital Multi-Meter (DMM), Arbitrary Waveform Generator (AWG) or Frequency Counter, you will get one of these valuable accessories for FREE.

  • Buy a U6200A Frequency Counter and get a GPIB
    Card for free (A $100 Value)
  • Buy a G5100A AWG and get a GPIB Card for
    free (A $95 Value)

Take advantage of this great offer TODAY!

EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS: This is in addition to your 15% educational discount!

  • The M3500A - Digital Multimeter / Data Acquisition Unit - The M3500A trumps the 34401A in almost every regard. The M3500A is much more than a 6.5 digit DMM. Utilizing a 10 Channel or 20 Channel Scanner Card, it is a data acquisition unit that provides the highest stability readings. https://www.picotest.com/products_M3500A.html
  • The G5100A - Waveform Generator - The G5100A LXI Class C compatible 50MHz Function / Arbitrary Waveform Generator uses DDS (Direct Digital Synthesis) Technology.  Compared with the competition, the G5100A offers higher frequency performance, faster rise and fall times, larger memory (256Kx14 bit) a 16 bit digital pattern generator, standard 10MHz synchronization and better stability.
    https://www.picotest.com/products_G5100A.html
  • The U6200A - Universal Counter - The Picotest U6200A offers a higher frequency capability, better oscillator temperature stability, higher measurement bandwidth, higher resolution and many other benefits compared with the competition. The U6200A CH3 is included free and has a range from 375 MHz to 6GHz. An optional 20GHz module is also available. https://www.picotest.com/products_U6200A.html
  Picotest GP Test Equipment Promo
9/24/2012: Picotest Newsletter
September 24, 2012

Picotest specializes in high-tech precision electronic instruments and test equipment including Signal Injectors, Network Analyzers, Meters, AWGs and Counters

NEW SIGNAL INJECTORS NOW SHIPPING

Test Support for PDN, EMI, Ground Loop Issues, Step Loading, Stability, Filtering

Picotest has released three new Signal Injectors, adding to its already industry leading lineup of test adapters. The three new Signal Injectors include the J2180A 0.1Hz -100MHz Ultra Low Noise Preamplifier (now with CE Approval), the J2102A Common Mode Transformer (PDN, ground loop measurements), and the J2112A High Current Output (1A) Current Injector (PDN, step loading).


NEW PRODUCTS

J2112A NOW AVAILABLE
The J2112A High Speed Current Injector is a useful tool for evaluating POL and LDO regulators, especially in high demand applications. It supports both fast load stepping and output impedance measurements. For more check out the paper "High Fidelity POL Testing with the J2112A."

EMI PROBES NOW AVAILABLE
The Electro-Metrics EM-6992 Hand Held Probe Set is designed to assist in pinpointing the specific source of emissions during the diagnostic testing phase of an EMI compliance investigation. A selection of probes of varying sensitivities is provided for both E-field and H-field analysis up to 1000 MHz. When used with any 50 ohm measuring instrument the EM-6992 set allows for easy identification of emission sources.


NEWS UPDATES

INTRO TO HOW2POWER
Picotest is pleased to announce its support of an exciting new and FREE publication on Power Conversion called How2Power Today.

BODE 100 SOFTWARE UPDATED - New VNA Software Adds Features

The OMICRON Labs Bode Analyzer Suite Version 2.40

  • Allows you to open multiple instances of the software at once
  • Allow you to copy and paste plots with cursor measurement right into Word
  • Improved 1 Hz / 10 Hz start frequency behavior
  • Copy and paste trace data (CSV data) without having to export the file to a separate .CSV file
  • Many other features and bug fixes

Upgrade for FREE today!

Go to the support page and click on the Bode 100 tab, and then the Bode Analyzer Suite tab. You will find links to download the newest version.


NEW TECHNICAL PAPERS POSTED ON THE PUBLICATIONS PAGE

SHARPENING YOUR EDGE
High speed edges are everywhere, including switch-mode power supplies and standard logic gates. While many engineers measure the switching speed of their Mosfets, they are likely getting incorrect results. This article discusses the measurement, the difficulties in making it, and how to get it right.

MEASURING POWER SUPPLY NOISE WITH A SPECTRUM ANALYZER
Noise from the power supply, linear regulators, and voltage references is a major contributor to the limitations of system performance, especially in instrumentation and communications products. In ADC applications, the noise from regulators and references results in clock jitter, which can significantly degrade the ADC characteristics such as signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), signal-to-noise and distortion ratio (SINAD), and bit error rate (BER). LNAs also suffer from phase noise and modulation effects related to power supply noise. A Real-time Spectrum Analyzer, in conjunction with a high quality signal injector, offers two ways to measure power supply, voltage regulator, and voltage reference noise.

CURRENT SENSE RESISTORS TWO WIRE MEASUREMENT
Four-wire sense resistors provide two power connections and two sense wires in order to make a precision measurement. Newer two-wire devices are available in values as low as 250 micro-ohms (μΩ), with wide pads to minimize inductance. In this article we will focus on an Ohmite FCSL Series metal-foil current-sense resistor, for no other reason than we have some here from a previous article on measuring low impedances.

HOW TO MEASURE ULTRA-LOW IMPEDANCES
Details on High speed digital circuits are very sensitive to the power supply voltages that they receive. The load demands of high speed FPGAs and processors can also be very dynamic, changing by tens of amps/nSec. Maintaining the voltage regulation within the required limits is the job of the power supply, the design engineer, and the Power Distribution Network ("PDN"). Maintaining the impedance of the PDN requires careful decoupling and circuit board power plane design.

STABILITY ASSESSMENT OF FIXED REGULATORS
In cases where a Bode plot cannot be obtained from a power supply circuit, opamp control loop, or SPICE model, the stability may be measured and quantified by testing or simulating the circuit's output impedance. Both bandwidth and phase margin can be determined from output impedance by observing peaking in the group delay of the impedance. This article details the simple steps and mathematics behind the process.

MAKING ACCURATE RIPPLE MEASUREMENTS
While it seems like a very basic measurement, many engineers struggle with making accurate ripple measurements using an oscilloscope. There are many ways for this seemingly simple measurement to go awry. At the same time, many application notes recommend adding capacitors at the probe tip or R-C damping networks to minimize ringing. These sound appealing, but actually tend to mask or otherwise alter the ripple we are trying to measure.

LOW POWER AND HIGH EFFICIENCY CAN SIGNIFICANTLY DEGRADE PERFORMANCE
While the use of portable electronics and the goal of reducing energy consumption are motivating factors, product performance, reliability, and cost cannot be ignored. Portability and lower power levels often cause reduced performance. For example, increased output noise, degraded stability, low frequency EMI, and ripple due to pulse frequency modulation (PFM) can result from some efficiency improving topologies.

UNDERSTANDING THE DATA SHEET KEY TO EFFECTIVE CIRCUIT DESIGN
Component makers often publish data that is erroneous, vague, incomplete, and frequently misleading. What is surprising is that engineers are willing to accept the manufacturer-supplied data at face value. Consider this first example excerpt from a datasheet; a plot of the output impedance of a voltage reference with and without a capacitor. Identifying the manufacturer is not required as the issues that will be discussed are not manufacturer-specific problems.

MAKING THE CONNECTION - KEY TO ACCURATE TEST DATA
Engineers don't always give much thought to the interconnections between the multiple circuits that comprise our systems. We often give even less thought to how we connect our circuits and systems to the test equipment that we use to both power and measure the performance. We know this because we frequently see the ramifications in the worst case circuit analyses that we perform. In this article we will take a look at how the lack of attention to interconnect detail may impact the resulting test data that we obtain.

Go to the publications page and register to access these and many more articles.


For more information visit our website or contact:

Picotest.com
Charles Hymowitz - Charles@picotest.com
(877) 914-7426

9/4/2012: Picotest Announces Its Support Of An Exciting New Publication, How2Power Today
Phoenix, AZ, September 4, 2012: Picotest is pleased to announce its support of an exciting new publication, How2Power Today.

This free monthly newsletter presents innovative design techniques and solutions for power conversion, in-depth reporting on power components, and updates on the power electronics jobs scene.

Veteran technical editor David G. Morrison brings you compelling technical content in every issue.

  • How2Power Today is not just another e-newsletter:
  • The information is practical and timely.
  • Articles are generously illustrated with exclusive diagrams, graphs, and charts.

Each issue brings you unique perspectives on technical issues and trends.

Check out How2Power Today to stay up-to-date with the technology you need to maintain your competitive edge. Sign up today at www.how2power.com/newsletters/register.php.

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Charles Hymowitz - Charles@picotest.com
(877) 914-7426

How2Power Today
8/1/2012: Picotest Expands Signal Injector Product Line
Phoenix, AZ, August 1, 2012: Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test measurement equipment, has released three new Signal Injectors, adding to its already industry leading lineup of test adapters. The three new Signal Injectors include the J2180A 0.1Hz -100MHz Ultra Low Noise Preamplifier (now with CE Approval), the J2102A Common Mode Transformer (PDN, ground loop), the J2112A High Current Output (1A) Current Injector and the J2190A 0.1Hz-10Hz Active Filter.

The new Signal Injectors, also known as test interface adapters, greatly improve power supply, noise, EMI, and PDN testing accuracy. The Signal Injectors work with network analyzers, real-time spectrum analyzers, and oscilloscopes, from all manufacturers.

The J2180A low noise preamplifier provides a fixed, AC coupled 20dB gain while converting a 1MOhm input impedance to a 50 Ohm output impedance. With a 3dB bandwidth of 0.1Hz to 100MHz, the preamplifier improves the sensitivity of oscilloscopes, network analyzers and spectrum analyzers while reducing the effective noise floor and spurious response. The preamplifier can also serve as a low frequency DC blocker for a spectrum analyzer. The J2180A preamplifier offers very low noise, fast 100V/uS slew rate for pulse applications and very low distortion for audio applications.

Another useful feature of the J2180A is that is can be used to connect a high input impedance oscilloscope probe to 50 Ohm equipment. This is particularly useful for Real-Time Spectrum Analyzers and specialized oscilloscopes like the Tektronix MDO4000.

The simplest and most effective method for eliminating a ground loop is to add a wideband common mode transformer to the measurement, such as the Picotest J2102A Common Mode Transformer. The transformer for a low impedance PDN measurement must have very wide bandwidth, low loss and tight coupling; otherwise, the results will not be accurate over the measured frequency range. It is also important to maintain the 50 Ohm transmission line impedance through this transformer. The J2102A accomplishes this with ease.

The J2112A is a higher current version of the most popular injector, the J2111A Current Injector. The J2112A offers more current (1A vs. 50mA for the J2111A) while maintaining the 20nS rise/fall times and 40MHz bandwidth. The J2112A is used for fast and accurate (better than 1uA resolution) transient load stepping and profiling, as well as output impedance and non-invasive phase margin measurement. It is superior to electronic loads in many respects including its speed, accuracy and much lower capacitive loading.

The J2190 is an Active Filter with a 4th order high pass and a 4th order low pass combination in fully analog form for ultra low noise. The filter is cascadable for sharper cutoffs.

The J2180A, J2112A, J2102A, and the J1290A are available for immediate purchase.

Don’t know what a SIGNAL INJECTOR is?
Signal injectors, or test interface adapters, greatly improve power supply, spectrum analyzer, and oscilloscope based testing accuracy. Increased bandwidth and higher resolution measurements are enabled for PSRR, stability, reverse transfer, input impedance, Bode plots, EMI, PDN, noise, and crosstalk tests along with non-invasive in-circuit testing for load transients, stability and output impedance. The Signal Injectors work with network analyzers, oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers and arbitrary waveform generators from all manufacturers. This technology is essential for design and test engineers interested in making measurements with higher fidelity.

While most engineers own a network analyzer, few own the necessary Signal Injectors to make accurate and repeatable high resolution measurements. With the Picotest family of Signal Injectors, you can make these measurements with confidence that your results will be accurate to the bandwidth and resolution levels necessary for your application. The Signal Injectors are available from Picotest (www.Picotest.com) individually and in cost saving bundles.

About Picotest, Inc.
Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Charles Hymowitz - Charles@picotest.com
(877) 914-7426

Figure, Picotest J2112A Current Injector with the Agilent E5061B LF-RF Network Analyzer.
Figure, Picotest J2112A Current Injector with
the Agilent E5061B LF-RF Network Analyzer
7/30/2012: Picotest Now Selling Electro-Metrics Hand Held Probes and a Special EMI Bundle
Phoenix, AZ, July 30, 2012: Picotest is now selling the Electro-Metrics EM-6992 Hand Held Probe Set. It is designed to assist in pinpointing the specific source of emissions during the diagnostic testing phase of an EMI compliance investigation. A selection of probes of varying sensitivities is provided for both E-field and H-field analysis up to 1000 MHz. When used with any 50 ohm measuring instrument the EM-6992 set allows for easy identification of emission sources.

To purchase your set of probes visit https://www.picotest.com/products_EM-6992.html.

Picotest has also created a special EMI Measurement Bundle. This bundle includes the EM-6992 Hand Held Probe set and the J2180A 0.1Hz -100MHz Ultra Low Noise Preamp. The J2180A low noise preamplifier provides a fixed, AC coupled 20dB gain while converting a 1 MOhm input impedance to a 50 Ohm output impedance. With a 3dB bandwidth of 0.1Hz to 100MHz, the preamplifier improves the sensitivity of oscilloscopes, network analyzers and spectrum analyzers while reducing the effective noise floor and spurious response. The preamplifier can also serve as a low frequency DC blocker for a spectrum analyzer or you can use it to connect a high input impedance oscilloscope probe to 50 Ohm equipment.

The J2180A preamplifier offers very low noise, fast 100V/uS slew rate for pulse applications and very low distortion for audio applications.

To purchase your EMI Bundle visit: https://www.picotest.com/products_EMIB01.html.

 

 
Electro-Metrics EM-6992 Hand Held Probe Set

J2180A 0.1 Hz - 100 MHz Ultra Low Noise Preamp

5/22/2012: Picotest & OMICRON Lab Have A Successful PCIM Conference
Phoenix, AZ, May 22, 2012: Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test measurement, demonstrated its products and technology at the annual PCIM Show in Nuremberg Germany, May 8 - 10, 2012 (Booth 11-323). PCIM (Power Conversion Intelligent Motion) is Europe's leading meeting-point for specialists in Power Electronics and its applications in Intelligent Motion, Renewable Energy and Energy Management.

At the show Picotest unveiled three new Signal Injectors, adding to its already industry leading lineup of test adapters. The three new Signal Injectors introduced at the show included the J2180A 0.1Hz -100MHz Ultra Low Noise Preamplifier, and the J2112A High Current Output (1A) Current Injector and the J2102A Common mode Transformer.

Steve Sandler, Picotest CEO, gave two papers, one on Measuring Power Supply Noise with the J2180A and the Agilent N9020A Signal Analyzer and a second on An Accurate Method for Measuring Capacitor ESL and Other Low Impedances.

Picotest engineers performed hands-on demonstrations of equipment and test methods in its booth.

Demonstrations included:

  • OMICRON Lab Bode-100 VNA Demo – Invasive and Non-Invasive stability testing using frequency and transient domain techniques. Several other VNA measurements were demonstrated, such as opamp or voltage reference PSRR
  • Using Lecroy Oscilloscopes with the Picotest Signal Injectors

About Picotest, Inc. Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Charles Hymowitz - Charles@picotest.com 
(877) 914-7426

 
5/3/2012: Picotest's "Measuring Power Application Notebook - Volume 1" On Sale Now
Phoenix, AZ, May 3, 2012: Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test measurement, announced the publication of Measuring Power Application Notebook Volume 1. Read more about the book and how to purchase it below.

Measuring Power Application Notebook
Papers on Testing Power Supplies, Linear Regulators and Much More

Measuring Power is not a simple today as it once was. Higher frequency devices, complex loads, challenging test setups, and 2nd order effects all serve to complicate your measurements. Let Picotest help you navigate the waters with tools and techniques designed to increase the fidelity and accuracy of your testing.

The "Measuring Power Application Notebook", contains over 30 technical articles on power supply test and measurement. The Table of Contents is shown below.

The papers cover a wide range of measurements and test techniques including: Impedance, Stability, Step loading, PSRR, Reverse Transfer, Crosstalk, Noise, PDNs, Wireless Power, Clock Power Optimization, Non-invasive Phase Margin, and Part Parasitics (Resistors, Capacitors, Transformers, MOSFETs)

The book is available for $125. (Click here to purchase.)

Measuring Power - Table of Contents

Components - Impedance Measurements    
  1. An Accurate Method For Measuring Capacitor ESL
  2. App Note DC Biased Measurements
  3. High Fidelity Battery Measurements
  4. Measuring MOSFET Gate Resistance
  5
11
23
31
Components - Modeling Support    
  1. Measuring Optocouplers with J2130A37
  2. Transformer Parameter Extraction43
  3. Extracting SPICE parameters from a diode using two M3500A53
  4. Debunking Transformer Performance Myths   
  37
43
53
55
System Measurements    
  1. Measuring Ultra Low Impedances and PDNs
  2. Measuring Output Impedance with the J2130A and Bode 100
  3. Measuring Opamp PSRR
  4. App Note PSRR Measurement
  5. Measuring PSRR with the J2120A and Bode 100
  6. Measuring Power Supply Noise with an RSA
  7. Measuring Power Supply Noise with the Agilent N9020A
  8. App Note Reverse Transfer Measurement
  9. App Note Crosstalk Measurement
  65
75
81
87
97
103
111
119
127
Stability Measurements    
  1. Non-Invasive Assessment of Voltage Regulator Phase Margin
  2. Beyond Non-Invasive Phase Margin; Extracting Bode Plots from Output Impedance
  3. App Note Noninvasive Stability Measurement
  4. Simple Method to Determine ESR Requirements for Stable Regulators
  5. When Bode Plots Fail Us
  6. Signal Injection Transformers
  7. Network Analyzer Signal Levels Affect Measurement Results
  135
143
149
171
177
187
195
Design Techniques    
  1. Introduction to Signal Injectors
  2. An unconditionally stable voltage regulator
  3. Are we focused on the wrong reference characteristics
  4. Deconstructing the Step Load Response
  5. Measuring Oscillators with an RSA for ADC design
  6. Optimize Wireless Power Transfer Linkage - Parts I & II
  7. Powering RF Systems
  8. Optimizing Power for Clocks and Other Sensitive Applications
  9. Measuring LDOs requires more bandwidth than you think
  203
209
215
223
237
247
261
271
279
Test Equipment    
  1. Using the J2110A Solid State Injector
  2. Arbitrary Waveform Generator Aids Design of Power Electronics
  287
297
  Measuring Power Application Notebook

About Picotest, Inc. Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Charles Hymowitz - Charles@picotest.com 
(877) 914-7426

4/8/2012: Picotest to Join OMICRON Lab Exhibit – Give Papers at PCIM Europe May 2012
Phoenix, AZ, April 8, 2012: Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test measurement, will be demonstrating its products and technology at the annual PCIM Show in Nuremberg Germany, May 8 - 10, 2012 (Booth 11-323). PCIM (Power Conversion Intelligent Motion) is Europe's leading meeting-point for specialists in Power Electronics and its applications in Intelligent Motion, Renewable Energy and Energy Management.

At the show Picotest will unveil three new Signal Injectors, adding to its already industry leading lineup of test adapters. The three new Signal Injectors that will be introduced at the show include the J2180A 0.1Hz -100MHz Ultra Low Noise Preamplifier, and the J2112A High Current Output (1A) Current Injector and the J2102A Common mode Transformer.

Steve Sandler, Picotest CEO, will give two papers, one on Measuring Power Supply Noise with the J2180A and the Agilent N9020A Signal Analyzer (Tuesday, May 8, Converter and EMI II session, PP53, 15:30 – 17:00 Foyer Ground Floor) and a second on An Accurate Method for Measuring Capacitor ESL and Other Low Impedances (Wednesday, May 9, Capacitors, Inductors, and Transformers session, PP102, 15:30 – 17:00 Foyer Ground Floor).

Actual attendance at the show is highly recommended as Picotest engineers will be performing hands-on demonstrations of equipment and test methods in its booth.

Demonstrations will include:

  • OMICRON Lab Bode-100 VNA Demo –Invasive and Non-Invasive stability testing using frequency and transient domain techniques. Several other VNA measurements will be demonstrated, such as opamp or voltage reference PSRR
  • Using Lecroy Oscilloscopes with the Picotest Signal Injectors

About Picotest, Inc. Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Charles Hymowitz - Charles@picotest.com 
(877) 914-7426

4/1/2012: Picotest Announces Support of New Publication, How2Power Today
Phoenix, AZ, April 1, 2012 – Picotest is pleased to announce its support of an exciting new publication, How2Power Today. This free monthly newsletter presents innovative design techniques and solutions for power conversion, in-depth reporting on power components, and updates on the power electronics jobs scene. Veteran technical editor David G. Morrison brings you compelling technical content in every issue.

How2Power Today is not just another e-newsletter:

  • The information is practical and timely.
  • Articles are generously illustrated with exclusive diagrams, graphs, and charts.
  • Each issue brings you unique perspectives on technical issues and trends.

Check out How2Power Today to stay up-to-date with the technology you need to maintain your competitive edge.

Sign up today at www.how2power.com/newsletters/register.php.

1/25/2012: New App Notes for the Agilent E5061B Network Analyzer Show How to Perform Key Power Supply Tests
Phoenix, AZ, January 25, 2012 – Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test measurement, in cooperation with Agilent Technologies, Component Test Division, has released a series of application notes detailing how to use the popular E5061B LF-RF Network Analyzer with Picotest’s popular line of Signal Injectors, also known as test interface adapters.

While most engineers own a network analyzer, including the popular E5061B, few own the necessary Signal Injectors to make accurate and repeatable high resolution measurements. With the Picotest family of Signal Injectors, you can make these measurements with confidence that your results will be accurate to the bandwidth and resolution levels necessary for your application.

The application notes can be found on the Picotest web site, https://www.picotest.com/blog/, and cover a variety of topics including design stable regulators, measuring opto-couplers, measuring PSRR, making non-invasive control loop stability measurements when there is no control loop access, and general testing of LDOs.

In turn, Agilent has released a revised version of the popular appnotes “Evaluating DC-DC Converters and PDN with the E5061B LF-RF Network Analyzer”, http://cp.literature.agilent.com/litweb/pdf/5990-5902EN.pdf, and “Agilent E5061B Network Analyzer Configuration Guide” http://cp.literature.agilent.com/litweb/pdf/5990-4391EN.pdf, listing several Picotest injectors as recommended equipment including the J2100A Injection Transformer (Bode plots), the J2110A Solid-State Injector (Bode plots), the J2120 Line injector (PSRR), and the J2111A Current Injector (Stability, Impedance, and Step Loading).

The Signal Injectors are available from Picotest (www.Picotest.com) individually and in cost saving bundles.

About Picotest, Inc.

Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

Picotest Contact
Charles Hymowitz
Charles@picotest.com
1-877-914-PICO (7426)

 
1/25/2012: Picotest to Exhibit at APEC 2012, Give Two Papers
Phoenix, AZ, January 25, 2012 – Picotest.com, a leader in high resolution test measurement, will be exhibiting at the annual APEC, Applied Power Electronics Conference in Orlando, Florida at the Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, February 6 - 9, 2012 (Booth 1114).

At the show Picotest will unveil three new Signal Injectors, adding to its already industry leading lineup of test adapters. The three new Signal Injectors that will be introduced at the show include the J2190A 0.1Hz-10Hz Active Filter, the J2180A 0.1Hz -100MHz Ultra Low Noise Preamplifier, and the J2112A High Current Output (1A) Current Injector.

Actual attendance at the show is highly recommended as Picotest engineers will be performing hands-on demonstrations of equipment and test methods in its booth. Demonstrations will include:

  • OMICRON Lab Bode-100 VNA Demo –Invasive and Non-Invasive stability testing using frequency and transient domain techniques. Several other VNA measurements will be demonstrated, such as opamp or voltage reference PSRR
  • Tektronix RSA5000 Demo – Direct noise measurements of voltage references and linear regulators as well as indirect noise measurements using a high speed clock
  • Tektronix MDO4000 Demo –Wireless Power module measurements including the communication “RF” link and output regulator performance as well as pinpointing and troubleshooting noise sources.

Picotest CEO and test guru, Steve Sandler, will be presenting two technical presentations. The first is entitled “Why You Need More Than One Signal Injector" on Tuesday February 7th 3:45 – 4:15pm in Coronado C/D. The second is entitled High Fidelity Power Supply Measurement on Thursday, Feb. 9, 8:30 – 11:30am as part of the IS1.4.3 System Design session.

About Picotest, Inc. Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Charles Hymowitz - Charles@picotest.com
(877) 914-7426

11/30/2011: Picotest / Tektronix Seminar on Troubleshooting Power Supply Designs in Santa Clara, California a Success.
Phoenix, AZ, November 30, 2011 – The Picotest / Tektronix seminar on Troubleshooting Power Supply Designs in Santa Clara, California on November 29, 2011 was a great success. This seminar was attended by over 70 engineers. Thank you to all who attended the seminar. We hope to see you at future seminars.

11/13/2011: Picotest to Co-Sponsor a Free Seminar on Troubleshooting Power Supply Designs with Tektronix in Dallas, Texas on December 1, 2011
Phoenix, AZ, November 13, 2011 – Picotest will be co-sponsoring a free seminar on Troubleshooting Power Supply Designs with Tektronix in Dallas, Texas on December 1, 2011. Read below and find links to more detailed information about the seminar. We hope to see you there.

Tektronix(R) Picotest

Troubleshooting Power Supply Designs


[graphic: branded stripes]

Troubleshooting Power Supply Designs

Let our industry experts show you the latest measurement techniques for today's power supplies.

Request Now!

 

Join us for a full day of learning the latest measurement techniques for today’s fast switching power supplies.

Featuring real life measurement challenges, and best practices to master them, you’ll learn how to perform all the necessary measurements to ensure reliable operation of your power supply.

Space is Limited, Register Today!

Thursday, Dec 1, 2011
Dallas/Plano, TX

Tektronix Dallas
3033 West President George Bush Hwy
Plano, TX 75075

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
 

Regster Now!


This is a promotional offer from Picotest Corp. If you prefer not to receive email communications from us, please email privacy@Picotest.com.

© 2011 | Picotest Corp.
28715 N 20Th Ave | Phoenix, AZ 85085
Privacy Policy | www.picotest.com

11/13/2011: Picotest to Co-Sponsor a Free Seminar on Troubleshooting Power Supply Designs with Tektronix in Santa Clara, California on November 29, 2011
Phoenix, AZ, November 13, 2011 – Picotest will be co-sponsoring a free seminar on Troubleshooting Power Supply Designs with Tektronix in Santa Clara, California on November 29, 2011. Read below and find links to more detailed information about the seminar. We hope to see you there.

Tektronix(R) Picotest

Troubleshooting Power Supply Designs


[graphic: branded stripes]

Troubleshooting Power Supply Designs

Let our industry experts show you the latest measurement techniques for today's power supplies.

Request Now!

 

Join us for a full day of learning the latest measurement techniques for today’s fast switching power supplies.

Featuring real life measurement challenges, and best practices to master them, you’ll learn how to perform all the necessary measurements to ensure reliable operation of your power supply.

Space is Limited, Register Today!

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011
Santa Clara, CA

Tektronix - Santa Clara
2575 Augustine Drive
Santa Clara, CA 95054
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
 

Regster Now!


This is a promotional offer from Picotest Corp. If you prefer not to receive email communications from us, please email privacy@Picotest.com.

© 2011 | Picotest Corp.
28715 N 20Th Ave | Phoenix, AZ 85085
Privacy Policy | www.picotest.com

10/20/2011: Picotest to Help Sponsor a Free 360° View Seminar on Power Supply Testing with Tektronix and Test Equity in Tempe, Arizona on November 15, 2011
Phoenix, AZ, October 20, 2011 – Picotest will be helping sponsor a free seminar on Power Supply Measurement and Analysis with Tektronix and Test Equity in Tempe, Arizona on November 15, 2011. Read below and find links to more detailed information about the seminar. We hope to see you there.
Power Supply Measurement and Analysis 
including practical examples and demonstrations with the power supply specialists
  Power2Solve Logo
F R E E    S E M I N A R    O N    P O W E R    S U P P L Y    T E S T I N G
360° View - Get a 360° view on Power Supplies

Come to a FREE Tektronix Seminar on Power Supply Measurement and Analysis entitled “Get a 360° view on Power Supplies.”

Power Supply Measurement and Analysis: Today's power supplies are driving to a level of efficiency never seen before, requiring design engineers to perform many specialized power measurements that are time-consuming and complex. This seminar will explore the required measurements to validate and characterize each section of a common switch-mode power supply.

  • Date: November 15th, 2011
  • Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00PM   (Lunch will be served)
  • Location: Fiesta Inn 2100 South Priest Drive Tempe AZ 85282
  • Sponsors: Testequity, Tektronix, and Picotest
  • Presenter: Steven Sandler. CEO of Picotest and CTO of AEi Systems

The agenda can be found at https://www.picotest.com/PTS_Phoenix.htm with details at https://www.picotest.com/PTS_Phoenix_Details.htm

Topics Include:

  • How to measure power - an introduction to the correct measurement of all key power supply performance parameters
  • Tektronix Power Analysis Application Module
  • Practical measurements of stability (non-invasive and traditional), PSRR, output impedance, crosstalk, conducted susceptibility, reverse transfer, etc.
  • Hands-on Demos and Applications Fair (MSO5K/DPO7K/MDO/RSA, Signal Injectors, OMICRON Lab Bode 100 Vector Network Analyzer)

Reserve your seat today!

http://www.picotest.com/PTS_Phoenix_Res.htm

Sincerely
Charles Hymowitz – VP Sales & Marketing
Picotest

 

Sponsored By

Tektronix Logo

Test Equity Logo

Picotest Logo

 

Register Now

9/6/2011: Picotest to Exhibit at APEC 2012 in Orlando, Florida
Phoenix, AZ, September 6, 2011 – Picotest will be exhibiting at the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) in Orlando, Florida, February 5-9, 2012. More information to follow soon.

8/18/2011: Picotest to give seminars in Duisburg and Munich Germany in October
Phoenix, AZ, August 18, 2011 – Picotest will be conducting seminars in Duisburg, Germany, on Oct. 19th and in Munich on Oct. 21st. Check back for more information.

5/3/2011: Picotest's Steve Sandler Presents at "Get a 360° view on Power Supplies" Seminar in Austria
Klaus, Austria, May 3, 2011 – On May 3rd, Picotest participated in the first Omicron Lab seminar at the Omicron facility in Klaus, Austria.  The seminar consisted of a 3 hour lecture, by our very own Steve Sandler and four hands on demonstrations.  A lecture was also conducted on digital power supply design by Ali Shirsavar of Biricha Digital Power.  The event was cosponsored by Tektronix and AEi Systems.  The seminar was well attended with 63 participants, coming from all over Europe and as far away as Morocco.  We look forward to supporting many more of these seminar’s across the US and also around the world.  We are currently planning a multi-country European tour in October 2011.

Picotest Contact
Charles Hymowitz
Charles@picotest.com
1-877-914-PICO (7426)

 
4/4/2011: Picotest Signal Injectors Get CE Mark
Phoenix, AZ, April 4, 2011 – Picotest is pleased to announce that its Signal Injectors have been issued a CE marking certification. CE is a mandatory European marking for certain product groups to indicate conformity with the essential health and safety requirements set out in European Directives.

“Having the CE mark on our Signal Injector products will give us a great boost into the European market for power supply testing,” said Picotest.com President Steve Sandler. “The CE mark is also recognized globally as an indicator of high product quality control and good manufacturing management.” The CE marking allows Picotest to freely sell and distribute its products throughout the 28 countries of the European Economic Area (EEA).

The Picotest family of Signal Injectors greatly improves voltage regulator, LDO, and power supply testing. Increased bandwidth and higher resolution 1Hz to 40MHz test measurements are enabled for PSRR, stability, crosstalk, reverse transfer, input impedance, Bode plots, and crosstalk along with non-invasive in-circuit testing for load transients and output impedance. The products work with network analyzers, oscilloscopes, and AWGs from all manufacturers.

3/1/2011: Picotest – OMICRON Lab Team on European Seminar
Phoenix, AZ, March 1, 2011 – Picotest.com and OMICRON Lab have teamed up to create a special seminar on power supply testing techniques. The special seminar is called “Get a 360° view on Power Supplies -- Advanced Power Supply Measurements.”

This one-day seminar will be held in the OMICRON European office in Klaus Austria on May 3rd, 2011 from 9:00AM – 5:00PM.

You may be interested in this seminar if you are a power supply design engineers who wants to get a comprehensive and complete view on the performance of your power supply design or an electronics engineers who needs to assess the quality of a power supply you are using or planning to buy.

In this compact one-day seminar you will learn how to perform all the necessary measurements to ensure reliable operation of your power supply in the field. By introducing new measurement methods like the non-invasive stability assessment, the seminar instructors will show how you can measure the performance parameters of power supplies in its working environment. In addition, you will learn about real life measurement challenges and best practices to master them.

Topics Include

No access to the feedback loop? No problem!
By performing non-invasive phase margin measurements, you can determine the stability of a power supply non-invasively during operation.

How small is small signal?
Choosing the right network analyzer signal level is essential for getting the correct phase margin and gain margin of your power supply.

You need more bandwidth than you think.
Sometimes instabilities of power supplies arise at frequencies you never planned to look at. By analyzing a simple LDO, we will demonstrate how important having enough bandwidth for your measurements is.

Choose the right injection point.
For the analysis of your power supply, it is important to make sure that you inject your signal at the right point inside the control loop. By choosing the correct injection point, you can significantly improve the quality of your measurement results.

Can PSRR and Reverse Rejection be measured?
Yes, these can be measured and yes, these are important parameters you should look at when working in systems where one supply voltage feeds several DC/DC converters.

Designing stable digital power supplies.
Designing digital compensators is surprisingly easy. In this session you will learn how to design a stable digital controller. Starting from a stable analog compensator with poles and zeros in continuous time, we will convert this into a digital controller using bi-linear transform. Practical issues such as the effects of sampling and reconstruction on the phase margin will also be discussed. The complete design will be implemented on a TI C2000 MCU and the session concludes with practical loop measurement of our digital power supply.

Speakers
Steven M. Sandler is an internationally well known expert for power supply design and measurements. With experience from countless mission critical designs used in the space, defense, and energy industries Steve is one of the most sought after power supply specialists of our time.

Dr. Ali Shirsavar is an expert in the design of digital power supplies. He combines an in-depth academic background on power supply design theory with the practical hands-on skills required to get analog and digital power supply designs working.

More information can be found at: www.omicron-lab.com/event or contact Shawn@picotest.com.

 

OMICRON-Picotest-Seminar
3/14/2011: Picotest Generates Excitement at APEC 2011
Phoenix, AZ, March 14, 2011 – Picotest was an exhibitor at APEC 2011 in Fort Worth, Texas last week and had a very busy booth. The highlights of the booth were the demos for measuring the Non-Invasive Phase Margin and Instability translated to measureable Phase Noise.

Demo 1: Non-Invasive Phase Margin

Picotest Contact
Charles Hymowitz
Charles@picotest.com
1-877-914-PICO (7426)

 

1/6/2011: Picotest Exhibiting and Presenting at APEC 2011
Phoenix, AZ, January 6, 2011 – Picotest will be exhibiting at the Applied Power Electronics Conference APEC at the Fort Worth Convention Center, Fort Worth TX, March 6-10, 2011.

During the conference, Steve Sandler, Managing Director of Picotest.com, will be presenting a paper entitled “Problems with Voltage Regulators and Their Datasheets” on Wednesday March 9 in the SP4 Component Applications session (Room 2, (2:00pm - 5:30pm)).

Additionally, Mr. Sandler will be presenting an Exhibitor Seminar earlier in the day entitled “Going Where No Bode Plot Has Gone Before: New Signal Injectors Enable Non-Invasive Stability Measurements” from 11:15am-11:45am (Session #6).

Exciting demonstrations will also take place during the three day event at booth number 552. There demo stations will be available allowing you can get a hands-on demonstration of Picotest’s new line of Signal Injectors and the OMICRON Lab Bode 100 network analyzer, as well as other Picotest test equipment. Stations will be available for performing stability, step-load, PSRR and other measurements utilizing Picotest’s Regulator VRTS Regulator Test Kit.

Brief technical talks will given at the booth and include the following topics:

  • Improving Network Analyzer Measurements
  • Why high resolution measurements are critical to your product’s success
  • Non-invasive diagnosis of electronic systems containing voltage regulators
  • Introduction to LDO diagnosis and measurement
  • Using the Picotest Signal Injectors
  • Battery Impedance Measurements
  • Power Supply Stability Measurements

The exciting new Signal Injector product line utilizes your Oscilloscopes and Network Analyzer to their fullest extent allowing you to more completely characterize your power systems. Come learn how to make these measurements, non-invasively, right INSIDE your system.

Information about the APEC shown can be found at http://www.apec-conf.org/.

Picotest Show Contact
Steve Sandler
Steve@picotest.com
1-877-914-PICO (7426)

 

 
12/22/2010: Picotest Signal Injectors Named as a 2011 Best in Test Finalist
Phoenix, AZ, December 22, 2010

Picotest Signal Injectors Named as a 2011 Best in Test Finalist in the Signal Sources Category

Inaugurated in 1991, the Test & Measurement World awards program honors excellence and innovation in test, measurement, and inspection products. To be eligible for the 2011 Best in Test awards, a product or service must have been introduced between November 1, 2009, and October 31, 2010. The 16 category winners will be announced in April on www.tmworld.com and in the May issue of Test & Measurement World. The product that receives the most overall votes will be named the 2011 Test Product of the Year.

Click here to download the product press release.

Click here to visit our nominee page and vote for Picotest Signal Injectors.

Read more about the awards on the Best in Test web site.

VOTING DEADLINE: February 25, 2011

Picotest Contact
Charles Hymowitz
Charles@picotest.com
1-877-914-PICO (7426)

 

Picotest Named as a 2011 Best in Test Finalist  
11/5/2010: Picotest Exhibiting at Tech Days Orlando, November 11th, 2010
Phoenix, AZ, November 5, 2010

Picotest will be joining with Texas Instruments to present a day packed with technical design sessions and technology exhibits.

The Orlando seminar is on November 11th, 2010, located in Doubletree Hotel (at the Entrance to Universal Orlando) 5780 Major Blvd Orlando, FL 32819 from 8am – 4:30PM, is aimed at providing a learning forum where practical high-performance design solutions, tools, techniques, topologies and examples will be presented. The exhibits will demonstrate the latest PICOTEST and TI technology.

Picotest will be demonstrating the exciting new Signal Injector product line with a full test setup designed to show you the entire performance story behind your power systems. Measurements demonstrated will include Stability, step-load, PSRR, Crosstalk, reverse transfer and Input/Output Impedance. Learn how to make these measurements, non-invasively, right INSIDE your system.

Without this key technology the measurements you are making on your voltage regulators may not be correct. Come see what you’ve been missing.

TI Tech Days Topics can be found here: http://www.ti.com/ww/en/techdays/2010/docs/orlando_abstracts.pdf

Picotest representatives will be available at a booth at the TI Tech Days to answer any questions you have about all of the cost-effective Picotest Test equipment, as well as, making measurements on your power supplies and voltage regulators. Attendees who fill out a survey will receive a special coupon for a 10% discount off of Picotest test equipment.

Registration Orlando: http://register.ti.com/profile/form/index.cfm?PKformID=0x18393aa40

Picotest Show Contact
Charles Hymowitz
Charles@picotest.com
1-877-914-PICO (7426)

 

 
10/25/2010: Steve Sandler to Present at Space Power Workshop, April 18-21, 2011
Phoenix, AZ, October 25, 2010

Picotest's Steve Sandler to present "Design, Characterizations and Issues Associated with Distributed Systems" at Space Power Workshop 2011.

Click here for more information about Space Power Workshop 2011.

Abstract: A typical distributed power system architecture for space applications often includes DC/DC converter’s, POL’s, linear regulator plus filtering to clear up poor DC-DC converter performance. Many issues are caused by finite source impedance, poor phase margin and the loading presented to these power systems.

This paper discusses the through examples, the many characteristics of a power system, many of which are often not specified or properly understood by the system designers.  These systems often have poor phase margin, and so we will look at the end effects s of poor phase margin on the system and how to properly measure the performance of a distributed power system, non-invasively and in circuit using low cost test equipment.

The presentation will cover:

  • An overview of a distributed power system
  • The most critical aspects of the architecture
  • Some of the common issues with distributed power systems
  • Measuring the performance
  • Signal Injectors?
  • Measuring PSRR
  • Measuring Step Load response and what it means
  • Why measure in circuit?
  • Why Output Impedance is better than Step Load?
  • You can measure stability even without access to the control loop
  • Tips for getting good measurements

Bio: Steve Sandler, Principal Engineer, Engineering Services
Mr. Sandler is the founder and former CEO of Analytical Engineering, Inc., the predecessor company to AEi Systems. He has over 30 years experience in the design and analysis of power conversion equipment for military and space applications. In his current position Mr. Sandler is responsible for the design, worst case analysis, reliability analysis, and FMECA analysis of satellite & power electronic systems. Mr. Sandler also personally designed and directed the development efforts behind AEi’s own line of space, military and commercial DC to DC converters, and developed a complete power IC model library for SPICE simulators, and performed analysis and design functions on projects such as Milstar II Defense Satellite, International Space Station, Tempo, P-81, HS-702, ICO, LS-1300, Mabuhaysat, Globalstar, Omegasat, NSTAR and many others.

Mr. Sandler is author of several books and numerous articles on power supply modeling and simulation including, “Switchmode Power Supply Simulation with PSpice”, and “SPICE Circuit Handbook”.
 
10/18/2010: Picotest & OMICRON Lab Enthrall Attendees at Taitronics 2010
NEWS FLASH: Picotest & OMICRON Lab Introduce “Two Companies – One Vision” and a New Family of Signal Injectors at Taitronics 2010 in Taipei, Taiwan

Steve Sandler (Picotest) and Bernhard Baumgartner (OMICRON-Lab) gave two seminars at Taitronics 2010 in Taipei, Taiwan. Bernhard introduced conference attendees to the “Two Companies – One Vision” partnership and what it means for the industry. Steve and Bernhard co-presented a three hour seminar for a select group of approximately 30 attendees on 10/14. During the presentation, they detailed some of the problems and limitations associated with available voltage regulator data and the existing measurement systems used to obtain this data. They introduced the new family of Picotest Signal Injectors and the OMICRON Lab Bode 100 as a solution to many of these limitations. They also performed a live demonstration, using the Picotest Voltage Regulator Testing Standard (VRTS), highlighting many of the features and capabilities of the Picotest Signal Injector and OMICRON Lab Bode 100 solution. The ultimate feature presented was the ability to extract the phase margin of a power system without access to the control loop.

 
10/7/2010: Picotest to Present at the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) - March 9, 2011
Phoenix, AZ, October 7, 2010

Picotest's Steve Sandler to present "Problems with Voltage Regulators and Their Datasheets" at APEC.

Picotest's Steve Sandler has been invited to present "Problems with Voltage Regulators and Their Datasheets" at the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) 2011. He will be presenting in the Component Applications session on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 (14:00 - 17:30). We hope to see you there.

  Picotest to Present at the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) 2011
09/28/2010: Picotest Introduces New Family of Signal Injectors, Improving Regulator and Power Supply Testing Accuracy
Click here to download the PDF of this release (Includes product pictures).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact Information:
Picotest.com
Steve Sandler - Steve@picotest.com
(877) 914-7426

NEW PRODUCT RELEASE

Picotest Introduces New Family of Signal Injectors, Greatly Improving Regulator and Power Supply Testing Accuracy

Phoenix, AZ, September 28, 2010

Picotest.com, a leader in high-tech precision electronic instrumentation, has released a new family of Signal Injectors. The Signal injectors, or adapters, greatly improve voltage regulator, LDO, and power supply testing accuracy. Increased bandwidth and higher resolution measurements are enabled for PSRR, stability, crosstalk, reverse transfer, input impedance, Bode plots, and crosstalk tests along with non-invasive in-circuit testing for load transients, stability and output impedance. The Signal Injectors work with network analyzers, oscilloscopes, and arbitrary waveform generators from all manufacturers.

“These signal injectors will change the way engineers and IC manufacturers test their voltage regulators and other power circuitry”, states Steve Sandler, Managing Director of Picotest.com.

The family consists of two injection transformers, a DC bias injector, a line injector, a solid state voltage injector, and a unique solid state current injector along with cascadable attenuators.

The signal injectors enable high resolution measurements to be made. “Engineers currently connect their expensive network analyzers to DUTs (devices under test) via poor performing test adapters, such as audio, video, or 60Hz transformers or home-brewed interconnect schemes. The data they get is often erroneous. In many cases, the data may look reasonable, but is not accurate”, states Sandler. The same is true of voltage regulator and LDO data sheets. “Much of what we find in the data sheet graphs is either incorrect or incomplete. The signal injectors solve these problems and allow analyzers and oscilloscopes to make higher resolution, higher bandwidth measurements to the point where the true circuit performance can be revealed.”

The J2111A current injector is possibly the most versatile of the Signal Injectors. While it is not designed to replace an electronic load, it is capable of performing a small signal step loading at switching speeds and bandwidths that electronic loads cannot (40MHz, 20ns Rise/Fall times). The capacitance of an electronic load, which is generally too high and impacts the measurement, is not an issue for the current injector. Incorporating a 40MHz current monitor, the current injector can also be used to measure output impedance, as well as, the stability of a three-terminal regulator or a filter combined with the negative resistance of a switching converter or power supply. One of the key benefits is that load step, stability, and impedance measurements can all be made non-invasively while connected to hardware that is already integrated in its production form.For example, the control loop for a fixed output LDO cannot be broken and its stability directly measured since the loop is within the IC. Load step testing is currently the only way to check stability besides simulation. Such testing does not produce an exact phase margin result. While the J2111A current injector can perform the load step testing, it can also allow the output impedance to be recorded and from that, an exact phase margin result can be computed.

The J2120A line injector allows the input DC supply voltage to be modulated by the analyzer source signal, as in the case of a PSRR measurement. The line injector supports a frequency range that is generally well below the AC line frequency and above control loop bandwidths (10Hz-10MHz). The line injector is capable of operating levels that include 5 Amps maximum current and 50VDC maximum input voltage, while minimizing the power dissipation within the injector.

The injection transformers (J2100A 1Hz – 5MHz & J2101A 10Hz – 45MHz) and the J2110A Solid State Voltage Injector, also known as a “Bode box”, greatly extend the usefulness of any network analyzer for Bode plot tests. They enable network analyzers to better measure stability, input and output impedance, PSRR, component impedances, reverse transfer, crosstalk and Middlebrook filter stability. The J2100A, with its excellent low frequency performance, is ideal for PFC testing, while the J2101A is better suited for general power supply testing. When lower (DC) or higher bandwidths of up to 50MHz are needed, the J2110A solid state injector can be employed. The injection transformers each feature a 23 Octave range, low distortion for superior precision, and a 5 Ohm termination impedance for minimum impact to the loop.

The solid state voltage injector features a DC-45MHz bandwidth to support thermal and mechanical controls, as well as the highest performance regulators and amplifiers, low distortion for superior precision, 25 Ohm insertion resistance, 50 Ohm oscillator input, and less then 3uA typical bias current. A very high PSRR low noise power supply with universal input range is included.

The J2130A DC bias injector has a 10Hz-10MHz usable bandwidth and can easily measure varactors, junction capacitance, capacitors voltage sensitivity, as well as bias low power transistor amplifiers and diodes for parameter extraction.

While most engineers own a network analyzer, few own the necessary Signal Injectors to make accurate and repeatable high resolution measurements. With the Picotest family of signal injectors, you can make these measurements with confidence that your results will be accurate to the bandwidth and resolution levels necessary for your application.

The Signal Injectors are available from Picotest (www.Picotest.com) individually and in cost saving bundles.

About Picotest, Inc.
Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

 

09/28/2010: OMICRON Lab Partners with Picotest, Raises the Level of Network Analyzer Test Capability
Click here to download the PDF of this release.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Picotest - Steve Sandler
OMICRON electronics GmbH - Bernhard Baumgartner
OMICRON electronics Corp. USA - Angela Sayegh
OMICRON electronics Asia Limited - William Yu
1(877)-914-PICO
+43 5523 507 311
1(800)-OMICRON
+852 2634 0377
Steve@picotest.com
bernhard.baumgartner@omicron.at
angela.sayegh@omicronusa.com
william.yu@omicron.at

Phoenix, AZ, September 28, 2010

OMICRON Lab, a leader in network analyzer test equipment, and Picotest.com, a leader in high-tech precision electronic instruments have signed a cooperation agreement that allows each company to sell and distribute key products produced by the other.

In the reciprocal agreement, Picotest.com will sell the OMICRON Lab products, including the Bode 100 network analyzer and its accessories, and OMICRON Lab and its distributors will sell the new Picotest line of Signal Injectors.

“There is a great synergy between the products, technology and capabilities of OMICRON Lab and Picotest,” states OMICRON Lab CEO, Bernhard Baumgartner.

OMICRON Lab will distribute Picotest’s line of Single Injectors, which pair perfectly with the Bode 100 network analyzer and greatly extend its usefulness. Together, the Signal Injectors enable the Bode 100 to better measure stability, input and output impedance, PSRR, component impedances, reverse transfer, crosstalk and Middlebrook filter stability. OMICRON Lab will sell the Signal Injectors both directly and indirectly through their worldwide distributor network. Picotest.com will sell the Bode 100 and its accessories throughout the US markets.

“The Signal Injectors and Bode 100 Vector Network Analyzer are a very powerful combination. Picotest’s expertise in power supply test and measurement will help teach engineers about all the ways the Bode 100 can benefit them,” adds Baumgartner. “Picotest.com displays an excellent combination of practical engineering expertise and understanding of the test equipment landscape. Picotest.com offers the support and knowledge base we require from a top distributor.”

For Picotest.com, the Bode 100 analyzer adds tremendous capability. The Bode 100 is a compact, multifunctional test set designed for the electronic laboratory. The Bode 100 is the best value for a computer controlled Vector Network Analyzer, Gain Phase Meter, Impedance Meter and Sine Wave Generator in a single unit. The flexible hardware design, combined with PC based software allows the Bode 100 to be used for audio, video, and RF applications in R&D labs or production environments.

“We are excited to begin this relationship, states Steve Sandler, Managing Director of Picotest.com. “OMICRON Lab has a very strong organization behind its products and is dedicated to supplying the best price/performance value point in the analyzer market.”

With the Picotest Signal Injectors and the Bode 100 you can make 1Hz to 40MHz, high resolution measurements such as:

  • Bode plots of control circuits
  • Output impedance – non-invasively
  • Reverse transfer
  • Input impedance – noninvasively
  • Crosstalk – noninvasively
  • Middlebrook filter stability – noninvasively
  • Component impedance with DC Bias, such as varactors, capacitors and semiconductors
  • PSRR
  • Phase margin without access to the feedback loop

About OMICRON-Lab
OMICRON Lab (www.OMICRON-Lab.com) is a division of OMICRON electronics, specialized in providing Smart Measurement Solutions to professionals such as scientists, engineers and teachers engaged in the field of electronics. It simplifies measurement tasks and provides its customers with more time to focus on their real business. OMICRON Lab was established in 2006 and now serves customers in more than 40 countries. Offices in America, Europe, East Asia and an international network of distributors enable fast and extraordinary customer support. OMICRON Lab products offer high quality offered at the best price/value ratio on the market. The products' reliability and ease of use guarantee trouble-free operation. Close customer relationship and more than 25 years in-house experience enable the development of innovative products close to the field.

About OMICRON electronics
OMICRON electronics (www.omicron.at, www.omicronusa.com) is an international company providing innovative power system testing solutions. With sales in more than 100 countries, offices in Europe, the United States, and Asia, and a worldwide network of distributors and representatives, OMICRON has truly established its reputation as a supplier of leading edge technology with highest customer orientation.

About Picotest Corp.
Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide. Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. SM Sandler Holdings, dba Picotest.com is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. For more information on Picotest, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.Picotest.com.

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

 

09/22/2010: Picotest & Omicron Lab Exhibiting at Taitronics October 11th - 14th, 2010
Click here to download the PDF of this release.

Phoenix, AZ, September 22, 2010

Picotest is partnering with OMICRON Lab to exhibit at the Taitronics show, from October 11th - 14th, in Taipei Taiwan.

Exciting demonstrations will take place during the four day event (Booth Number L609).

At the Taitronics show you can get hands-on demonstration of Picotest’s new line of Signal Injectors and the OMICRON Lab Bode 100 vector network analyzer. Stations will be available for performing stability, step-load, PSRR and other measurements utilizing Picotest’s Regulator Test Kit.

Brief technical seminars will given at the booth and include the following topics:

  • Introduction of Picotest & OMICRON Lab - Two companies - One Vision
  • Why high resolution measurements are critical to your testing success
  • Non-invasive diagnosis of electronic systems containing voltage regulators
  • Introduction to LDO diagnosis and measurement
  • Using the Picotest Signal Injectors along with OMICRON Lab's Bode 100 analyzer
  • Battery Impedance Measurements
  • Power Supply Stability Measurements

Taitronics will mark the official introduction of the Picotest line of Signal Injectors, a new product line that is expected to have a dramatic impact on how various types of power supplies and voltage regulators are tested.

The exciting new Signal Injector product line utilizes the power Bode 100 Analyzer to its fullest extent allowing you to more completely characterize your power systems. The powerful “high fidelity” measurement capability that will be demonstrated includes Stability, step-load, PSRR, Crosstalk, reverse transfer and input and output Impedance measurements. Come learn how to make these measurements, non-invasively, right INSIDE your system.

A special 4 hour training seminar will also be given on October 14th and cover the following topics in depth: Taitronics Modules.

The training seminar will take place in Meeting Room 404 of Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall. The attendance is free but pre-registration at our booth is mandatory.

Information about the Taitronics shown can be found at http://www.taitronics.tw/. The show is located at the TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall No.1, Jingmao 2nd Rd., Nangang District, Taipei, Taiwan (R.O.C.)

Picotest Show Contact
Steve Sandler
Steve@picotest.com
1-877-914-PICO (7426)

 

09/2010: Picotest Exhibiting At Tech Days Dallas 10/12/2010
Picotest has again been invited to join Texas Instruments for a day packed with technical design workshops and on-hands exhibits. The event will be held on October 12th, 2010, and is located in the Renaissance Dallas in Richardson (900 East Lookout Drive, Richardson, Texas 75082) from 8:00AM – 4:30PM. The seminars are aimed at providing a learning forum where practical high-performance design solutions, tools, techniques, topologies and examples are presented. The exhibits demonstrate the latest technology from TI and companies like Picotest.

Picotest will be demonstrating the exciting new Signal Injector product line capable of GREATLY improving your Voltage Regulator and Power Supply test capabilities. During the exhibit hands-on demonstrations will teach you how to make proper Stability, step-load, PSRR, Crosstalk, reverse transfer and Input/Output impedance measurements.

Learn how to make these measurements, non-invasively, right INSIDE your system. Without this key technology the measurements you are making on your voltage regulators may not be correct. Come see what you’ve been missing.

TI Tech Days Topics can be found here: http://www.ti.com/ww/en/techdays/2010/docs/dallas_abstracts.pdf

Picotest representatives will be available on a booth at the TI Tech Days to answer any questions you have about all of the cost-effective Picotest test equipment, as well as, making how to make better measurements on your power supplies and voltage regulators.

Attendees who fill out a survey will receive a special coupon for a 10% discount off of Picotest test equipment.

Registration: http://register.ti.com/profile/form/index.cfm?PKformID=0x178231fe7

Picotest Show Contact
Charles Hymowitz
Charles@picotest.com
1-877-914-PICO (7426)

09/2010: Picotest Exhibiting At Tech Days Seattle 9/23/2010
Picotest has been invited to join Texas Instruments for a day packed with technical design sessions and technology exhibits on 9/23/2010. The seminar, located in Hilton Bellevue 300 112th Avenue SE Bellevue, WA 98004 from 8:00AM – 4:30PM, is aimed at providing a learning forum where practical high-performance design solutions, tools, techniques, topologies and examples will be presented. The exhibits will demonstrate the latest PICOTEST and TI technology.

Picotest will be demonstrating the exciting new Signal Injector product line with a full test setup designed to show you the entire performance story behind your power systems. Measurements demonstrated will include Stability, step-load, PSRR, Crosstalk, reverse transfer and Input/Output Impedance. Learn how to make these measurements, non-invasively, right INSIDE your system.

Without this key technology the measurements you are making on your voltage regulators may not be correct. Come see what you’ve been missing.

TI Tech Days Topics can be found here: http://www.ti.com/ww/en/techdays/2010/docs/seattle_abstracts.pdf

Picotest representatives will be available on a booth at the TI Tech Days to answer any questions you have about all of the cost-effective Picotest Test equipment, as well as, making measurements on your power supplies and voltage regulators.
Attendees who fill out a survey will receive a special coupon for a 10% discount off of Picotest test equipment.

Registration: http://register.ti.com/profile/form/index.cfm?PKformID=0x17443f5d1

Picotest Show Contact
Steve Sandler
Steve@picotest.com
1-877-914-PICO (7426)

08/2010: Picotest Participates in first TI Tech Days
On August 24, 2010, Picotest participated in their first TI Tech Days in New Jersey. The new Picotest brand of Signal Injectors drew much interest from Tech Days attendees.
08/2010: Picotest visits Omicron Labs in Austria
Picotest representatives travelled to Austria in August to meet with Omicron Labs to discuss possible product synergies.
07/2010: Picotest Invited to Exhibit at Taitronics in October
On July 27, 2010, Omicron Labs invited Picotest to participate in a Taitronics seminar in Taipei, Taiwan the week of October 11-14.
07/2010 Picotest Invited to Participate in TI Tech Days
In July, Picotest was invited to participate in several TI Tech Days events which are to take place in different locations througout 2010. Check back for dates and locations where Picotest will be presenting their products.
07/2010: HOW2POWER TODAY: Broad Injector Product Line Eases Power Supply Stability Analysis
Developed to aid power supply designers in control-loop stability analysis, Picotest’s line of signal injectors are being introduced as the “most flexible and sophisticated injector product line ever introduced.” The product line includes the two injection transformers; the J2100A which features 1-Hz to 5-MHz bandwidth and the J2101A, which offers 10-Hz to 45-MHz bandwidth. To complement these, Picotest offers a dc- to 50-MHz solid-state signal injector (J2110A), a line injector for measuring PSRR (J2120A), a dc bias injector (J2130A), and a wideband current injector (J2111A). A set of attenuators are also available. ...more
05/30/2010: Latest Article: SPICE Modeling Using Two Picotest 6.5 Digit DMM’s
The latest article by Steve Sandler, SPICE Modeling Using Two Picotest 6.5 Digit DMM’s is available in the Picotest articles section.
04/28/2010: Picotest Corp Selects SM Sandler Holdings, LLC as Exclusive US Distributor

April 28, 2010 Press Release - Picotest, Corp., Taiwan

April 28, 2010 Press Release - Signing exclusive distribution contract.

Picotest Corp Selects SM Sandler Holdings, LLC for
exclusive US distribution of Test Equipment Line

April 28 2010 Phoenix, AZ: SM Sandler Holdings, LLC, an Arizona company, has acquired the exclusive US distribution rights for Picotest Corporations line of test equipment products. Picotest Corp, based in Taiwan, designs, manufactures and sells high performance test equipment for the RF, instrumentation and power electronics industries. As part of the agreement which begins May 2010, Picotest Corp will also manufacture, sell and distribute products designed by SM Sandler Holdings world-wide. The products will be available through the web site, www.picotest.com.

Picotest products currently include 6.5 digit digital multimeters, frequency counters and arbitrary waveform generators.  New products that will be introduced this year including a complete line of signal injectors for use with Vector Network and Frequency Response Analyzers.

“We are very pleased to be named the exclusive US distributor for Picotest. The test equipment they produce is among the best in the industry with a price performance ratio exceeding the other brand names. The line of new products is impressive and growing. We look forward to releasing new
industry standards in test instrumentation”, stated Steve Sandler, CEO of SM Sandler Holdings.

“We are excited to begin this relationship, stated Hawk Shang, General Manager of Picotest. “
SM Sandler Holdings displays an excellent combination of practical engineering expertise and understanding of the test equipment landscape.” SM Sandler Holdings offers the support and knowledge base we require from a top distributor.”

About Picotest, Corp.
Founded in 2004, Picotest Corp. specializes in developing and manufacturing high-tech precision electronic instruments and related equipment. Picotest aims to utilize its strong R&D capability to provide the highest quality products and services to customers worldwide Picotest Corp is ISO 9001:2008 certified and are located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

About SM Sandler Holdings LLC.
SM Sandler Holdings is the exclusive US distributor for Picotest test equipment products and is headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. SM Sandler Holdings is also a leading design source for high performance precision test equipment for the RF, Power and instrumentation fields including automatic test equipment and accessories. For more information on SM Sandler Holdings, please contact the company at 1-877-914-PICO or visit www.SMSandler.com.

Contact Information:    
     

SM Sandler Holdings, LLC
Steve Sandler
1(877)-914-PICO
Steve@SMSandler.com

  Picotest Corp.
Mercy Chen
Mercy@Picotest.com.tw

All logos and trademarks in this release are the property of their respective owners.

07/14/2009: U6200A Labview driver has been certified by NI
The Labview drive for PICOTEST U6200A 6GHz Universal Counter has been certified by NI. The U6200A Labview driver is free and available on NI and PICOTEST’s support area.

Download from the NI Website