Archive for September 5, 2015

Teardown & Analysis of a Keysight InfiniMax III N2802A 25GHz Active Probe

In this episode Shahriar takes a close look at one of Keysight (Agilent) InfiniMax III active probes. The model N2802A offers 25GHz of analog bandwidth, 17.5pS of rise time and a total differential input capacitance of 32fF at 10k-Ohm input impedance. The front-end amplifier of this active probe is designed in an in-house InP process, the same process responsible for the front-end of the X-Series Keysight oscilloscopes.

The teardown of the probe shows the control circuitry in the main probe body built around a PIC 16F877 microcontroller coupled to a DAC, EEPROM memory and various high-current and precision op-amps for biasing. The main front-end microwave module reveals the InP ASIC and supporting microwave circuity. There seems to be a dual-path design to provide a large DC common-mode offset capability as well as a high-bandwidth.

Tutorial on the Design & Implementation of an FPGA RGB LED Matrix Driver

In this episode Shahriar and Timo demonstrate the design methodology of an FPGA based 32×32 RGB LED matrix driver. Timo has kindly devoted some of his time to describe the block diagram and the thought process which goes into designing this type of FPGA display driver. The various components of the overall system (PLL, UART, and Display Controller) are shown along with the simulation data. The outputs of the Spartan-6 FPGA board are then measured using a Keysight S-Series oscilloscope. The design of the RGB matrix is also demonstrated using a custom clock interface sent wirelessly to the unit via Bluetooth. All the FPGA design files can be downloaded here.

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