FPGA Dynamic Probe offers plug-and-run setup.

Press Release Summary:

FPGA dynamic probe application features probe setup automation capability, which reduces set-up time required for logic analyzer measurements when validating designs that incorporate Xilinx FPGA technology. Plug-and-run capability eliminates need to manually track signal path and enter associated probe setup information in logic analyzer. In seconds, users can plug probe into target and press logic analysis run button to make measurements.

Original Press Release:

Agilent Technologies Enhances FPGA Dynamic Probe, Reduces Logic Analysis Setup Time up to 100 Times

Plug and run capability, co-developed with Xilinx, eliminates errors

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 7, 2005

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced the addition of probe setup automation to its field programmable gate array (FPGA) dynamic probe application. The new capability reduces the amount of time design engineers spend setting up logic analyzer measurements by up to 100 times when validating designs that incorporate Xilinx FPGA technology. Agilent will demonstrate this new technology for the first time at the Embedded Systems Conference San Francisco, March 6 - 10, Booth No. 1214.

Probe setup is often cited as the most difficult aspect of using a logic analyzer. Previously, engineers had to manually determine the path from an internal FPGA signal to a pin, across a printed circuit board, through a probe, to a specific logic analysis channel. The engineer would then have to enter this setup information into the logic analyzer. The plug-and-run capability eliminates the need to manually track the signal path and enter associated probe setup information in the logic analyzer. Now, in just a few seconds, engineers can simply plug a probe into their target and press the logic analysis run button to make a measurement.

Agilent's award-winning B4655A FPGA dynamic probe, introduced in March 2004, interacts with an FPGA on-chip debug core to simplify and speed logic analyzer measurements. For the plug-and-run capability, the on-chip debug core produces a unique stimulus pattern on each of its output pins, one at a time. The logic analyzer looks for this unique pattern on its acquisition channels and when it finds the pattern, the instrument associates that input channel with the output pin on the core that produced the pattern. The logic analyzer then repeats the process for each of the remaining output pins to automatically determine how the logic analyzer is connected to signals in the FPGA.

"Agilent's plug-and-run technology takes designing with Xilinx FPGAs to a new level," said Brent Przybus, Xilinx's senior product manager. "It enables engineers to accelerate debugging by combining the on-chip access available via Xilinx ChipScope Pro technology with the advanced capabilities of Agilent logic analyzers. The results are impressive. Tasks that previously took hours can now be done in seconds."

"FPGAs play an increasingly important role in our customers' product development, and logic analyzer measurements are critical in the debug of these FPGAs and surrounding systems," said Ron Nersesian, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Design Validation Division. "Agilent is committed to working with industry leaders to help digital designers reduce the time they spend debugging, allowing them to release higher-quality products to market faster."

FPGAs are used extensively in communications, wireless, consumer, defense and computer industries and have become pervasive in digital design. The reprogrammable nature of FPGAs offers design engineers the flexibility to meet short development cycles with lower project costs. Logic analyzers are the tools of choice for FPGA debug and validation.

The FPGA dynamic probe application is compatible with the Agilent 16900 Series logic analyzers, as well as the Agilent 1680 Series standalone and Agilent 1690 Series PC-hosted logic analyzers.

Further Information

Additional information about Agilent's FPGA dynamic probe and the company's complete line of validation and debug tools is available at www.agilent.com/find/FPGA.

High-resolution images of the FPGA dynamic probe are available at www.agilent.com/find/16900_images.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Agilent B4655A FPGA dynamic probe with plug-and-run capability is available for order now and is expected to begin shipping later this month. The application is priced at $1,500 for an annual license or $4,500 for a perpetual license.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 28,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $7.2 billion in fiscal year 2004. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at www.agilent.com.


Janet Smith, Agilent
+1 970 679 5397

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