Analog test solutions

The ATX series of instruments are designed for applications that require an analog performance that is not achievable with industry standard platforms like PXI(e).

UNITY| The general concept of all resources in one chassis with central clock and trigger hardware avoids noise due to ground loops, jitter increase due to multiple PLL clocks and make a measurement "coherent by default". Accuracy is guaranteed by auto calibration against a built-in voltage reference.

QUIET| The special designed case frame with linear power supplies, a low-noise backplane bus, carefully designed grounding & shielding and auto-calibration enables an unparalleled accuracy, noise and jitter performance. Also each individual module has been designed to exceed the performance of other available hardware.

PRODUCTIVITY| The high quality hardware of the ATX-series is complimented with innovative software that requires no programming to perform complex analog measurements and analyze the results, so you won't waste time optimizing your test setup

APPLICATIONS| The main application is data converter testing but ATX series hardware is also used in other applications like: energy metering tests, extreme precision servo systems, quantum computer research, and other high accuracy applications.

 

Ground Loops

Common grounding: The ATX-series instruments have all resources in one chassis with the front panel bars of the chassis as common analog ground. This virtually eliminates problems due to ground currents. Common mode supply currents and magnetic fields cause stray currents in the ground leads. Avoiding magnetic fields and damping common mode currents helps but is not sufficient for measurements where spurious signals of a few microvolts will influence the results.

 

Linear power supply

Master clocking: The ATX-series instruments use one master clock for all sampling. This makes a measurement set-up “Coherent by default”. Also the “Master clock architecture” not only avoids multiple clocks to add jitter, a significant amount of the jitter of the master clock is canceled out because all analog samples “jitter” simultaneously in time.

 

LTZ100 Reference

Built-in calibrationThe ATX series instruments feature a built-in voltage standard that is used to auto-calibrate all analog modules. This reduces the cost of metrology but also increases accuracy because frequent calibrations are done more easily and a remaining deviation of the voltage standard cancels out for many measurements. If the voltage reference is too low n-ppm, the ATX-series generator and the digitizer will both be n-ppm low. This is cancelled out when measuring a transfer characteristic.

 

GUI and Analysis software

Integrated software: The ATX-series instruments come with module drivers, firmware, Windows 7 or 8 embedded operating system and ATView as Graphic User Interface. The WaveAnalyzer shows graphic representations of either raw data or processed data (e.g. Linearity, FFT). All these elements are fully integrated and proven to work together flawlessly.

 

Eye for detail

Eye for detail: the engineers behind the ATX-series instruments have in total more than 80 man years of experience in high end analog measuring. They addressed the pitfalls many, even very experienced, engineers often run into. Examples are: Voltage dependency of capacitors resulting in increased harmonics, Self-heating of resistors causing reducing accuracy and time related issues, EMF of relays resulting in poor repeatability, using unsuitable logic for sample-clock paths, resulting in a jitter increase.

Chassis GND

The ATX-series chassis use a well-considered grounding scheme that includes isolating noise on the backplane ground from the analog hardware. The front panel rails serve as the analog reference ground and much attention has been paid to connect the analog circuitry with the lowest possible impedance to this, from DC to RF.

 

Linear power supply

The ATX-series uses linear power supplies for its analog circuitry. Switching power supplies usually spread their switcher frequency and harmonics via the supply lines into the analog circuitry. Despite stringent measures to isolate this they show up in high accuracy measurements.

The toroidal transformer has a magnetic shield at the outside and a capacitive shield between the primary and secondary windings.

 

Shielding

Much attention has been paid to proper shielding of as well the chassis as each individual module. This prevents the risk of EMC induced noise, as well from outside the chassis as between modules.

 

Quiet-bus

Most industry standard platforms propagate the controller bus to all module slots to maintain software flexibility. The drawback of this is that derivatives of the bus signal easily cause an increased noise floor in the analog circuitry. The ATX-series chassis use a proprietary bus bridge that isolate the controller bus from the module section when a measurement is running.

 

Low-jitter-clock

Clock signal fidelity is extremely important for frequency domain measurements. Jitter (phase noise) on a clock is reducing the measurement result significantly. This is most applicable for higher test frequencies (>10MHz) but also high dynamic range measurements at lower frequencies may be influenced by jitter. The ATX-series uses therefore differential clock signals (LVDS/PECL) that have a much better jitter performance than the usual TTL/CMOS clocks.

The ATX7006 is a fully integrated solution for testing ADCs, DACs and other analog functions.

 

The ATX-Express is a smaller version of the ATX7006. The main difference are the 5 module slots compared to 9 for the ATX7006. The ATX-Express is also a fully integrated solution for testing ADCs, DACs and Analog functions.

The ATX-Hybrid is a fully integrated solution for testing ADCs, DACs and other Analog functions. This system includes 6 user assignable PXI slots.

The ATX-Focus is a small enclosure that can hold one or two ATX style modules. The unit is intended for those situations where the specific performance of ATX modules is desired, but the additional features of the ATX7006 are not needed.