How to Choose a Logic Analyzer?
If you are in the market for buying or choosing a Logic Analyzer, how do you know which one is right for you? There are several options to select from and looking at the various technical specifications can be a daunting task. This article gives you some factors to consider when considering your purchase.
- Channel Count: The maximum number of digital Channels supported by the logic analyzer. The more the channels the more debug capability. Typically a logic analyzer has around 8 Channels. Its always good to with logic analyzer having more channel based on the complexity of the embedded design.
- Channel Bandwidth: This can be defined by the maximum frequency that can be measured by the logic analyzer.
- Sample rate: The Logic Analyzer needs to have the ability to capture glitches, setup and hold time issues in the embedded design. Lower the resolution of measurement by the logic analyzer, better the issues that can be captured in the design.
- Voltage Levels: The digital design comes with various logic levels .The Logic Analyzer needs to support logic families to debug the embedded system design. Its always good to understand the voltage levels of the design and logic analyzer.
- Trigger Capability: A good Logic Analyzer has the ability to set complex and nested triggers. Understanding the trigger level and capability will help you select the right logic analyzer for you.
- Probe Type: The Logic Analyzer probes needs to be easily connected to the design under test without creating any signal integrity issues.
- Capture duration: During complex engineering debug a very long capture sequence is required to do the analysis .Hence having very large capture can be an added
- Host Interface: USB 2.0 is the most commonly used interface for the logic analyzer some of them also have interfaces to the network using gigabit Ethernet.
Other Features to consider:
- Support: Once you have the Logic Analyzer in your hand and run into issues during debug you will need a good team to support the debug issues in hand. Every company offers various levels of support.
- Shipping Lead Time: Once the logic analyzer is ordered the product needs to be shipped to the development location. Please check the lead times well in advance before ordering.
- Year of development: It’s always good to pick up a product which is stable in the market and used by many customers already.
- Ease of Use : Most of the Logic Analyzers are used to debug hard engineering problems and ease of use and integration into the development environment are very important feature for the product.
Shopping or choose of Logic Analyzer can be a daunting task, and this guide will help you easily navigate the process of selecting the logic analyzer. As the number of channels to debug increases so does the cost of the product.