Power integrity test

Power integrity testing

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Power integrity of your electronic designs

Accurate measurements to ensure power integrity in your electronic designs

Today’s highly integrated electronic devices use low voltage levels and components with far lower tolerances to fluctuations in power. Consequently, analyzing the performance of the power delivery network on a PCB is an important part of the circuit design process. Where previously measuring power level ripples, noise, and transients in the time domain was an adequate approach, frequency domain measurements are also essential to detect unintentional coupling with signals, resulting in power spikes. An additional factor to consider is potential high frequency responses up to several hundred megahertz during transient phases such as power-on surges and load changes, causing power rails to act as transmission lines, affecting the signal integrity.

Obtaining accurate time domain measurements to detect ripple, noise and transients of very small mV level signals on 1 to 3 V power rails accurately is a challenge. A suitable oscilloscope plus probes must feature a noise floor considerably lower than the anticipated peak-to-peak noise, for accurate ripple measurements. A fast update rate, high ADC resolution and a wide bandwidth are essential to capture fast disturbances and transients. To investigate unwanted signals coupled onto a power rail plus resulting harmonics in the frequency domain, an oscilloscope requires powerful FFT with a wide frequency bandwidth. While the power supply switching speed may be in the kHz range, fast edges produce harmonics that go well into the MHz range. The performance of the probe is important as an essential part of the instrument.

In addition, a power delivery network shall feature low impedance in the mΩ range, that ideally does not change with the frequency. To investigate the impedance in transient phases, a network analyzer with the required dynamic range for low impendence measurements, the necessary frequency range to include harmonics at up to several hundred MHz, and suitable probes, is the instrument of choice.

Your power integrity analysis challenges

For a full picture of the performance of the power delivery network, as well as detecting transient changes in power levels, measuring power ripples and noise levels, you also need to investigate signal coupling in power rails.

Making accurate power measurements despite broadband noise from your oscilloscope. Being sure you have detected the worst-case performance. Characterizing the impedance of the power delivery network in transient phases such as during changes in load.

Our power integrity test solutions

Rohde & Schwarz oscilloscopes offer the high performance required for accurate power integrity measurements. Low noise frontends detect signals with amplitudes as little as 1mV for accurate measurements of peak to peak ripple voltages. For fast worst-case analysis acquisition rates up to 4.5 million per second at high sample rates with deep memory up to 3 Gsample per channel, bandwidths up to 16 GHz to capture even fast disturbances and transients, and powerful spectrum analysis to detect signal coupling. The unique digital trigger can trigger across the complete signal bandwidth.

A probe optimized for power measurement is an essential part of the test setup. The R&S®RT-ZPR20 power rail probe features 1:1 attenuation adding only 10 % to the noise of the oscilloscope. A large built-in offset of ±60 V maximizes oscilloscope vertical sensitivity so that both AC characteristics and true DC values can be measured. A wide bandwidth of 2 GHz captures high-frequency transients and coupled signals. A variety of probing options and 50 kΩ DC input impedance minimizes disturbance to measured rail signals. The integrated 16-bit R&S®ProbeMeter provides a simultaneous digit readout of each power rail’s DC value with up to 0.05% DC accuracy.

For power delivery network impedance measurements, the R&S®ZNL vector network analyzer offers the best matching and accuracy in its class. As well as 2-port network analysis for a complete set of S-parameters of passive components, the R&S®ZNL supports both power sensors and spectrum analysis. With an optional battery the R&S®ZNL is suitable for a wide range of measurements both in a lab or outdoors.

Get your Power Integrity pocket guide here

Your benefits of our power integrity solutions

  • Be confident you have detected all fluctuations in output from the power delivery network. Power integrity measurements require large time spans; our oscilloscopes feature market-leading sample rates and memory depth to acquire all waveforms across a wide bandwidth for long periods.
  • Take full advantage of the maximum ADC of the oscilloscope using offset up to ±60 V from the probe to center the waveform of interest on the screen and zoom in with minimum noise to understand fully the variations in power level, with both AC characteristics and true DC values measured.
  • Detect all unwanted signals (and resulting harmonics) coupled onto a power rail, using sophisticated wideband spectrum analysis from the oscilloscope in parallel with time domain data.
  • Detect changes in impedance resulting in unwanted high frequency transmissions from the power delivery network in transient phases such as power-up surges, and degrading the signal processing performance of the device.

Do you want to verify your PDN and have further questions about power integrity testing? Then feel free to contact us.

Products for Power integrity testing


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Vector network analyzers

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Signal & spectrum analyzers / Phase noise analyzers

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Signal generators

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Featured Power integrity contents

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Power integrity measurements with R&S®RTP oscilloscopes

The R&S®RT-ZPR power rail probes include an offset circuit to remove the DC level from the power rail voltage. Together with their 1:1 attenuation ratio and low noise design, this allows power integrity measurements with highest sensitivity.

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A powerful trigger system is key to efficiently detect and trouble-shoot power integrity problems.Compared to the traditional analog trigger, the digital trigger in R&S oscilloscopes provides many advantages like a superior trigger sensitivity and a great level of flexibility. Find out more below.

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