PicoConnect gigabit digital passive test probes

A family of high-performance gigabit test probes allowing cost-effective fingertip browsing of broadband data streams out to 18 Gb/s. These include the now ubiquitous USB 2 & 3, HDMI 1 & 2, Ethernet, PCIe, SATA and LVDS standards.

Cost-effective test and measurement solutions have struggled to keep up with the increased use of broadband digital communications, particularly in the field of low-invasive transmission line probing solutions. With less than 0.4 pF tip capacitance and ground-referred loading of 220 Ω to 910 Ω, overall the PicoConnect probes are less invasive than the majority of existing and more costly probing solutions. To achieve measurement accuracies down to a few percent they are ratio-compensated for their typical application: the probing of transmission lines and ports between 40 Ω and 100 Ω (80 Ω to 200 Ω differential).

Suited to interfacing with any measuring instrument with 50 Ω inputs, PicoConnect probes allow broadband oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer users to browse circuitry, backplanes, interconnect and systems, typically without interrupting their function, and to do so across multiple channels without breaking a budget. They are particularly cost-effective in applications ranging from 1 Gb/s to 12 Gb/s.

Capture real-world gigabit data or eye without disturbing data flow. HDMI eye for data on a live monitor feed.

The probe family offers division ratios of ÷5, ÷10 and ÷20 with impedances to suit low-voltage, high-speed, typically digital applications. For each ratio there is a DC or AC coupled option, the latter important when DC bias must not be disturbed (as with HDMI, ECL, PECL and LVDS). The whole family is realized as a set of interchangeable SMA(f) probe heads that can be used with any appropriate 50 Ω cable, or accessories such as filters, dividers, amplifiers and further attenuation.

PicoConnect probes are specified and characterized with a supplied 085 high-performance flexible coaxial cable, with which they achieve market-leading flatness and pulse response. The innovative in-PCB coplanar construction (patent pending) guarantees underlying microwave integrity along with mechanical precision, strength and electromagnetic immunity. The passive design is inherently resistant to static discharge and demonstrates no significant overload recovery latency or error. The PicoConnect probes and multi-head probe kits are provided with solder-in accessories in a convenient carry and storage case.

Title Language Issue Size Updated All products All languages All documents Status
PicoConnect 900 Series Probes Data Sheet English 1 5 MB Oct 03 2016 English open
PicoConnect 900 Series Probes Leaflet English 1 5 MB Oct 11 2016 English open
Product Price Quantity
Gold-plated probe tips and solder-in wire kit for PicoConnect probes
TA315
£25.00
Precision sleeved coaxial cable (60 cm 2.2 dB @ 13 GHz)
TA312
£39.00
Precision sleeved coaxial cable (30 cm 1.3 dB @ 13 GHz)
TA265
£45.00
Precision high-flex unsleeved coaxial cable (60 cm 1.9 dB @ 13 GHz)
TA263
£51.00
Precision high-flex unsleeved coaxial cable (30 cm 1.1 dB @ 13 GHz)
TA264
£45.00
Adaptor 3 GHz SMA(f)-BNC(m)
TA313
£12.00
Adaptor 18 GHz SMA(f)-N(m)
TA314
£79.00
Model 921 922 923 924 925 926
Nominal division ratio 20:1 10:1 5:1
Bandwidth (–3 dB) > 6 GHz > 7 GHz > 9 GHz
Max. usable data rate (fundamental) 12 Gb/s 14 Gb/s 18 Gb/s
Max. usable data rate (3rd harmonic) 4 Gb/s 4.6 Gb/s 6 Gb/s
Max. usable data rate (5th harmonic) 2.4 Gb/s 2.8 Gb/s 3.6 Gb/s
Transition time < 58.3 ps < 50 ps < 38.8 ps
Probe tip impedance (nominal) 515 Ω 250 Ω 220 Ω
Probe tip capacitance (typical) 0.3 pF
Probe tip capacitance (maximum) 0.4 pF
Accuracy for line Z0 = 40 Ω to 60 Ω[1] < ±0.20 dB (±2.4%) < ±0.27 dB (±3.1%) < ±0.25 dB (±2.9%)
Accuracy for line Z0 = 0 Ω to 100 Ω[2] < ±0.48 dB (±5.6%) < ±0.86 dB (±10.4%) < ±0.90 dB (±10.9%)
Nominal error for line Z0 = 75 Ω[3] < –0.19 dB (–2.2%) < –0.40 dB (–4.5%) < –0.48 dB (–5.3%)
Continuous voltage[4] 7 V AC RMS 7 V RMS 5 V AC RMS 5 V RMS 5 V AC RMS 5 V RMS
DC blocking voltage (max.) 50 V DC - 50 V DC - 50 V DC -
Peak voltage[5,6] < 25 V
Mark:space at peak voltage < 1:20 (5%) < 1:30 (3.3%) < 1:30 (3.3%)
Coupling[4] AC DC AC DC AC DC
Low-frequency cut-off (–3 dB) 70 kHz - 140 kHz - 160 kHz -
Pulse /eye droop > 20 ns / % - > 10 ns / % - > 10 ns / % -
Flatness (±0.5 dB) 210 kHz to 2 GHz DC to 2 GHz 420 kHz to 2 GHz DC to 2 GHz 480 kHz to 2 GHz DC to 2 GHz
Output impedance[6]
(for test node impedance 50 Ω)
54 Ω matched 48 Ω matched 187 Ω unmatched
Additive voltage noise @ 23 °C 0.9 nV/√Hz 0.9 nV/√Hz 1.6 nV/√Hz
Environment
Operating temperature range 0 to 50°C
Storage temperature range –20 to 70°C
Temperature range for stated specifications 15 to 40°C
Operating humidity range 5% to 80% RH non-condensing
Storage humidity range 5% to 95% RH non-condensing
Altitude range up to 2000 m
Pollution degree 2
Safety approvals EN61010-031:2002+A1 2008 safety requirements for hand-held probe assemblies for electrical measurement and test
EMC approvals Not applicable
Environmental approvals 2012/19/EU - Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment 2011/65/EU - Restriction of use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment
General
Output connector (probe head) SMA(f
Supplied cable 60 cm SMA(m-m) precision unsleeved high-flex 085 microwave coaxial cable (unsleeved and 30 cm options also available)
Supplied accessories Pack of replacement probe tips; two coils of solder-in gold-plated wire; SMA-to-BNC adaptor (with RF, microwave and pulse models only)
Dimensions (probe head) 68 x 19 x 11 mm
Nominal probe tip pitch 5 mm
Weight 5 g