A logic analyzer can be used for debugging various applications. It is also effective in digital signals monitoring. It is important to select a proper logic analyzer out of many available in the market. Hence, below are some features of a good logic analyzer. The tips are as follows:
The first feature is to think about the form factor. The logic analyzers come in three different forms i.e. portable, modular and PC based. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Portable logic analyzers are generally large boxes having a screen and a number of knobs and buttons to navigate the menus.these are generally self-contained. They have advantages like containing specialized hardware that allows to measure signals at higher frequencies and also they do not require a separate computer. Modular logic analyzers mostly require computer software to control the collection and analyze data. They can be rack-mounted or cards that slide into a backplane. But, usage of this is limited by the connection speeds between the test equipment and computer. PC-based logic analyzers are similar to modular ones as they require computers to control the parameters.they are also limited by connection speed.
Some of the important technical specifications to be noted while choosing the right logic analyzer are:
It determines the shortest interval in which the analyzer can take measurement from each of the signals. The analyzer that gives a high sample rate of at least a hundred megahertz per second should be opted. A good thumb rule is to sample a digital signal at least four times faster than its frequency, and analog sample signal should be sampled at least ten times faster than its frequency.
It is the maximum frequency that the front end of the analyzer can handle. determined by analog computers used in probes and buffers. If the application operated at a data rate faster than the logic analyzer’s bandwidth, the signal will not be recorded. Hence make sure that the logic analyzer supports the electrical specifications of your signal.
Voltage threshold listed on the analyzer should be paid attention. Few things to consider with voltage are the maximum safe input voltage range on your channels and the kinds of logic levels that you will be working with.
- Multiple outputs and inputs:
This is an important feature to look into when buying a logic analyzer. if the analyzer has multiple outputs, then one can easily debug more instruments at the same time.
Other features to consider are:
- Protocol analyzers
- Analog input
- over-voltage protection
- differential signals
- Ease usage