As FPGAs become a viable option for high-performance signal processing in the digital communications design space (cellular base stations, satellite communications, and radar), analysis and debug tools must include new techniques to help you get the most optimal performance in your circuits in the least amount of time.

Although signal analysis tools that connect to simulation and RF analog signals are available, it’s important to be able to measure signal quality (frequency spectrum, I-Q constellation, and error vector magnitude [EVM]) in the sub-circuits of your FPGA. Thus, Agilent has linked its 89601A Vector Signal Analysis (VSA) software with its line of logic analyzer products (1680, 1690, and 16900 families) to create a digital VSA tool. This tool, when combined with the Xilinx® ChipScope™ Pro Agilent Trace Core, allows you to perform signal analysis anywhere inside your FPGA design quickly and easily.

In this article, we’ll show how this combination of tools works—and how it can help you get the most from your Xilinx-based DSP circuits.

Reprinted with permission from Xcell Journal / Fourth Quarter 2005. Article © Xcell Journal.