Throughout my career as an engineer, one thing has always stuck out to me.  Process.  There is always a process for everything.  Be it for somewhat complex reasons, such as the need to heat soak a board properly when attaching BGA components to a PCB, or more or less simple reasons, such as the compounds in flux making solder move where you want it!  Why bring up process?  Process is the key to the scientific process.  The validation, verification, reporting, all that is also important.  Yet, without the engine of the process that method really does not do very much.

 

Sometimes process is also useful for calibration and configuration.  Like the scientific process, it provides a repeatable mechanism to get the same results in varying conditions, locals, etc.  As someone that used to design automotive safety test equipment, I am highly familiar with hydraulics and their controls.  I can recall one piece of test equipment we had to tune.  It used new simplified driver cards that no one knew how to work.  The dials, buttons and knobs were different. After working with the manufacturing team to reduce their original calibration process from “turn this knob to 5” to an adjustment of the P, V or D amplification.  This produced a measurable force profile.  With this process, we were able to calibrate ANY brand of amplifier card using any sensor as we distilled our needs to the common denominator of a force profile.

 

The same is true of tuning transceivers. Here is a 4 part series of videos where I walk you through the process that was taught to me from one of Avnet’s IO experts.  Using his process I will first lay the groundwork for transceivers.  This is an introduction to IBERT. I then show how to setup and configure an IBERT Transceiver test for your Xilinx Zynq®-7000 All Programmable SoC based project.  Here I am using Vivado Design Suite 2015.1, however this process can apply to later tool versions as well.  After showing how to wire up a PicoZed™ 7015 SOM connected to a PZ-FMC-CC Carrier card, I next take the bitstream from Vivado and demonstrate programming the Xilinx Zynq®-7000 All Programmable SoC.  From here  you can get an overview of the more basic settings and options used in an analysis of an IBERT design.  Of course this could go on for hours due to the complexity of the material and what you can get from an “Eye-Diagram” There is certainly content out there one search away! This being a short video to give you the broad strokes and help you understand the process, most of those details are left out.  After learning about the options to GET information, I give an overview of the various options used when tuning your transceivers using an IBERT design.  From here, you will have learned to tune your transceivers using a fast method that quickly eliminates variables and allows you to get your project on the way to success!

 

Tech Tip - Transceiver Tools 101: Intro to IBERT

 

Tech Tip - Transceiver Tools 102: We have an IBERT bit stream, now what?

 

Tech Tip – Transceiver Tools 103: Now that we are running, what are all these adjustments?

 

Tech Tip – Transceiver Tools 104: Getting More Margin