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Written by Ailee Grumbine and Brad Doerr


The design-to-manufacturing (D2M) process typically involves sequential stages from design to manufacturing. Each stage requires data collection that is specified in an initial design of experiments (DOE) and aimed at providing confidence that the design can meet critical requirements. Effective data analytics tools can help engineers evaluate the insights per the DOE in each stage of the design-to-manufacturing process. Time-to-market (TTM) can be greatly accelerated by utilizing modern data analytics tools while also increasing confidence in key technical decisions.

To hear more from the authors watch the video above


The first stages of the D2M process are design and simulation. The designer performs simulation to ensure that the design will meet the design specification. Simulation provides key statistics and produces waveforms that can be fed into compliance test applications. Simulation validation is a critical task prior to committing to expensive ASIC and PCB fabrication. The next stage is to perform design validation by using test equipment such as oscilloscopes and other measurement devices. The validation engineers will make measurements on multiple samples per the DOE created during the design stage. The DOE requires validation in a wide range of operating conditions, such as temperature and software configurations. The engineering team will then analyze the data with tools such as databases, PIVOT tables, JMP, R and/or other home-grown tools with data from instruments with data in CSV, XML or other formats. The challenge is that most engineering teams manage this data and the tools. This distracts from making measurements and promptly analyzing the findings. Next, the engineering team will perform compliance testing. Automated compliance test software saves a lot of time as it automates the measurements and produces the test report with statistical analysis to allow the engineers to determine the margins. This data is also very useful to determine if a second design cut is needed. Once the design is validated, the design can be released to manufacturing. The team will identify the production processes and measurements to ensure the design will meet the manufacturing goals derived from the original DOE. The manufacturing team will also seek efficiency improvements and/or yield improvements to improve. The data provides the basis for effective manufacturing management and optimization.


A capable data analytics platform integrates the DOE at the start of the process the engineering team will be able to achieve efficiency and confident decisions. The DOE is created in the early stages of design aimed at providing the data that can answer key questions about the design. This DOE defines the tests that need to be run in simulation and on the physical DUTs.  The DOE also identifies the test conditions and the number of tests that need to be run to achieve statistical confidence in the results. It is critical to choose a data analytics platform that can adapt alongside the DOE evolution. Nobody likes to delay a program while the team “re-architects the database schema”.            


There are many visualization tools in the market today that are used to help engineers analyze their test data. However, they are usually designed for a single user who has the time to acquire deep application expertise. These tools don’t fit well in the test and measurement D2M world especially as engineering teams are global and distributed. The visualization tool for D2M teams must provide data access to the entire team, with well-known visualization capabilities such as histogram, sweep, box-and-whisker and scatter plots.


Sweep or vector plots allow users to view 2-dimensional “sweep-data”. D2M and T&M applications rely heavily on sweep-data such as time-domain waveforms, frequency-domain magnitude plots and eye diagrams. The right analytics tool will enable the team to overlay for example, multiple eye diagrams with different test conditions. The overlay feature allows the user to determine test conditions that cause the eye to close or have less margin and allow the designer to optimize the design for best performance. Another example of a sweep/vector plot is a constellation diagram. Figure 1 shows an example of a 5G QAM4 constellation diagram. There are 3 sets of constellation data overlain which represent 3 different input voltages: 1V, 0.9V and 0.8V. The plot reveals that the constellation diagram with input voltage of 1V has the cleanest transmitted symbol. The constellation diagram with input voltage of 0.8V seems to be the one with the lowest received signal quality with potential phase noise issues.

Input voltages

Figure 1. Overlay of 3 different input voltages (1V, 0.9V and 0.8V) 5G QAM4 constellation data

Another visualization method in the test and measurement world is a box-and-whisker plot. Figure 2 shows an example of a box-and-whisker plot of a jitter measurement with multi-level split capability. The user can split on more than one property for analysis purposes. The plot on left is split by the three usernames: Sakata, Fernandez and Chang. The plot on right is split by username and input voltage. The plot indicated that most of Chang’s measurement values are higher than the upper limit especially for the input voltage of 0.8V.

Box-and-whisker plot

Figure 2. Box-and-Whisker plot of a jitter measurement with multi-level split capability.

In summary, successful D2M programs require a clear DOE and necessarily generate a great amount of data. With upfront planning and by choosing the right analytics platform, engineering teams can optimize effectiveness and time to market. This same data can also be leveraged into manufacturing ramp and manufacturing optimization.


Visit Keysight’s new Data Analytics Software here!

Keysight oscilloscopes are loaded with various applications. So many, that there may be some you don’t know how to use or don’t even know they exist. In the new Scopes University video series, Erin East and Melissa Spencer dive into when and how to use some of the different capabilities of the InfiniiVision and Infiniium oscilloscopes. Gain familiarity with features that will help save you time in your measurements, further your analysis, and deepen your insight.


Scopes University with Erin and Melissa


In the first couple episodes, Melissa and Erin start out with some of the basics, including some handy touchscreen tricks that will speed up your setup. Then, you’ll learn about some of the more advanced applications, like eye diagrams, jitter analysis, and frequency response analysis. Throughout the series, they will be covering the entire range of the oscilloscope family, from the low cost 1000 X-Series, to the deeper analysis Infiniium oscilloscopes.


Stay up to date on when new episodes come out by subscribing to our YouTube channel

Several years ago, the Keysight Oscilloscopes R&D team was working on a project to completely redesign the GUI for our Infiniium oscilloscopes. In the early stages of this project, we performed a ton of customer research to see what people expected out of a modern oscilloscope GUI. Most of these items were then included in the GUI you currently see on Infiniium oscilloscopes today – things like multitouch gestures, annotated markers, easy-to-use wizards, grids, flexibility of windows to choose what’s displayed on screen, etc. The other interesting thing we found was that many users wanted to have the ability to analyze, share, and document results at the comfort of their PC or laptop. From this discovery came the N8900A Infiniium Offline Oscilloscope Analysis Software. Many oscilloscope vendors offer offline software, but it is usually a pared-down version of the GUI found on an oscilloscope. With the Infiniium Offline Oscilloscope Analysis Software, the exact same GUI is used that is found on an oscilloscope – meaning you do not have to learn a new user interface and you can perform all of the analysis as if you were sitting in front of an oscilloscope.


Analyzing Data


During the customer research, we found that many people share an oscilloscope in their lab or work space. Doing so causes issues with scheduling and having enough time on the oscilloscope to capture and analyze the data properly. One large benefit to using Infiniium Offline is that you can capture your data on an oscilloscope, move the data to your PC via a thumb drive (or stream it directly to your PC), and then perform all of your analysis and documentation within the offline software – freeing up the oscilloscope to be used by another team member. This enables the team to much more efficiently use the oscilloscope and offers the added benefit of being able to analyze and document results from the comfort of your desk or even at home if you have a laptop.



Documenting and Sharing Results


Another finding in the customer research was how much time people spend documenting their results on an oscilloscope. The traditional method used by many was to take numerous screen shots and then import them into a document along with text describing the results. This was found to be very laborious so we sought out ways to help make this easier.


The first thing R&D did was include many items in the GUI to make documentation easier. All of these are then naturally found in the Infiniium Offline software since it matches what is found on the oscilloscope. Examples include annotated markers (so you can easily see the delta values directly on a screen shot), annotated axes, bookmarks (to make comments on certain measurements or portions of the waveform), measurement call-outs (to see measurements results directly on the screen), and so on. All of these enhancements enabled people to easily show valuable information in a screen shot in a much easier way.


Secondly being able to use offline software helped with documentation in two ways. People found it much easier to make screen captures and paste into a document on their PC/laptop than from the oscilloscope. They were able to finish their documentation quickly and more efficiently, freeing them up to do other tasks. Secondly, many of the people we interacted with needed to share their documentation with others. Using the offline software made this incredibly easy because not only could they send the report document, but they could also send the setup file/waveform via Infiniium Offline with the waveform/results completely annotated. The other team member could then open the file on their copy of Infiniium Offline and see all of this information. Collaboration made easy!


Controlling More than One Instrument


Several applications require more than four oscilloscope channels and while some vendors have oscilloscopes with this capability, Keysight found that people wanted the choice of when to use a setup for more than four channels and when to have two multiple oscilloscopes to use separately. From this, Keysight designed the N8834A MultiScope Application. This software enables people to synch up to 10 oscilloscopes and uses the Infiniium Offline software as the master control for all of these oscilloscopes. In this way, you can have up to 40 channels, all controlled from a single GUI on your laptop or PC. Then, when you do not need all of these channels for your application, you can disconnect the oscilloscopes and use them separately throughout your lab. This gives you incredible flexibility.


Test it Out - Download a Trial Version Today


If you are interested in seeing the N8900A Infiniium Offline Analysis software, you can download a trial version here. It enables you to test out the Infiniium GUI without having an oscilloscope as well – testing whether the capabilities match your needs.