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WaveFormer Pro Supports Agilent Logic Analyzers and Pattern Generators

WaveFormer Pro supports almost all of the Agilent logic analyzers that can produce ASCII data files and almost all the Agilent Pattern generators that accept ASCII data files as input. If your specific logic analyzer is not mentioned in this document, it does not imply that it is not supported. Use this document as a guideline for generating the ASCII files. If you have any problems please contact SynaptiCAD. Support for new systems often takes only a few minutes and we can email you the changes.

WaveFormer Pro can import data from the following Agilent logic analyzers and oscilloscopes. Inside WaveFormer Pro, use the Export/Import > Import menu to import the file. The following table shows the Agilent model type and the corresponding WaveFormer Pro file type. If there is a link from the logic analyzer, then there is also a special step involved to get the logic analyzer to produce a WaveFormer Pro compatible file.

Agilent Equipment

WaveFormer File Type

LogicWave Agilent Logic Analyzer (CSV)
** 16900, 16800 Agilent Fast Binary Out (Logic Analyzer)(bin)
Agilent Logic Analyzer/PatGen (CSV)
** HP16700/16600 Series Logic
Analyzers (all logic analyzer cards
including HP16550 & HP16555)
Agilent Fast Binary Out (Logic Analyzer)(bin)
Agilent Wave Logic Analyzer (hwl)
Agilent Logic Analyzer (hpl)
** HP 1660, 1670, 16500 ASCII Agilent Logic Analyzer (hpl)
Infinium Digitizing oscilloscope Agilent Infinium Digitizing oscilloscope (txt)
Agilent Infinium Raw Data (csv, tsv)
Agilent MSO 6000/7000
mixed signal oscilloscopes
Agilent Mixed-signal oscilloscope (CSV)

WaveFormer Pro also can create stimulus files that can be imported into Agilent Pattern Generators. It can also import CSV files from 16822A and 16900 series. The following equipment is supported. Please call for information on the latest Agilent test equipment.

Agilent Equipment

WaveFormer File Type

16900 Series
Timing Analysis System
Export with:
Agilent 169xx Pattern Generator Full Mode
Agilent 169xx Pattern Generator Half Mode
Import into WaveFormer using:
Agilent Logic Analyzer (CSV)
16822A pattern generator Export with:
Agilent 169xx Pattern Generator Full Mode
Agilent 169xx Pattern Generator Half Mode
Import into WaveFormer using:
Agilent Logic Analyzer (CSV)
16700 Series Timing
Analysis System with 16720A
pattern generator
Agilent 167xx Pattern Generator (binary) (PGB)
HP 16522A pattern
generator card runinnd on
the 16500 or 16600 Series
Timing Analysis Systems
Agilent Pattern Generator(disk)
Agilent Pattern Generator (bus)

Table of Contents

WaveFormer Pro Background

WaveFormer Pro is an EDA tool used for drawing, analyzing, simulating, and documenting timing diagrams. The resulting waveform information can be exported to a variety popular simulators (VHDL, Verilog, ABEL, SPICE, etc.), as well as Agilent and HP pattern generators. In addition, WaveFormer can read the waveform data files produced by Agilent and HP logic analyzers.

WaveFormer Pro supports many simulator input and output formats. It also has a built-in scripting language to give users the ability to write or modify existing scripts to support other proprietary formats. Generally, timing data produced by simulators is a variation of one of a few basic formats.  it is generally not too difficult to support a new simulator format by modifying a format already supported by WaveFormer Pro.

The combination of WaveFormer Pro and an Agilent or HP logic analyzer makes a very powerful design and debugging tool. Together, these products give the designer two powerful debugging benefits:

  1. Perform simulations using captured waveforms: Actual circuit operation can be captured by the Agilent or HP logic analyzers and then translated by WaveFormer Pro into stimulus files to drive the simulations that an engineer used to test the design of the circuit. The designer can find circuit malfunctions by debugging the simulation model that he used to design the circuit. WaveFormer Pro can also compare the captured waveforms to simulated waveforms.
  2. Document circuit operation: The combination of Agilent or HP logic analyzers and WaveFormer Pro allows circuit operation to be documented, converting waveform data into true timing diagrams. With WaveFormer Pro, users can document the temporal relationships between signal transitions by adding delays, setups, and holds to the waveforms. WaveFormer Pro also allows text annotation and grid lines to be placed on the timing diagram.

Aglient Logic Analyzer Instructions

1) HP16900 and LogicWave analyzers generate CSV files

  • Inside the logic analyzer save the data to a CSV file. For the HP16900 this is not the default file type so you have to choose CSV file.
  • Inside WaveFormer Pro, choose Import/Export > Import Timing Diagram From menu to open the file dialog, and select Agilent Logic Analyzer (*.csv) from the files of type drop-down list box, select the file, and then click OK to open the file.

2) Use the HP16700/16600 Series Logic Analyzers (HP16550 & HP16555) to generate ASCII files

WaveFormer can import files ASCII and binary-based waveform files created by Aglient logic analyzers that run in the HP16700 and the HP16600 series timing analysis system. The default, waveform displays in the HP16555 and HP16550 generate files that have ASCII headers and binary waveform data that are NOT compatible with WaveFormer. However, there are two methods that use the Workspace and Listing windows to generate all-ASCII data. Either of the methods described in the next two sections can be used to generate WaveFormer Pro data files.

2.1) Generate HWL files with the HP16700 Workspace window

The following instructions describe how to setup the Workspace window to generate ASCII waveform files using the HP16700. The instructions may seem tedious, but once you have configured the options for a particular logic analyzer you can skip to step 6 or 9 depending on the data that you want to save. To generate ASCII-based files using the HP16700 Workspace window:

  1. Set up up the logic analyzer and capture data. You can view the captured results using the waveform or listing displays.
  2. Press the Workspace button in the Logic Analysis System dialog. This will open the Workspace dialog. You should see a machine icon that represents the logic analyzer that captured the data.
  3. Drag the blue utilities icon called File Out to the working window and attach it to the machine that captured the data. You may have to expand the dialog to view the buttons at the bottom.
  4. Double click on the File Out icon to open the File Out dialog.
  5. Enter a file name with an HWL extension in the file edit box. Note: Select a file name that is compatible with both the HP logic analyzer and the computer running WaveFormer Pro. File names of eight characters or less, no spaces, and no extra punctuation have the greatest compatibility.
  6. Select the ASCII radio button and press the ASCII Options button to open the ASCII Output Options dialog.
  7. Determine the signal labels and the time range that you would like saved in the file. If you choose All as the time range than you may be generating very large files (greater then 50MB). Remember that most logic analyzers capture waveforms over a greater time range then is normally used by simulator test benches or timing diagram editors. Save only what you need.
  8. Press the Close button to close the ASCII Output Options dialog.
  9. Click the Save Data button, in the File Out dialog, to generate the file.
  10. Use the File Manager to verify that the file is the size that you expected it to be, then transfer the file to the computer running WaveFormer Pro. Section 5 of this document provides tips on transferring files.

2.2) Generate HPL files with the HP16700 Listing Display window

An alternate method for generating files uses the Listing Display of the HP logic analyzer. The Listing Display allows the user to save data in different base formats, sample methods, and time ranges. The following instructions will help you create files that can be read by WaveFormer Pro. Use the Listing Display to generate ASCII waveform files:

  1. Set up the logic analyzer and capture data. Make a note of the sample time interval used to capture the data. You may need this later.
  2. Inside the logic analyzer Machine dialog, click on the Navigate button to open a series of pop-up menus. Choose the slot: machine>listing menu tree to open the Listing dialog
  3. Look at the data in the Listing dialog. Identify the trigger points and end points of the file.
  4. The middle column or columns contain the waveform data captured by the logic analyzer. The base readout controls the type of data that is displayed. WaveFormer Pro supports binary, octal, hex, decimal, and ASCII data types. To change the data type, right click on the base readout above the column.
  5. The last column is the sample time column. The sample column is displayed in either the Relative or Absolute time modes. To maintain timing accuracy, we recommend using the Relative time mode. In the Absolute time mode, the Listing window displays the times using a fixed number of digits. As time progresses, the display changes from nanoseconds to milliseconds and then to microseconds. This results in the truncation of decimal points. Two samples may appear to occur at 32us, when in reality one occurs at 32.1us and the other at 32.8us. By selecting the Relative time mode, you maintain data integrity.
  6. Verify that no column heads are selected. A selected column head has a yellow box around it. To deselect it, click on it. Warning: If a column is selected, only that column is saved to the file and WaveFormer Pro will not be able to read the file.
  7. Choose the File > Print to File menu option to open the File dialog.
  8. Enter a file name with an HPL extension in the file edit box. Note: Select a file name that is compatible with both the HP logic analyzer and the computer running WaveFormer Pro. File names of eight characters or less, no spaces, and no extra punctuation have the greatest compatibility.
  9. Choose the time range that you would like saved to the file. If you choose All as the time range then you may be generating very large files (greater then 50MB). Remember that most logic analyzers capture waveforms over a greater time range than is normally used by simulator test benches or timing diagram editors. Save only what you need.
  10. Use the File Manager to verify that the file is the size that you expected it to be, then transfer it to the computer running WaveFormer Pro.

3) Use the HP1660/1670/16500 Series Logic Analyzer to generate ASCII files

WaveFormer Pro is capable of importing ASCII files generated by HP1660 and HP1670 series logic analyzers and from logic analyzers running on the HP16500 series frames. The following instructions were written specifically for the HP1670, however the HP1660 and HP16500 have similar interfaces. After capturing data with the logic analyzer, follow these steps to create the file:

  1. Press the List button on the logic analyzer panel to see a listing of your data.
  2. Look at the data in the Listing dialog. Identify the trigger points and end points of the file.
  3. The middle column or columns contain the waveform data captured by the logic analyzer. The base readout controls the type of data that is displayed. WaveFormer Pro supports binary, octal, hex, decimal, and ASCII data types. To change the data type, right click on the base readout above the column.
  4. The last column is the sample time column. The sample column is displayed in either the Relative or Absolute time modes. To maintain timing accuracy, we recommend using the Relative time mode. In the Absolute time mode, the Listing window displays the times using a fixed number of digits. As time progresses, the display changes from nanoseconds to milliseconds and then to microseconds. This results in the truncation of decimal points. Two samples may appear to occur at 32us, when in reality one occurs at 32.1us and the other at 32.8us. By selecting the Relative time mode, you maintain data integrity.
  5. Click on Print at the top of the screen to open the print menu.
  6. Select Print Disk from the list of menu options to open the Print to Disk dialog.
  7. Enter a file name with an HPL extension. Note: Select a file name that is compatible with both the HP logic analyzer and the computer running WaveFormer Pro. File names of eight characters or less, no spaces, and no extra punctuation have the greatest compatibility.
  8. Click the Output Format button and select either ASCII (ALL) or ASCII (PARTIAL) depending on how much data you want to save. If you select a time range of ALL, the files you generate may be very large (greater then 50MB). Remember that most logic analyzers capture waveforms over a greater time range than is normally used by  timing diagram editors or test bench simulators. Save only what you need.
  9. If you selected ASCII (PARTIAL), fill in the Start State and End State. These refer to the sequential listing of numbers on the left hand side of the data listing.
  10. Click the Output Disk button and select either Hard Disk or Flexible Disk. If you choose the hard disk and later want to copy the file to a flexible disk, follow the instructions in Section 2.
  11. Click the Execute button to save the file.

WaveFormer Pattern Generator Instructions (very important)

The following are rules and tips for creating timing diagrams that export to the different pattern generator formats.

  • Set the clocking signal: Make sure the timing diagram contains one clock signal, which will be used as the sampling clock. At each rising edge of the clock, the states of each signal will be written out to the clocks will be ignored. For more information see 11.3 Export General Instructions and the subsection on clocking signals of the Timing Diagram Editor Manual.
  • Must have at least one documentation marker. The first documentation marker found in the timing diagram generates the *M code line, which denotes the beginning of the main sequence (separating the initialization section from the main). If no documentation marker is present, the *M code is generated automatically and placed at the beginning of the data (just after VECT). Thus, only main sequences will appear (i.e., no initial sequences).
  • Map the signals to the pattern generator pins using the pod mapping dialog described in section 11.4 Map Signals to Test Equipment Pins of the Timing Diagram Editor Manual.
  • Drawing the waveforms: Single-bit signal states should be drawn with only high and low segments. Virtual buses can contain Valid segments with virtual values that convert to high and low segments. Invalid, Tristate, and empty Valid segments are not supported by the HP16522A and generate an error message during export. The state of each signal is converted into a hexadecimal number and written to the file.
  • Setup Tri-state enable signals: You can include tri-state enable signals in the exported data. To do this, select the signals that you want to create tri-state enable signals for and select the Import/Export > Add Tri-State Enables for Selected Signals menu option. See 11.4 Map Signals to Test Equipment Pins of the Timing Diagram Editor Manual.
  • The end of the timing diagram is determined by the last edge of the longest drawn signal or an End Diagram Marker (note you must still have at least one documentation marker in addition to any End Diagram Marker that you add). If a signal ends early, its last state value is used until the end of the timing diagram.

Agilent Pattern Generator Instructions

1) HP16900 Notes

WaveFormer generates files that are directly compatible with the 16900. However, the Agilent 16900 will accept 16700 PGB binary files that have been translated using an Agilent program that ships with you logic analyzer. The PGB Translator program located in your logic analyzer software at All Programs > Agilent Logic Analyzer > Utilities >Pattern Generator > 167xx Pattern Generator PGB Translator.

2) HP16522 Notes

  • The HP16522A pattern generator has a limit of 126 signals per stimulus file, and a Group Bus limit of 32 signals per bus.
  • The Bus and Disk versions generate basically the same code. The only difference is that the VECT code for the Bus version contains additional information.
    • The *.hpd format is used for file transfer via network or diskette.
    • The *.hpb format uses the HPIB bus for file transfer.

WaveFormer Pro Pricing

WaveFormer Pro is available on Windows, Linux, and on Solaris/HP-UX. Click here to go to the pricing page. For more information or a free evaluation version, contact SynaptiCAD at phone (540)953-3390, fax (540)953-3078, or email: sales.

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