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New Great River Technology Analyzer Accelerates Serial Communication Implementations Of Cypress's HOTLink® SERDES | Cypress Semiconductor

New Great River Technology Analyzer Accelerates Serial Communication Implementations Of Cypress's HOTLink® SERDES

Last Updated: March 09, 2010

HOTLink Serial Analyzer Simplifies Development and DebuggingOf Wide Array of Commercial and Military Video and Data Applications


SAN JOSE, Calif. and ALBUQUERQUE, NM, September 3, 2008 - Great River Technology today introduced the HOTLink® Serial Link Analyzer (HSLA), a tool to accelerate implementing and troubleshooting video systems using HOTLink and HOTLink II SERDES solutions from Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: CY). Great River Technology's HSLA captures and analyzes 8B/10B traffic on a link, including all data and special characters. The analyzer works with systems with link speeds between 160 Mbps to 1.5 Gbps and covers a wide range of commercial and military video and data applications.

"Great River Technology's HOTLink Serial Link Analyzer will be a tremendous help to engineers and technicians developing and debugging systems that use Cypress's HOTLink family of products," said James Lie, marketing manager for HOTLink products at Cypress. "Our HOTLink family of physical layer devices is extremely flexible with demonstrated success in a wide variety of applications."

The HSLA was designed for engineers that need to "see" what is on the link as they develop new HOTLink applications. It is the first HOTLink II analyzer of its kind. "I was developing a complex transmitter protocol and needed a means to verify the output, but normal frame grabbers don't capture all the framing characters, so I had to create a tool to verify my design," said John Stahoviak, systems engineer and HSLA developer. "I kept improving the tool, other engineers started borrowing it to verify their designs, and before long it evolved into our HOTLink Serial Link Analyzer."

Captured data traces can be easily searched using the included HSLAView software.  Multiple trigger levels and trigger logic allow the tool to capture multiple layers of data for detailed analysis. The HSLA works with all 8B/10B encoded protocols such as Fiber Channel, DVB-ASI, and GigE. The HSLA not only captures and analyzes data, but can be used to replay a data stream back on to the link, and allows easy insertion of modified data or errors.

The Hotlink Protocol Analyzer is built on Great River Technology's GRAVity product family. Using PCI 64 bit/66 MHz technology, the hardware captures raw HOTLink data including all special characters. The capture depth is up to 2 GB, which provides between 18 to 125 seconds of capture, depending on the link speed. The HSLA offers a cost effective means to capture and analyze raw HOTLink data for a number of different PHY's.

The HLSA features include:

  • Easy to use, intuitive GUI
  • Multiple level triggers settings
  • Configurable recording depth from 1KB to 1GB
  • Configurable Color coding of data or special characters
  • Signal Splitter
  • Recorded file playout for sensor simulation
  • Viewing modes including hex, binary, ASCII, or HOTLink data codes
  • HOTLink Video generator.

The HSLA is available in two versions. The HSLA_Rx is a receiver and analyzer, and the HSLA Rx/Tx adds data playout features for HOTLink system emulation. For pricing, contact distributors or Great River Technology directly via

About the HOTLink Family

The HOTLink family of SERDES provides point-to-point or point-to-multipoint serial communication interfaces over high-speed optical or copper links. With supported signaling speeds ranging from 50 Mbps to 1.5 Gbps, the HOTLink family provides designers with scalability for commercial and military video and data applications, as well as for video equipment designs. HOTLink devices offer serialization, deserialization, optional 8B/10B encoding/decoding and framing functions.

Due to its frequency agility (50 Mbps - 1.5 Gbps), the HOTLink family can be used to implement proprietary serial communication protocols as well as popular serial protocols like Fiber Channel, DVB-ASI, Gigabit Ethernet (GigE), ESCON®, SMPTE 259M and SMPTE 292M.

All HOTLink devices provide an easy implementation path for customer designs because of a single power supply and an integrated voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) and phase-locked loop (PLL). Integration of key components onto the HOTLink chips removes the need for external analog components leading to a worry-free design.

About Great River Technology

Great River Technology (GRT) in Albuquerque, NM, specializes in high performance digital video and data tools for military, aerospace, and commercial customers. GRT's products simplify the design and implementation of system-critical video and data transmission for cockpit displays, avionics graphics generators, data transfer, infrared cameras and sensing, and flight simulators. GRT's tools are used in design and research labs, production facilities, flight-test aircraft, airborne applications, and flight maintenance facilities. GRT offers both custom and "off-the-shelf" board level products for real-time, high-speed and low latency video links, and point-to-point data transmission using copper and fiber optic links. Visit GRT online at

About Cypress

Cypress delivers high-performance, mixed-signal, programmable solutions that provide customers with rapid time-to-market and exceptional system value. Cypress offerings include the PSoC® Programmable System-on-Chip™, USB controllers, general-purpose programmable clocks and memories. Cypress also offers wired and wireless connectivity solutions ranging from its WirelessUSB™ radio system-on-chip, to West Bridge™ and EZ-USB® FX2LP controllers that enhance connectivity and performance in multimedia handsets. Cypress serves numerous markets including consumer, computation, data communications, automotive, industrial, and solar power. Cypress trades on the NYSE under the ticker symbol CY. Visit Cypress online at

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Cypress, the Cypress logo, HOTLink, PSoC and EZ-USB are registered trademarks, and Programmable System-on-Chip, WirelessUSB and West Bridge are trademarks of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.