Agilent adds bit-error ratio analysis to optical modulation analyzer

SEPTEMBER 14, 2009 -- Agilent Technologies Inc. has added bit error ratio (BER) capabilities to its optical modulation analyzer. Agilent will demonstrate the new BER test feature on a polarization multiplexed signal at ECOC 2009.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2009 -- Agilent Technologies Inc. has added bit error ratio (BER) capabilities to its optical modulation analyzer. Agilent will demonstrate the new BER test feature on a polarization multiplexed signal at ECOC 2009.

The analysis of the BER of a transmitter or link is the ultimate parameter in digital transmission to measure the transmission quality for 40/100G systems, Agilent asserts. Measuring only the electrical BER from transmitter input to receiver output of an optical link leaves the uncertainty of which of the three components -- the transmitter, the link itself, or the receiver -- caused the BER problem during a test failure.

Being able to measure the BER of a physical layer signal enables transmitter and system designers and quality engineers to distinguish which part of the transmission system caused the problem.

"Our optical modulation analyzer provides a highly flexible turn-key test solution for development and characterization of 40G/100G transmission systems based on advanced modulation schemes," said Juergen Beck, general manager of Agilent's Digital Photonic Test business. "The addition of BER test functionality addresses further needs of scientists, development engineers, and quality engineers of transmission system and component suppliers, and closes another gap in optical modulation test."

Agilent says the benefits of the BER test ability include:

  • real BER counting, no estimation;
  • support of polarization multiplexed signals;
  • support of PRBS or user-defined pattern;
  • detailed analysis of ones and zero errors
  • ability to relate BER to Error Vector Magnitude (EVM).

Agilent adds this new BER test capability is compatible with many of the offered modulation formats and is designed to support polarization multiplexed signals in combination with the company’s polarization alignment algorithm.

Agilent's new BER test capability is priced at $2,700 and will be available in early October 2009. As an introductory promotion, the BER test capability will be included at no extra cost in the standard software of the N4391A optical modulation analyzer for all orders placed before the OFC 2010 event concludes (end of March 2010).

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