Test and measurement instrument developer Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS) has added support for PAM-4 modulation and built-in error counters on the M8000 Series line of bit error rate testers (BERTs). The new capabilities make the M8000 Series applicable to the current generation of technology design efforts that leverage PAM-4 to meet emerging requirements in data center networks, storage, and computing.
The M8000 Series BERTs are designed to aid receiver characterization for single- and multi-lane optical transceivers and modules. The M8000 Series comprise AXIe-based BERT and arbitrary waveform generator modules that are controlled from common user interface software. With the PAM-4 capable rev. 188.8.131.52 M8070A system software, engineers can:
- generate PAM-4 patterns up to a 32 Gbaud symbol rate (which corresponds to a 64-Gbps bit rate) and up to four channels with the M8195A arbitrary waveform generator, and NRZ patterns with the J-BERT M8020A BERT from a common user interface
- improve test efficiency by integrating access to built-in error counters and device status registers from the M8000 user interface via IronPython scripts.
Keysight has added the PAM-4 capabilities to the M8000 Series as data center standards like OIF CEI and the IEEE's 400 Gigabit Ethernet begin to incorporate the multilevel signaling format. Meanwhile, Keysight says that an increasing number of ASIC designs now use built-in self-test (BIST) capabilities such as built-in error counters. In most cases, engineers could access the error-count information only through vendor-specific interfaces and remote commands.
As implied above, the M8000 Series BERTs can be used in combination with other instruments for PAM-4 device characterization and simulation. These instruments include the J-BERT M8020A, M8195A arbitrary waveform generator, N5990A test automation software, M8062A 32-Gbps BERT front end, Infiniium Z-Series oscilloscopes, and 86100D Infiniium DCA-X high-bandwidth oscilloscope with Option 9FP. The company also offers N8827A PAM-4 analysis software for its Infiniium real-time oscilloscopes and Advanced Design System electronic design automation tools.
The M8070A PAM-4 and built-in error counters option for the device-under-test control interface is available now. A transportable perpetual license is priced at $5,800. Existing M8020A or M8195A customers can upgrade their instruments to the new features.
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