Tektronix targets 100G transceiver test with ultra-low jitter modules

Tektronix, Inc. says its new phase reference module for the DSA8300 oscilloscope, the 82A04B, will provide typical instrument jitter of less than 100 femtoseconds when combined with new electrical sampling modules. This figure represents the lowest instrument jitter of any multi-channel oscilloscope on the market, sampling or real-time, the company claims. The DSA8300 thus is ideally suited to design, debug, and characterize 100G transmitters and links on up to six channels as defined in the IEEE 802.3ba and 32G Fibre Channel test specifications.

Nov 26th, 2012

Tektronix, Inc. says its new phase reference module for the DSA8300 oscilloscope, the 82A04B, will provide typical instrument jitter of less than 100 femtoseconds when combined with new electrical sampling modules. This figure represents the lowest instrument jitter of any multi-channel oscilloscope on the market, sampling or real-time, the company claims. The DSA8300 thus is ideally suited to design, debug, and characterize 100G transmitters and links on up to six channels as defined in the IEEE 802.3ba and 32G Fibre Channel test specifications.

For designers working on 100-Gbps communications systems based on 4x25-Gbps, a key test challenge has been acquiring high-bit-rate signals with sufficient fidelity to allow precise characterization of the device under test in the presence of real-world signals. As clock speeds continue to increase, the bit period at 25 Gbps is just 40 picoseconds, making it important to minimize instrumentation jitter and noise while providing enough bandwidth to fully characterize signals.

Designed for use with the DSA8300 mainframe, the new 82A04B phase reference module supports input clock frequencies from 2 to 32 GHz with an option available to support up to 60 GHz.

In addition to the phase reference module, Tektronix announced six new electrical sampling modules that support bandwidths from 20 to 70 GHz. These modules use remote sampling heads that place the measurement acquisition point at or near the device under test to minimize signal degradation due to cabling.

Taken together, these capabilities provide a unique combination of low vertical noise, low intrinsic jitter, and bandwidth performance to enable engineers to fully characterize signals (to the third harmonic) to data rates up to 45 GHz, Tektronix asserts.

"The new phase reference module, upgraded electrical sampling modules, and other enhancements establish Tektronix as the clear leader in high-speed data communications," said Brian Reich, general manager, performance oscilloscopes at Tektronix. "We offer customers significant advantages in measurement system fidelity, versatility, and usability -- all at very competitive price points."

The DSA8300 can support simultaneous acquisition of up to three differential (or six single-ended) signals with ultra-low jitter for the multi-lane system testing required in many of today's 100G electrical designs. In contrast, Tektronix claims that competitive alternatives can only acquire two single-ended signals, at a maximum 50 GHz, and lack support for remote sampling, leading to significant signal impairment.

To boost designer productivity, Tektronix also released application software and firmware updates for the DSA8300 Series to improve timing analysis, setup, and test execution. Notable features include guided channel acquisition and TDR step alignment, user channel delay, and TDR deskew in time units, as well as quantitative and descriptive information on how to get the best jitter performance when using the new 82A04B Phase Reference Module.

The new phase reference and electrical modules and other enhancements for the DSA8300 will be available by the end of 2012. The US manufacturer’s retail price for a two-channel version starts at $60,000.

For more information on test equipment and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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