Agilent combines optical modulation analyzer, oscilloscope in single unit

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A), after introducing the first optical modulation analyzer to the market, is now the first to integrate a modulation analyzer with its complementary real-time oscilloscope into a single portable unit. The new Agilent N4392A optical modulation analyzer promises to make coherent technology analysis accessible to more R&D engineers, production line workers, and potentially field deployment technicians.

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Lwagilent022912Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A), after introducing the first optical modulation analyzer to the market, is now the first to integrate a modulation analyzer with its complementary real-time oscilloscope into a single portable unit. The new Agilent N4392A optical modulation analyzer promises to make coherent technology analysis accessible to more R&D engineers, production line workers, and potentially field deployment technicians.

While the new N4392A doesn’t have quite the horsepower of the Agilent N4391A optical modulation analyzer, it still can handle 32-Gbaud modulation formats and offers 63-Gsamples/s real-time sampling rates, and both optical and differential RF inputs; in fact, it has four differential RF inputs. It also features built-in performance verification and recalibration routines.

The unit weighs just under 29 lbs and features a 15-inch analysis screen. According to Oliver Funke, product manager for digital and photonic test within the Electronic Measurement Group of Agilent, the new unit should be attractive to companies looking to enter the 40- and 100-Gbps coherent-enabled technology market for the first time but have been put off by the price tag of existing multi-instrument approaches. He also expects companies already in the space that need more optical modulation analysis instruments than they currently possess to show interest.

But the comparatively lower price tag – the price for a typical R&D configuration is $165,000 – and portability also may make it an option for manufacturing applications. Funke even speculated it could see use in the field as coherent 100-Gbps systems are deployed in greater numbers.

Funke described the N4392A as complementary to the previous N43921A, with the former optimized for 40/100-Gbps test requirements and the latter extending beyond that level to include 400-Gbps to 1-Tbps research. Both systems offer signal-processing algorithms for modulation-format-transparent polarization alignment and phase tracking. They also offer chromatic dispersion and first-order polarization mode-dispersion measurement and compensation.

Agilent will begin accepting orders for the N4392A optical modulation analyzer this May, with shipments beginning in September.

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