High-speed serial link testing gets a price break with Agilent's BIST Assist 6.4. According to the company, this extension of its 93000 SoC series of automatic test equipment (ATE) costs 50% less than conventional at-speed ATE production systems.
Signal-integrity testing at up to 6.4 Gbits/s using a loopback/BIST (built-in self-test) approach is possible for $995,000. The cost drops under $20,000 for designers who already own a 93000 system, based on the number of channels needed and other factors.
BIST Assist 6.4 offers a complete solution for testing high-speed serial interfaces like PCI Express, Serial ATA, Fibre Channel, and Serial RapidIO. It combines traditional at-speed testing of expensive ATE systems with less expensive loopback testing without a large price tag.
"We're launching our customers into the next frontier of test where they do not have to sacrifice results for low cost," says Tom Newsom, vice president and general manager of the SoC Business Unit.
BIST Assist 6.4 provides at-speed level control and precision as well as adjustable jitter injection up to 430 ps. It's calibrated within the test head. Each BIST Assist 6.4 card provides four loops (16 differential pins) operating at the top rate of 6.4 Gbits/s. A graphical user interface ensures rapid test-program creation and implementation.