Keysight debuts Physical Layer Test System 2015

Feb. 3, 2015

Keysight Technologies at DesignCon introduced its N1930B Physical Layer Test System (PLTS) 2015, the latest release of its premier signal-integrity test software for designing and validating high-speed digital interconnect.

A key software enhancement in PLTS 2015 includes an N-port automatic fixture removal (AFR). This enhancement removes the effects of multiple test fixtures with a single step—reducing the error-correction time by 75% when compared to other traditional error-correction methods.

The N-port AFR de-embedding process measures the open circuit of multiple fixtures. This allows engineers to easily remove the unwanted effects of these fixtures in just a single pass of the AFR process. Specifically, the traditional Through-Reflect-Line calibration process has over 150 steps of calibration, while the N-port AFR has less than 10 error correction steps. Additionally, the N-port AFR technique eliminates design and fabrication costs for special calibration boards.

PLTS now provides support for Keysight’s modular PXI vector network analyzers (VNAs). Leveraging the multiple ports (up to 32) of the PXI VNAs, engineers can now characterize eight differential channels in one measurement. Additionally, the graphical user interface easily manages over 900 S-parameters in one data file. When multiple data channels are analyzed at once, additional insight is gained into the device characteristics and data management is simplified.

Another new feature found in PLTS 2015 is the round-robin wizard. This wizard makes it possible for engineers to measure a device under test with more ports than the VNA they use in their lab. For example, they can use a 4-port VNA to measure a 12-port device. PLTS provides step-by-step instructions and then outputs a 12-port data file in various formats. The data is saved in one file, just as if the measurement had been made with a 12-port VNA. This ability to analyze large port-count data files provides users tremendous insight into critical performance parameters such as near-end and far-end crosstalk.

Keysight’s N1930B PLTS 2015 is available now at a base price of $10,000.

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