Agilent Introduces AXIe BER Test System

January 21, 2014. Agilent Technologies Inc. today introduced the new M8000 Series BER test solution, a highly integrated and scalable bit-error-ratio test solution for physical-layer characterization, validation, and compliance testing for receivers used in multigigabit digital designs. With support for a wide range of data rates and standards, the new M8000 Series BER test solution provides accurate and reliable results that accelerate insight into the performance margins of high-speed digital devices for computer, consumer, server, mobile computing, and data-center products.

When R&D and validation teams characterize next-generation designs, they face several test challenges. First, the faster data rates of the emerging next-generation digital computer buses, such as PCI Express 4 (with a bit rate of 16 GT/s) and USB 3.1 (with a bit rate of 10 Gb/s), present new signal-integrity test challenges. New 128/130-bit and 128/132-bit coding formats complicate error detection and loopback pattern creation.

In addition, widespread adoption of mobile computing devices means more and more R&D and test engineers need to test different implementations of MIPI ports, with new data formats, termination models, multiple lanes and built-in error counting.

Lastly, with the enormous surge in data-center traffic, servers, and storage designs must support much higher bandwidths on their backplane and networking ports. Data rates of 25 Gb/s and more on multiple lanes over PC boards, cables, or optical interconnects are required by most of the latest industry standards, such as 100GbE, CEI, and Fibre Channel. Testing such 25-Gb/s receiver ports requires new test capabilities to characterize device tolerance for interference, channel losses, and crosstalk.

“The new M8000 Series BER test solutions will enable R&D and test engineers to master next-generation receiver test challenges,” said Juergen Beck, general manager and vice president of Agilent’s Digital and Photonic Test Division. “With its unique level of integration and scalability, the M8000 Series sets the foundation for engineers to accelerate accurate receiver characterization of high-speed digital designs.”

The first model in the new M8000 Series is the J-BERT M8020A high-performance BERT. It enables fast and accurate receiver characterization of single- and multilane devices operating at data rates up to 16 Gb/s and 32 Gb/s. The M8020A accelerates insight into designs by

  • Streamlining receiver test setup by providing the highest level of integration. It offers built-in jitter injection, 8-tap de-emphasis, interference sources, reference clock multiplication, clock recovery and equalization.
  • Ensuring accurate and repeatable measurements by automating in situ calibration of signal conditions.
  • Reducing the effort required to bring devices into loopback test mode because the M8020A behaves like a link partner for the device under test and supports interactive link training for PCIe devices.

The J-BERT M8020A high-performance BERT is scalable and expandable to meet future test needs. It supports one to four BERT channels and offers data rates of up to 8.5 Gb/s and 16 Gb/s with an extension to 32 Gb/s.

The new J-BERT M8020A is based on AXIe, which is the industry standard for high-performance modular test equipment. The M8020A is controlled from a user interface via USB. All options are upgradeable.

Agilent will demonstrate high-speed digital solutions, including the J-BERT M8020A, in Santa Clara at DesignCon 2014, January 28-31, Booth 201.

The J-BERT M8020A high-performance BERT is available now. The price starts at $122,200 for a one-channel 16-Gb/s high-performance BERT with built-in clock recovery.

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