32-Gb/s protocol-aware BERT eases 4th-generation receiver testing

Feb. 2, 2017

Beaverton, OR. Tektronix has introduced what it calls the industry’s first 32-Gb/s protocol-aware bit error rate test and analysis system. The new Tektronix BSX Series BERTScope helps characterize the receiver in Gen3 and Gen4 devices and enables users to shorten the time needed to debug link training and bit-error-rate issues.

As 4th-generation serial protocols such as PCIe 4.0, USB 3.1, and SAS4 become more complex, it has become increasingly difficult to place a receiver being tested into an appropriate state (such as a loopback state) for testing without protocol handshaking between the instrument and the device under test. With its protocol-aware functions, the BSX Series provides the tools and flexibility needed to visualize and control the handshaking and link training process for devices running up to 32 Gb/s.

“When things go wrong during receiver testing, our customers need more than a tool that will simply characterize a device. They need a tool that will pinpoint the root cause of failures, move them from complexity to confidence, and help keep projects on schedule,” said Brian Reich, general manager, Performance Oscilloscopes, Tektronix. “Receiver testing is more than just getting a bit-error rate number—it’s understanding why you are getting a particular bit-error rate value, or handshaking failure. The BSX Series delivers unique visibility into the underlying root cause of physical-layer issues by capturing the exact location and timing of bit errors.”

Simplified receiver testing

Available with maximum data rates of 12.5 Gb/s, 24 Gb/s and 32 Gb/s, the BSX Series is available with tools that automate compliance testing, making accurate and repeatable measurements easy to do for the large number of test cases required in the Gen4 standards. With built-in Tx equalization, reference clock multiplication, and interference generation, the BSX Series requires fewer cables and is easier to set up and calibrate than previous offerings.

The BSX Series receiver test tool continuously stores the context (timing, bit position) of each bit error. Error analysis tools such as pattern sensitivity and forward error correction emulation use this information to help developers understand the factors contributing to bit errors.

Pricing and availability

The BSX Series BERTScope will be available in Q2 of 2017. Pricing starts at $199,000.


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