Demand for greater network bandwidth in data centers has fostered lots of interest in PAM-4 (pulse amplitude modulation with four amplitude levels) multilevel signaling. PAM-4 increases the amount of data that can be sent across high-speed digital communication links—designs based on the technology could very well enable the transition from 100 to 400-Gb Ethernet speeds. To that end, Keysight unveiled the 86100D-9FP PAM-N analysis software for use on its 86100D DCA-X oscilloscopes at DesignCon, Santa Clara, Calif. The software, which allows for quick, accurate characterization of PAM-4 signals, offers measurements such as eye width, height, and skew; level amplitude, noise, and skew; and amplitude level linearity. When combined with the DCA-X’s software, extended analysis capabilities include embedding/de-embedding of PAM-4 channels using 86100D Option SIM InfiniiSim-DCA and PAM-4 equalizers (LFE, CTLE, DFE) using 86100D Option 201. The scope’s low-noise, wide-bandwidth plug-in modules help characterize PAM signals, which are susceptible to noise.