PAM-4 analysis capability for 86100D DCA-X Series oscilloscopes

30-01-2015 | Keysight Technologies | Test & Measurement

Designed to help engineers quickly and accurately characterize PAM-4 (pulse
amplitude modulation with four amplitude levels) signals using its 86100D
DCA-X wide-bandwidth oscilloscope platform, Keysight Technologies has
introduced measurement capability in the form of the 86100D-9FP PAM-N
analysis software which provides comprehensive analysis of optical and
electrical PAM-4 signals.

Increasing demand for rich content and instant access to information is
driving the need for increased network bandwidth in data centres. Simply
building faster components is no longer an option for meeting this need.
PAM-4 is a type of multilevel signaling designed to increase the amount of
data that can be sent across high-speed digital communication links. PAM-4
designs, for example, will likely enable the transition from 100Gb to 400Gb
Ethernet speeds.

Several industry groups and standards bodies are using, or actively
considering using, PAM-4 technology to jump to the next-generation speed
class and enable higher data rates for a given channel bandwidth compared to
traditional non-return-to-zero (NRZ) signaling. While PAM-4 technology
adapts some traditional NRZ measurement algorithms for PAM-4 signals, to
fully analyze system performance, unique PAM-4 measurements and parameters
are also required, says the company.

"The switch from NRZ to PAM-4 signaling presents many new design and
measurement challenges for our customers," said Dave Cipriani, vice
president and general manager of Keysight's Oscilloscope and Protocol
Division. "Keysight's analysis software helps engineers address these
challenges and quickly get their designs to market."

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