Keysight Technologies Introduces PAM-4 Support on M8000 Series BER Test Solutions

Keysight Technologies Introduces PAM-4 Support on M8000 Series BER Test Solutions


Keysight Technologies, Inc. expanded its PAM-4 measurement solutions with support for PAM-4 data formats and built-in error counters on the M8000 Series BER test solutions. PAM-4 support and the ability to integrate a device's built-in error counter helps R&D and test engineers characterize and test high-speed digital receivers for the data-center networking, storage and computer industries.

R&D and validation teams characterizing next-generation digital designs face several test challenges. With data rates continuously increasing, emerging data center standards like OIF CEI and IEEE 802.3 Ethernet are moving to PAM-4 multilevel signaling formats. In addition, many ASIC designs now use built-in self-test (BIST) capabilities such as built-in error counters. Engineers can typically access the error-count information only through vendor-specific interfaces and remote commands.

"The M8000 Series is a highly integrated BER test solution for digital receiver characterization and compliance testing,” said Juergen Beck, general manager and vice president of Keysight's Digital and Photonic Test Division. "With support for PAM-4 and built-in error counters from a common user interface, we are helping engineers overcome their test challenges with next-generation high-speed digital designs.”

The M8000 Series BER test solution accelerates insight into digital designs with fast and accurate receiver characterization for single- and multilane devices. It consists of AXIe-based high-performance BERT and arbitrary waveform generator modules that are controlled from common user interface software. Using the M8070A system software, rev., for the M8000 Series, engineers can now:

  • Generate PAM-4 patterns up to 32 Gbaud symbol rate (corresponds to a 64 Gbit/s bit rate) and up to 4 channels with the M8195A arbitrary waveform generator, and NRZ patterns with the J-BERT M8020A high-performance BERT from a common user interface
  • Accelerate test efficiency by integrating access to built-in error counters and device status registers from the M8000 user interface via IronPython scripts

For accurate PAM-4 device characterization and simulation, Keysight offers several complementary test instruments and software solutions. These solutions include the J-BERT M8020A, M8195A arbitrary waveform generator, N5990A test automation software, M8062A 32-Gb/s BERT front end, Infiniium Z-Series oscilloscopes and 86100D Infiniium DCA-X high-bandwidth oscilloscope with Option 9FP. Also included is the N8827A PAM-4 analysis software for Infiniium real-time oscilloscopes and Advanced Design System electronic design automation tools.

More information about Keysight's M8000 Series BER test solution is available at

For more details click here.

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