BER test of PAM4 signalling at up to 32 GBaud

February 01, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
Anritsu has released two upgrades for the MP1800A Signal Quality Analyzer series which extend the company’s offering for 32 GBaud PAM4 BER test solutions. The G0375A 32 Gbaud Power PAM4 Converter and G0376A 32 Gbaud PAM4 Decoder with CTLE support the PAM4 input tests and BER measurements defined in the next-generation 200GbE/400GbE and CEI-56G standards, with support for both NRZ and PAM4.

In order to address the need for faster communications speeds between servers and network devices, next-generation 200 GbE/400 GbE Ethernet standards are not only relying on faster symbol rates and multiple lanes, but they are also using PAM (Pulse Amplitude Modulation) as a way to increase the transmission rate. As the next-generation of PAM4 communication standards is developed, a signal integrity test solution with high amplitude 32 Gbaud PAM4 BER generation and high quality and accuracy BER measurement will play a major role.


The Signal Quality Analyzer MP1800A is a plug-in modular Bit Error Rate Tester (BERT) supporting measurement of multi-channel wideband interfaces up to 64 Gbit/sec. The G0375A and G0376A are remote heads for addition to the MP1800A series 32G PPG/ED to extend measurement support for PAM4 measurements using NRZ measuring instruments.


Combining the G0375A with the 28 G/32 Gbit/sec PPG MU183020A converts two 32 Gbit/sec NRZ signals to output a high-amplitude PAM4 signal of 4.4 Vp-p (differential, max.). Additionally, the 3ch PPG synchronization function for independent control of the PAM4 signal 3Eye amplitudes enables high-reproducibility evaluation of optical modulators without using an external driver amplifier.


With built-in PAM4 decode and CTLE functions, the G0376A supports measurement of PAM4 decoded binary signals using the 28 G/32 Gbit/sec High Sensitivity ED MU183040B. In addition, combination with the CTLE function supports high-efficiency, input-sensitivity performance tests.