Ethernet interface verification option for oscilloscopes

March 06, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Rohde & Schwarz’ digital oscilloscopes gain an automated compliance test solution for Ethernet interfaces; precise results are made possible by high dynamic range.

R&S has expanded the application field of its RTO oscilloscopes to include Ethernet interface testing. The newRTO-K22 and RTO-K23 Ethernet compliance options allow users to perform standard-compliant automated tests on 10/100/1000BASE-T and 10GBASE-T Ethernet interfaces. All compliance tests meet IEEE and ANSI Ethernet test specifications.

The RTO has a dynamic range of more than seven effective bits (ENOB) and delivers reliable results even during standard-specified interference tests. Users can reliably test the Ethernet compliance of their products during type testing and in production. For instance, they can verify the signal quality of Ethernet devices by using an eye diagram to check the signal strength and signal characteristics of Ethernet telegrams. This is made possible by the scope’s hardware-accelerated mask test, which performs an impressive 600,000 tests per second.


The test solution includes the RT-ZF2 Ethernet compliance test fixture, which has various Ethernet ports for connecting DUTs. It is the only fixture on the market that supports both 10/100/1000BASE-T and 10GBASE-T Ethernet connections. For the Gigabit Ethernet jitter tests, the R&S RT-ZF2C, a special 103-metre cable with specific sections of different impedance, can be used to simulate the effect of a damaged Ethernet cable on the DUT.

Ethernet compliance test software runs either directly on the RTO or on a control computer. The software controls the oscilloscope and the DUT. A differential probe such as the R&S ZT-ZD10 is used to contact the DUT. A wizard with graphical displays guides the user step-by-step through the measurements. Automated test sequences shorten test times. For more efficient debugging, individual tests can be carried out separately. The automatically generated, configurable test report documents test results, including measurement details and trace displays.

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