Keysight discloses InP technology taking scopes past 100 GHz

March 02, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Keysight Technology says it has developed a new generation of chipset that will enable it to deliver real-time and equivalent-time oscilloscopes with bandwidths above 100 GHz; responses will be significantly flatter at high frequencies; the use of low-noise, dielectric substrates will permit higher measurement accuracy; and lower power consumption will reduce thermal loads and lead to improved reliability.

Keysight promises real-time and equivalent-time oscilloscopes, with availability in 2017, that will offer bandwidths greater than 100 GHz with significantly better noise floors than what is currently on the market – using its in-house indium phosphide (InP) semiconductor capability.


Absolute bandwidth, Keysight adds, is not the only breakthrough in the new oscilloscope families. The real-time oscilloscopes will feature a new 10-bit ADC that allows higher vertical resolution of signals captured at ultra-high bandwidth, and more than one maximum-bandwidth input channel per oscilloscope to enable tight channel synchronisation.


“Keysight continues to innovate in the Indium Phosphide process....” said Jay Alexander, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Keysight Technologies. “...[and] expertise in microwave semiconductor technology has allowed us to deliver the next-generation Indium Phosphide process to create a breakthrough in real-time and equivalent-time oscilloscope performance, and it will enable significant advancements in other Keysight products over time as well.”


Then illustration is of a board that won an award from (PCB layout software supplier) Mentor Graphics, in Mentor’s annual PCB design awards. The board has over 5000 parts, 31,000 connections and over 80 voltage rails; it was designed with Mentor’s Xpedition Enterprise toolset.


Engineers working with next-generation, high-speed interfaces, such as the upcoming IEEE P802.3bs 400G, as well as terabit coherent optical modulation, will need oscilloscopes for electrical parametric measurements. These technologies and others will play a key role in validating fifth-generation wireless (5G) designs. And these interfaces will drive the need for high-performance, real-time and equivalent-time signal analysis capabilities to 100 GHz and beyond. As data rates continue to extend beyond 56 Gb/sec NRZ and 56 GBaud multi-level signalling, engineers will need not only higher bandwidth, but also higher vertical resolution and lower noise floors to address their validation challenges, and the new chipsets have been designed with this in mind.


Six years ago, Keysight released its first oscilloscope with chipsets built in the