Type-C interconnect test fixtures major on signal integrity

September 24, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
To assist engineers verify and debug devices that use Type-C connector technology, Keysight Technologies has designed what it claims to be the highest-signal-integrity Type-C test fixtures for high-speed differential bus probing. As well as USB, the connector may be used with standards such as DisplayPort, Thunderbolt and MHL.

The N7015A high-speed test fixture provides up to 30 GHz bandwidth, enabling engineers to verify and debug USB 3.1 Gen 2 designs: and designs using other high-speed signal standards that support the Type-C connector.

The N7015A Type-C high-speed test fixture separates out four lanes of high-speed protocol signals for signal measurement or injection and sends low-speed power and control line signals to a secondary fixture, the Keysight N7016A Type-C low-speed signal access and control fixture. The flexible fixture kit provides high-signal-integrity access to signals and enables engineers to probe the USB 3.1 device and host upstream and downstream ports. The N7016A low-speed Type-C fixture manages power and control lines from the N7015A to support termination requirements and test configuration as well as connection to a third-party power delivery controller.

"Type-C is the future of connection technology in consumer electronics, and it has far reaching implications," said Dave Cipriani, vice president and general manager of Keysight's Oscilloscope and Protocol Division. "Our Type-C test fixtures are just the first piece of a larger, automated Type-C testing solution Keysight is developing to help our customers meet this revolutionary technology's testing challenges."

The N7015A fixture is reversible, meaning that engineers can flip the plug 180 degrees without affecting testing. It is designed so users can place two fixtures side by side or stacked one on top of the other. Whether connected side by side or stacked, the fixtures meet the minimum spacing allowed in the specification. The fixture's durable design ensures multiple connections and disconnections without failure in an active test environment.

While the N7015A fixture has the highest signal integrity, it also comes with an S-parameter model that can be used to de-embed signal loss up to 30 GHz, giving engineers more accurate measurements of their device's behaviour. Designers can use the Type-C connector with technologies such as USB, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt and MHL. Keysight offers approved compliance test software for all of these