Ultra-low jitter, high bandwidth 100G transceiver testing

November 22, 2012 // By Julien Happich
Tektronix has announced a Phase Reference Module, the 82A04B, for the DSA8300 oscilloscope that when combined with new electrical sampling modules provide instrument jitter of under 100 femtoseconds, typical.

This represents the lowest instrument jitter of any multi-channel oscilloscope on the market says the manufacturer, making the DSA8300 suitable for design, debug and characterization of critical 100G transmitters and links on up to 6 channels as defined in the IEEE802.3ba & 32G Fibre Channel test specifications.

For designers working on 100 (4x25) Gb/s communications systems, a key test challenge has been acquiring high bit-rate signals with sufficient fidelity to allow precise characterization of the device under test in the presence of real-world signals. As clock speeds continue to increase, the bit period at 25 Gb/s is just 40 picoseconds, making it critical to minimize instrumentation jitter and noise while providing enough bandwidth to fully characterize signals.

Designed for use with the DSA8300 mainframe, the 82A04B Phase Reference Module supports input clock frequencies from 2 to 32 GHz with an option available to support up to 60 GHz.

In addition to the phase reference module, Tektronix announced six electrical sampling modules that support bandwidths from 20 to 70 GHz. These modules use unique remote sampling heads that place the measurement acquisition point at or near the device under test to minimize signal degradation due to cabling. Taken together, these capabilities provide a unique combination of low vertical noise, low intrinsic jitter and bandwidth performance to enable engineers to fully characterize signals (3rd harmonic) to data rates up to over 45 GHz for the latest IEEE and Fibre Channel standards.

The DSA8300 can support simultaneous acquisition of up to three differential (or six single-ended) signals with ultra-low jitter for multi-lane system testing common in today's 100G electrical designs.