Keysight Technologies has introduced the M8040A high perform­ance bit error rate tester (BERT) for testing pulse amplitude modulation (PAM-4) and non-return to zero (NRZ) devices that operate up to 64 GBaud. According to the company, engineers in validation and research and development (R&D) laboratories will benefit from the new simplified test set-ups and repeatable and accurate results.

The latest revisions of IEEE 802.3 baseline summary and OIF CEI-56G implementation agreements define PAM-4 and NRZ interfaces for electrical chip-to-chip, chip-to-module, backplane connections and optical interfaces for up to 400 Gbps bandwidth. R&D and validation laboratories that need to characterise receivers for data centre interconnects with PAM-4 or NRZ data rates of up to 64 GBaud are facing new test challenges, such as stringent timelines, channel loss, non-linearity, level interference and crosstalk effects, making test efficiency and accuracy essential.

The new M8040A is the latest member of the modular AXIe-based M8000 series of test solutions. A highly integrated BERT, it supports PAM-4 signals of up to 64 GBaud and NRZ signals of up to 64 Gbps. The pattern generator module provides built-in de-emphasis, jitter injection and an optional second channel. Engineers and designers can select PAM-4 and NRZ in the user interface, eliminating the need for external combiners, cabling and deskew to provide PAM-4 signals. The analyser module provides true PAM-4 error analysis in real time for long PRBS and QPRBS patterns. This allows proofing even low bit error ratios and symbol error ratios with the required confidence. Further, users can control the M8040A from a graphical and remote control interface. The price of an M8040A BERT starts at $323,000 for a 32 GBaud PAM-4 BERT with one channel, including the M8070A software.