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Tektronix module claims lowest instrument jitter

23 Nov 2012

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Oscilloscope manufacturer Tektronix, Inc. has just unveiled the 82A04B, a new phase reference module for the DSA8300 oscilloscope. An instrument jitter of < 100 femtoseconds, typical, can be achieved when it is combined with new electrical sampling modules. Vishay claims that among multi-channel oscilloscopes currently available, the instrument jitter level mentioned is the lowest, sampling or real-time. This makes the DSA8300 suitable for designing, characterisation and debugging 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) Gbit/s communications systems, a key test challenge has been acquiring high bit-rate signals with sufficient fidelity to allow precise characterisation of the device under test in the presence of real-world signals. As clock speeds continue to increase, the bit period at 25Gbit/s is just 40ps, making it critical to minimise instrumentation jitter and noise while providing enough bandwidth to fully characterise signals.

"The new phase reference module, upgraded electrical sampling modules and other enhancements establish Tektronix as the clear leader in high-speed data communications," said Brian Reich, general manager, Performance Oscilloscopes at Tektronix. "We offer customers significant advantages in measurement system fidelity, versatility and usability; all at very competitive price points."

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

Electrical sampling modules
In addition to the new phase reference module, Tektronix announced 6 new electrical sampling modules that support bandwidths from 20 to 70GHz. These modules use unique remote sampling heads that place the measurement acquisition point at or near the device under test to minimise 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 characterise signals (3rd harmonic) to data rates up to > 45GHz 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. In contrast, competitive alternatives can only acquire two single-ended signals, at a maximum 50GHz and lack support for remote sampling, leading to significant signal impairment.

To boost designer productivity, Tektronix also released application software and firmware updates for the DSA8300 Series to improve timing analysis, setup and test execution. Notable features include guided channel acquisition and TDR step alignment, user channel delay and TDR (time domain reflectometry) de-skew in time units, and quantitative and descriptive information on how to get the best jitter performance when using the new 82A04B Phase Reference Module.

Price & Availability
The new Phase Reference and Electrical Modules and other enhancements for the DSA8300 will be available by the end of 2012. US MSRP for a two-channel solution starts at $60,000.

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