Agilent Technologies introduces industry`s first test solution for PCI Express® 3.0 receiver characterization

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Source: Agilent Technologies, Inc.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced the industry's first test set for PCI Express® 3.0 receiver characterization. The Agilent PCIe® 3.0 receiver characterization test solution provides complete and accurate receiver tolerance test results while minimizing R&D effort. Using the Agilent test set, design and test engineers in the semiconductor and computer industry can accurately characterize and verify standard compliance of receiver ports in ASICs and chipsets.

The PCI-SIG® recently released Revision 3.0 of the PCIe base specification. Many changes in the physical-layer specification are related to ensuring proper bit transmission at 8 GT/s over inexpensive PC boards. Receiver tests are normative now; in previous versions of the standard, these tests were merely informative.

Devices operating at 8 GT/s present new measurement challenges that require new tools and procedures to accurately validate receiver design. These challenges include optimizing transmit and receive equalization, calibration channel design and device link training with 128/130-bit coded pattern sequences. One of the most challenging requirements is implementing a new procedure for calibrating PCIe 3.0 stress conditions as a reference receiver would see them after applied equalization. The procedure requires engineers to post-process signals measured at an accessible test point.

Agilent's complete and accurate PCIe 3.0 receiver test solution is based on the J-BERT N4903B high-performance serial BERT, the N4916B de-emphasis signal converter, the 81150A pulse function arbitrary noise generator, an Infiniium 90000 X-Series high-performance oscilloscope, new accessories and new N5990A test automation software.

Benefits of the Agilent PCIe 3.0 receiver characterization solution include:

  • accurate and repeatable receiver test results enabled by new stress calibration software, adjustable pre- and post-cursor de-emphasis, J-BERT's built-in PCIe 3.0-compliant jitter and sinusoidal interference sources, new PJ sweep functionality and new PCIe 3.0-compliant calibration channels;
  • higher R&D efficiency enabled by the new PCIe 3.0 stress calibration software and the new PCIe 3.0 link-training wizard, which controls J-BERT's pattern sequencer to bring the device under test into loopback mode; and
  • investment protection enabled by using Agilent instruments that can be repurposed for accurate characterization for multiple gigabit test applications, such as USB3, SATA3, and QPI.

'Agilent's new PCIe 3.0 receiver tolerance test solution fills a critical need of ASIC and chipset designers for rolling out the next generation of PCI Express smoothly,' said J�rgen Beck, general manager of Agilent's Digital Photonic Test Division. 'By adding our expertise in accurate stress calibration and receiver tolerancing, we continue to help R&D teams efficiently release robust, next-generation chipsets for the computer industry.'

The Agilent PCI Express 3.0 receiver test solution consists of:

the J-BERT N4903B high-performance serial BERT with integrated and calibrated jitter sources (random jitter, period jitter and differential-mode sinusoidal interference);

  • the N4916B de-emphasis signal generator for accurate and adjustable pre- and post-cursor generation;
  • the 81150A/81160A pulse function arbitrary noise generator for injecting common-mode sinusoidal interference;
  • the N4915A-014 PCIe 3.0 calibration channels for compliant and reproducible channel conditions;
  • the N5990A-101 PCIe receiver test software with the new PCIe 3.0 stress calibration;
  • the N5990A-301 PCIe 3.0 link-training wizard; and
  • the Infiniium 90000 X-Series 16-GHz to 32-GHz oscilloscope for stress calibration.

Agilent will demonstrate the new PCI Express 3.0 receiver characterization test set at DesignCon 2011, Feb. 1-2, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Booth 201. Agilent offers a wide selection of high-speed digital solutions including essential tools to pinpoint problems, optimize devices and deliver results for design and simulation.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

  • Prices for the 12.5 Gb/s J-BERT N4903B high-performance serial BERT start at $192,000.
  • The N4916B de-emphasis signal converter is priced at $42,200.
  • The new N4915A-014 PCIe 3.0 calibration channels are priced at $8,150.
  • The new N5990A test automation software Option 301 (link-training suite) and Option 101 (PCIe automated receiver test) are priced at $9,400 and $13,250 respectively. Users of N5990A-101 for PCIe 1.x and 2.x versions can use Option N5990A-011 to upgrade to PCIe 3.0 functionality at a price of $7,200.
  • The 81150A pulse function arbitrary noise generator is priced at $13,000 in a two-channel configuration.

All new products may be ordered in March 2011.

More information about the Agilent PCIe 3.0 receiver test solution is available at www.agilent.com/find/pcie_receiver_test. Photos of the solution are available at www.agilent.com/find/jbert_images.

Information about Agilent's N5393C PCIe 3.0 transmitter test solution is available at www.agilent.com/find/pciexpress

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences, electronics and communications. The company's 18,500 employees serve customers in more than 100 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $5.4 billion in fiscal 2010. Information about Agilent is available at www.agilent.com.

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