Test & Measurement

Simulation workflow assists electrical/optic design

13th May 2020
Mick Elliott

A simulation workflow capability that seamlessly connects PathWave Advanced Design System (ADS) with VPI Design Suite from VPIphotonics has been released by Keysight Technologies.

It enables designers to predict the signal integrity of Electrical-Optical-Electrical data links.

Data centres transport vast amounts of data using electrical Ethernet connections, however with the growing demand for greater throughput, many connections are moving to optical fibre and more sophisticated modulation schemes to deliver increased capacity. 

As a result, design margins and complex equalisation are needed to maintain data link performance.

Keysight's new VPI Optical Link solution in PathWave ADS simulates and optimises design parameters concurrently in electrical and optical domains eliminating key barriers to developing high performance hardware products.

It can predict the data link BER (Bit Error Rate) and understand how electrical design choices will interplay with optical design choices to deliver a reliable system design.

"We're excited to partner with VPIphotonics to provide an industry-leading solution to the market. It seamlessly combines both of our companies' simulation domain expertise to provide a powerful and comprehensive solution to a real customer challenge," said Tom Lillig, general manager of the PathWave Software and Solution team at Keysight Technologies.

The defining technology advancement in this new solution is the electro-optical workflow which can process millions of bits in minutes for accurate BER prediction.

As a result of this rapid simulation, system architects can investigate link performance characteristics with varied fibre lengths, effects of distortion/dispersion, optical drive level, electrical transmitter and receiver equalisation settings, as well as electrical channel design including trace routing and the design of PCB vias.

"Engineers have a wide variety of constraints when developing optical interconnect solutions for intra and inter data centre applications," stated André Richter, general manager of VPIphotonics. "With this new seamless design flow linking simulations of the electronic circuits at the transceivers with simulations of the optical fibre link, we are proud to jointly deliver a unique solution that offers the investigation and optimisation of overall system performance."

The new solution will be demonstrated during Keysight's upcoming virtual seminar on May 19 2020: Registration Page for Virtual Optical Networking Innovations - Part 1

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