Test solution meets PCI 5th generation standards

Posted By : Mick Elliott

A comprehensive transmitter (Tx) and receiver (Rx) testing solution providing the speed and margins needed to meet the Peripheral Component Interconnect or PCIExpress 5.0 technology (PCIe Gen5) standard has been introduced by Keysight Technologies.

With many 5G wireless devices reported to launch in 2019, the computer/server industry is actively working to upgrade and enhance network speed with advanced technologies such as 400G Ethernet. 

PCI Express 5.0 technology is required for computer servers to support the bandwidth of 400G networks, as it is the only significant input/output (I/O) interconnect that has the throughput necessary to support the 400G interface.

Designing integrated circuits and systems utilising this version of the PCIe standard presents significant engineering challenges for developers. 

Keysight's PCIe 5.0 transmitter and receiver solution enables engineers with the tools necessary to achieve the speed and margins required to meet the standard, with upgradability for future investment protection.

"Data centres need to be upgraded to the next 400G speed rates for operators to offer new services, while preserving quality, meeting the ever-increasing data and storage demands, and minimising costs," said Dr. Joachim Peerlings, vice president and general manager of Keysight's Networks and Data Centres.  "Physical layer transmitter and receiver test tools capable of testing at 32GT/s enable designers to optimise their transmitter, receiver, and channel designs for maximum performance and reliability at the required increased data transfer rate."

The test solution enables the design and validation of circuits capable of tolerating significantly attenuated signals at 32 GT/s. 

PCIe 5.0 utilises aggressive equalisation techniques helping the receiver restore the quality of the transmitted signal, allowing for error-free recovery of the digital information from the PCIe Tx signal. 

Due to these high data transfer rates, PCIe 5.0 receivers must accept a heavily degraded signal resulting from the channel's high-frequency loss characteristics, resulting in unacceptable bit error ratios (BERs). 

To address this, Keysight has developed the M8040A High Performance 64GBaud BERT, enabling physical layer characterisation and compliance testing, to characterise receiver performance margins on the physical layer.

In addition, the increase in digital transmission speed and throughput introduce significant signal integrity challenges such as issues with connector crosstalk and receiver jitter sensitivity, driving the need for an accurate oscilloscope and receiver test solution. 

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