Technology enables highest-bandwidth oscilloscopes

03 March 2016

Keysight Technologies announced a technological breakthrough with the turn-on of chipsets that use Indium Phosphide (InP) semiconductor technology.

The new chipsets deliver real-time and equivalent-time oscilloscopes in 2017 that offer bandwidths greater than 100 GHz with better noise floors. Bandwidth is not the only major breakthrough in the new oscilloscope families. The real-time oscilloscopes will feature other key innovations, including a new 10-bit analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) that allows higher vertical resolution of signals captured at ultra-high bandwidth, and more than one maximum bandwidth input channel per oscilloscope to enable tight channel synchronisation. Keysight achieves these results with its knowledge in microwave semiconductor design and packaging, oscilloscope architecture and in-house fabrication technology.

Engineers working with next-generation, high-speed interfaces, such as the upcoming IEEE P802.3bs 400G, as well as terabit coherent optical modulation, will need oscilloscopes for electrical parametric measurements. These technologies and others will play a key role in validating fifth-generation wireless (5G) designs. These interfaces will drive the need for high-performance, real-time and equivalent-time signal analysis capabilities to 100 GHz and beyond. As data rates continue to extend beyond 56 Gb/s NRZ and 56 GBaud multi-level signaling, engineers will need not only higher bandwidth, but also higher vertical resolution and lower noise floors to address their validation challenges, both of which were in mind when designing the new chipsets.
 
Investing in the next-generation InP process has allowed Keysight to scale the transistor switching frequencies beyond the 300-GHz level, enabling higher bandwidths in both the chips and the end products. 

Dave Cipriani, vice president and general manager of Keysight’s oscilloscope business, said Keysight is investing in a completely new technology chain to meet the next-generation measurement needs of customers. The goal is to move multiple performance parameters ahead simultaneously. The next-generation oscilloscopes deliver bandwidths starting at 80 GHz and going beyond 100 GHz. They will have a lower noise density, providing higher-resolution measurements in tightly-synchronised, multi-channel systems. Whether customers are measuring higher baud rates, higher order QAM signals or multi-channel systems, these next-generation scopes should meet their needs.

This announcement comes at the start of Keysight’s Scope Month, an entire month focused on celebrating breakthrough technology and the engineers who enable it. In addition to this announcement, Scope Month (March 2016) will offer new oscilloscope measurement tips and content, access to measurement experts and daily oscilloscope giveaways.

Keysight currently offers high-performance Infiniium Z-Series oscilloscopes with bandwidths up to 63 GHz and multi-channel equivalent time oscilloscopes with bandwidths over 70 GHz. Additional information is available at Keysight oscilloscopes.


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