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Agilent Technologies Offers 4-Tap De-Emphasis Converter, Highest Flexible SSC Injection


J-BERT Enables Robust Receiver Designs for Next-Generation, Multigigabit Serial Interfaces Such as QPI, 10GBASE-KR, SATA and USB 3

SANTA CLARA, Calif.- Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced the addition of a 4-tap de-emphasis signal converter N4916B, an ultraflexible SSC injection and a SATA ISI channel to its J-BERT N4903B high-performance serial BERT. The new capabilities enable R&D and test engineers to accurately characterize receiver ports and channels of multigigabit serial bus interfaces, such as Quickpath Interconnect (QPI), Hypertransport, PCI Express(r), DisplayPort, SerialATA, USB3, CEI, 10GBASE-KR, 40GBASE-KR and memory interfaces.

4-Tap De-emphasis Signal Converter

The de-emphasis technique is used in the transmission of digital electrical signals at gigabit data rates. De-emphasis is a signal pre-distortion to compensate for signal degradations that occur when transmitting electrical signals with gigabit rates over PC board traces, backplanes or long cables.

Agilent’s new de-emphasis signal converter, the N4916B, allows users to emulate transmitter de-emphasis with one pre- and two post-cursors, as well as individually adjust de-emphasis levels up to 12.0 dB. With its DC-coupled outputs, the signal converter tolerates even unbalanced pattern streams. The N4916B is transparent to jitter, enabling emulation of real-world de-emphasis and jitter conditions that a receiver is expected to tolerate. Agilent’s new de-emphasis signal converter can be used as front-end for J-BERT N4903A/B, ParBERT or other gigabit pattern generators.

Besides its de-emphasis capabilities, the N4916B offers a unique clock-doubling option, which enables error, jitter and eye analysis with J-BERT N4903B of transmitters using half-rate clocks.

Ultraflexible SSC Injection

The spread spectrum clocking (SSC) injection is becoming more common for high-speed interconnects. SSC modulates the operating frequency of a circuit slightly to spread its radiated emissions over a range of frequencies.

J-BERT N4903B’s SSC option now provides more flexible and arbitrary SSC injection capabilities that can be combined with sinusoidal jitter injection, helping R&D engineers emulate worst-case and real-world SSC conditions, especially for SATA, SAS and USB3 receivers.

SATA ISI Channel

The new Agilent SATA ISI Channel N4915-60001 helps R&D and test engineers easily reproduce precise SATA compliant stress conditions for the receiver stress test when used in combination with J-BERT N4903B.

“We are very proud to offer the industry’s leading jitter tolerance test solution,” said Jergen Beck, general manager of Agilent’s Digital Photonic Test product line. “By adding multitap de-emphasis, ultraflexible SSC and SATA ISI channel, we significantly simplify the accurate characterization of the next-generation of serial interfaces operating above 5 Gb/s. With this introduction we confirm our commitment to enable R&D and validation teams to release robust high-speed digital interfaces for the next generation of computer, consumer and communication devices.”

Benefits of the Agilent N4916B de-emphasis signal converter include:

* Easy-to-emulate transmitter de-emphasis with individually adjustable de-emphasis of 0.0 dB to 12.0 dB in 0.1 dB steps for one pre- and two post-cursors. Tolerates unbalanced pattern and is jitter transparent.
* Ability to optimize the receiver’s jitter budget by compensating for signal degradations caused by the test setup, cabling and test board (“de-embedding”) by using signal de-emphasis.
* Flexible usage as de-emphasis front-end for J-BERT N4903A/B, ParBERT or other gigabit pattern generators.
* Accurate eye, jitter and error analysis of half-rate clocked transmitters with J-BERT N4903B by using the clock-doubler option.

Benefits of the Agilent J-BERT N4903B Software 6.1 and SATA ISI Channel include:

* Robust receiver designs by emulating real-world SSC effects via file upload of arbitrary SSC profiles.
* Compliant SAS and SATA injection of SSC with an expanded SSC range of up to 10,000 ppm in center-spread mode, support of up-, down-, and center-spread SSC as well as new SATA ISI channel.
* Simplified setup for USB3 receiver stress test by simultaneous injection of SSC and SJ from J-BERT N4903B.

Additional information about Agilent’s N4916B and J-BERT N4903B is available at and Information about the SATA ISI channel can be found at

High resolution images of the Agilent N4916B are available at

More product images are available at

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Agilent N4916B de-emphasis signal converter with optional clock doubler is available now. Pricing starts at $39,400.

Agilent’s J-BERT N4903B software rev. 6.1 for more flexible SSC/SJ injection (Option J11) can be downloaded from at no charge.

The N4915-60001 SATA ISI Channel is available now at a price of $7,800.


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