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Agilent Technologies Introduces 28 Gb/s Multiplexer for J-BERT, ParBERT


New Tool Enables Accurate Characterization of Next-Generation Serial Interfaces, Optimizing Design Margins

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced the N4876A 2:1 Multiplexer, extending the generator data rate of the J-BERT N4903B and ParBERT 81250A up to 28 Gb/s. Design and test engineers in the semiconductor, communications, storage, and computing industries now can accurately characterize the next generation of serial interfaces to optimize their design margins. The first public showing of the N4876A is January 20 at the Fiber Optics Expo 2010, Agilent Booth EAST 1-43.

New SERDES physical interconnects, electrical interconnects in backplanes, and communication or storage networks will operate at data rates far beyond 12.5 Gb/s. For example, the Optical Internetworking Forum defined that Common Electrical I/O backplanes operate at data rates between 19.9 and 28 Gb/s; IEEE 802.3ba, 100GBASE-LR4, and -ER4 are operating at 25.78125 Gb/s; and 32x Fibre Channel is expected to operate at 28.05 Gb/s. Designing and characterizing the physical layer performance of receivers and transmitters for these bit rates will require new test equipment capabilities. Agilent’s 2:1 Multiplexer doubles the pattern generator data rate by multiplexing two generator channels. The Multiplexer extends the variable generator data rate of J-BERT N4903B up to 28.4 Gb/s and of ParBERT 81250A up to 27.0 Gb/s. To enable multiplexing on J-BERT, a second channel option of N4903B is available.

The Multiplexer allows accurate characterization by providing excellent output signal performance with variable output amplitudes up to 1.8 Vpp; transition times of less than 20 ps (20%-80%); and intrinsic jitter of less than 1 ps rms. However, for jitter tolerance testing of receivers, the Multiplexer is transparent to jitter coming from J-BERT or ParBERT.

When used together with the Agilent 86100C Infiniium DCA-J oscilloscope, the Agilent BERTs with the 28 Gb/s Multiplexer provides the most accurate characterization, enabling transmitter quality and receiver robustness.

“We are very proud to expand the industry’s leading BERT solutions to the next speed class,” said Jürgen Beck, general manager of Agilent’s Digital Photonic Test product line. “By expanding the data rate range of our BERTs up to 28 Gb/s, we offer R&D and validation teams an affordable upgrade path without compromising our world-class performance. We are committed to enable R&D teams release the next generation of robust high-speed digital interfaces for the communication, storage and computer industry.”

Benefits of the Agilent N4876A Multiplexer include:

* accurate characterization by generating pattern streams with variable data rates up to 28.4 Gb/s and excellent signal quality;
* small size front-end box that can be located closely to the device under test allowing for the shortest possible signal cables;
* emulation of stress conditions with calibrated jitter coming from the J-BERT;
* flexible front-end box, which extends the data rate of the ParBERT or J-BERT configuration as a pure generator or as a full BERT; and
* affordable front-end that can be added to existing Agilent’s J-BERT N4903A /B or 81250A ParBERT setups.

Benefits of the second channel option of Agilent J-BERT N4903B include:

* easy user-pattern setup, including PRBS and pattern sequences, on J-BERT’s auxiliary data output;
* increased test flexibility with J-BERT’s auxiliary data output channel, including multiplexing to higher data rates, control signal for sequence triggering, cross-talk testing, or when using external channel addition, emulating 3-level signals or 2-tap de-emphasis, etc.; and
* options that can be upgraded now or later.

Additional information about Agilent’s N4876A is available at High-resolution images are available at

Additional information about Agilent’s J-BERT N4903B and the new second channel option is available at

Additional information about Agilent’s ParBERT 81250A is available at

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Agilent 28 Gb/s N4876A Multiplexer can be ordered starting in March 2010 and is priced at $39,500.

The Agilent J-BERT N4903B Option 002 “pattern and PRBS on auxiliary data output” can be ordered starting in March 2010. Pricing for the Agilent Option 002 is $24,800.
About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world’s premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company’s 17,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $4.5 billion in fiscal 2009. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at


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