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Keysight channel simulator features PAM-4 capability

Posted: 19 Nov 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Keysight Technologies? channel simulator? PAM-4? SerDes? EDA?

Keysight Technologies Inc. has introduced a four-level pulsed amplitude modulation (PAM-4) capability for the Keysight EEsof EDA Advanced Design System (ADS) channel simulator. The latest capability will allow system designers to use PAM-4 IBIS-AMI models within the industry standard ADS channel simulator, noted the company.

Developed in collaboration with leading PAM-4 SerDes IC vendors, the ADS channel simulator provides a trusted bit-by-bit simulation engine for PAM-4. The technology enables system designers to easily compare the various design trade-offs between non-return-to-zero (NRZ) and PAM-4 signalling technologies.

W2302EP Transient Convolution Element

W2302EP Transient Convolution Element

PAM-4 is a signalling technology utilised for high-speed SerDes links over electrical backplanes that are attempting to deliver a data rate of greater than 56Gb/s per lane. For system designers, a key challenge with PAM-4 is simulation accuracy during serial-link design. Traditional EDA software simulations only consider 2-level signalling. PAM-4 signals however, are affected by conventional impairments (e.g., jitter, noise, channel loss and inter-symbol interference) in unconventional ways; only for the resulting eye measurements to be further complicated by new receiver behaviour (three slicer thresholds, individual slicer timing skew, equalisation and clock and data recovery) introduced to minimise the symbol error rate. Accurately understanding how each of these variables influence specific design trade-offs for PAM-4 links requires a channel simulator with the ability to handle PAM-4 IBIS-AMI models from SerDes vendors.

ADS channel simulation

The ADS channel simulation enables a comparison of PAM-4 versus NRZ technology.

The ADS channel simulator with PAM-4 capability features a number of built-in measurements that can capture effects such as slicer threshold levels and how they adapt over time, timing skew for each slicer, and multi-tap decision feedback equalisation. The software's accurate measurement techniques specifically provide the symbol-error-rate contours for each PAM-4 eye.

Keysight's ADS channel simulator with support for PAM-4 will be available in the upcoming release of ADS 2016. Example PAM-4 IBIS-AMI models and simulation trial licenses are available.

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