Keysight Technologies Introduces Industry’s First Adjustable and Integrated Intersymbol Interference Capability in a BERT


New J-BERT Capability Streamlines High-Speed Digital Receiver Characterization

SANTA ROSA, Calif., Jan. 22, 2015

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS) today introduced adjustable and integrated intersymbol interference (ISI) capability for the J-BERT M8020A high-performance BERT. When engineers characterize and test high-speed digital receivers for compliance, they often need to emulate a certain channel loss. The new adjustable and programmable ISI function allows engineers to emulate channel loss. This function is integrated in each pattern generator channel of the J-BERT M8020A, which streamlines test setup by eliminating the need for external cabling and the need to switch external ISI traces.

When R&D and validation teams characterize next-generation digital designs, they face several test challenges. As data rates continuously increase, channel loss between transmitter and receiver becomes more important. The loss is caused by printed circuit board traces, connectors and cables in the signal path. This channel loss results in ISI that depends on the channel material and dimensions, the data rate and bit pattern. All high-speed digital receivers are specified to tolerate a certain amount of total jitter, which typically includes some ISI caused by channel loss. During receiver characterization and compliance test, engineers need to emulate this loss. To emulate channel loss in the past, engineers used external trace boards that required external cabling and switching, which required time-consuming setup and contributed to test complexity.

"The M8020A high-performance BERT enables fast and accurate receiver characterization and compliance testing with today's highest level of integration," said Juergen Beck, general manager and vice president of Keysight's Digital and Photonic Test Division. "With its new unique integrated and adjustable ISI capability, the M8020A sets a new standard to help engineers master the test challenges for next-generation high-speed digital designs."

The J-BERT M8020A high-performance BERT accelerates insight into digital designs. It offers fast and accurate receiver characterization for single- and multilane devices operating at data rates up to 16-Gb/s and 32-Gb/s. The built-in ISI functionality is programmable for each pattern generator channel, simplifying receiver test automation by eliminating cabling and switching of external traces for data rates up to 16-Gb/s. The new adjustable ISI option offers the following advantages:

  • Streamlines receiver test setup by providing the highest level of integration
  • Provides accurate and repeatable results for receiver characterization and compliance test by supporting a wide range of loss up to 25 dB and 16 GHz with linear loss curves and fine step resolution
  • Fits into the fully scalable and upgradeable receiver test solution with an upgrade option


More information about the Keysight J-BERT M8020A high-performance BERT is available at Photos of the solution are available at

For accurate receiver characterization, Keysight offers several complementary test instruments and software solutions: N5990A test automation software, the M8061A 32-Gb/s 2:1 multiplexer with de-emphasis, the N4877A 32-Gb/s clock data recovery with demultiplexer, the Infiniium 90000 X-Series oscilloscopes and the 86100D Infiniium DCA-X high-bandwidth oscilloscope.

Keysight will demonstrate high-speed digital test solutions, including the J-BERT M8020A, at DesignCon 2015, Booth 725, Santa Clara Convention Center, Jan. 28-29.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The J-BERT M8020A high-performance BERT with adjustable ISI option is available now. The M8020A adjustable ISI option is priced at $19,760. Customers who already own an M8020A can upgrade their instruments with the new capability, as they can with all other M8020A options.

Keysight's Digital Test Standards Program

Keysight's solutions for digital applications are driven and supported by Keysight experts who are involved in various international standards committees. Keysight experts are active in the Joint Electronic Devices Engineering Council (JEDEC), PCI Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG®), Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO), USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), Mobile Industry Processor Interface (MIPI™) Alliance, Ethernet standards (IEEE 802.3), Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) and many others. Keysight is committed to involvement in standards groups and their related workshops, plugfests and seminars to ensure the right test solutions are created to meet customers' evolving needs.
About Keysight Technologies

Keysight Technologies (NYSE:KEYS) is a global electronic measurement technology and market leader helping to transform its customers' measurement experience through innovations in wireless, modular, and software solutions. Keysight's electronic measurement instruments, systems, software and services are used in the design, development, manufacture, installation, deployment and operation of electronic equipment. The business had revenues of $2.9 billion in fiscal year 2014. Information about Keysight is available at

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Janet Smith, Americas
+1 970 679 5397
Twitter: @KeysightJSmith

Sarah Calnan, Europe
+44 (118) 927 5101

Connie Wong, Asia
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