Keysight Technologies Introduces PAM-4 Support on M8000 Series BER Test Solutions


Engineers Can Efficiently Characterize Receivers with PAM-4 Coding and Built-In Error Counters

SANTA ROSA, Calif., July 28, 2015

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS) today expanded its PAM-4 measurement solutions with support for PAM-4 data formats and built-in error counters on the M8000 Series BER test solutions. PAM-4 support and the ability to integrate a device's built-in error counter helps R&D and test engineers characterize and test high-speed digital receivers for the data-center networking, storage and computer industries.

R&D and validation teams characterizing next-generation digital designs face several test challenges. With data rates continuously increasing, emerging data center standards like OIF CEI and IEEE 802.3 Ethernet are moving to PAM-4 multilevel signaling formats. In addition, many ASIC designs now use built-in self-test (BIST) capabilities such as built-in error counters. Engineers can typically access the error-count information only through vendor-specific interfaces and remote commands.

"The M8000 Series is a highly integrated BER test solution for digital receiver characterization and compliance testing,” said Juergen Beck, general manager and vice president of Keysight's Digital and Photonic Test Division. "With support for PAM-4 and built-in error counters from a common user interface, we are helping engineers overcome their test challenges with next-generation high-speed digital designs.”

The M8000 Series BER test solution accelerates insight into digital designs with fast and accurate receiver characterization for single- and multilane devices. It consists of AXIe-based high-performance BERT and arbitrary waveform generator modules that are controlled from common user interface software. Using the M8070A system software, rev., for the M8000 Series, engineers can now:

  • Generate PAM-4 patterns up to 32 Gbaud symbol rate (corresponds to a 64 Gbit/s bit rate) and up to 4 channels with the M8195A arbitrary waveform generator, and NRZ patterns with the J-BERT M8020A high-performance BERT from a common user interface
  • Accelerate test efficiency by integrating access to built-in error counters and device status registers from the M8000 user interface via IronPython scripts

For accurate PAM-4 device characterization and simulation, Keysight offers several complementary test instruments and software solutions. These solutions include the J-BERT M8020A, M8195A arbitrary waveform generator, N5990A test automation software, M8062A 32-Gb/s BERT front end, Infiniium Z-Series oscilloscopes and 86100D Infiniium DCA-X high-bandwidth oscilloscope with Option 9FP. Also included is the N8827A PAM-4 analysis software for Infiniium real-time oscilloscopes and Advanced Design System electronic design automation tools.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The M8070A PAM-4 and built-in error counters option for the device-under-test control interface is available now. A transportable perpetual license is priced at $5,800. Existing M8020A or M8195A customers can upgrade their instruments to the new capability.

Additional Information

More information about Keysight's M8000 Series BER test solution is available at Images of the solution are available at

More information about Keysight's PAM-4 design and test solutions is available at

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 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
+852 3197-7818