TRADE NEWS: Agilent Technologies Introduces Enhanced Solution for PCI Express® 3.0 Receiver Characterization J-BERT N4903B

  TRADE NEWS: Agilent Technologies Introduces Enhanced Solution for PCI
  Express® 3.0 Receiver Characterization J-BERT N4903B Handles PCIe® 3.0 SKP
  Ordered Set Length Changes During Receiver Characterization

Business Wire

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- January 28, 2013

AgilentTechnologies Inc. (NYSE:A) today announced an enhanced solution for
PCI Express^® 3.0 receiver characterization, at DesignCon.

The Agilent PCIe^® 3.0 receiver characterization solution provides complete
and accurate receiver tolerance test results while minimizing R&D effort. The
new J-BERT software (revision 7.40) enables testing of PCIe 3.0 receiver
designs that adjust the length of the 128b/130b encoded filler symbols—also
known as SKP ordered sets—as needed for clock compensation.

Using the Agilent test set, design and test engineers in the semiconductor and
computer industry can accurately characterize and verify standard compliance
of PCIe receiver ports in ASICs, add-in cards and motherboards.

Since the release of revision 3.0 of the PCI Express specification, the 8-GT/s
interface has been designed into many computer platforms. A common reference
clock often is used for PCIe designs, but more and more designs now require a
separate reference clock architecture with independent spread spectrum
clocking (SSC) such as a PCIe-over-cable link. When designers use separate
reference clocks, they need to compensate for small differences in the clock
rate on the transmitter and receiver sides to avoid buffer overflow. Clock
compensation can be required even for common reference clock designs on
motherboards, in the presence of SSC or when using multiplying phase-locked
loops. The PCI Express standard requires this compensation to be accomplished
by adding SKP symbols to (or removing them from) the nominal SKP ordered set.

Agilent’s new J-BERT N4903B high-performance serial bit-error ratio tester
software enables receiver testing in cases where the SKP ordered set length is
changed by the device under test in loopback mode. The J-BERT error detector
can now ignore SKP ordered sets when counting errors, even when they deviate
from the original length sent out by the pattern generator. When engineers
debug their designs, they can monitor SKP ordered set counters in the error

“For PCIe 3.0 chipset and board designers, our solution’s ability to handle
adjustments of PCIe 3.0 SKP ordered sets during receiver jitter tolerance
characterization fills a critical need,” said Michael Fleischer-Reumann,
strategic product planner for Agilent’s Digital Photonic Test Division. “The
flexible architecture of our J-BERT, along with our long expertise in PCI
Express receiver testing, allowed us, once again, to address emerging test

With this enhancement, Agilent continues to broaden its complete and accurate
PCIe 3.0 receiver test solution, which can be used for characterizing against
the base specification as well as the card-electro-mechanical specification.

The Agilent receiver test solution encompasses the J-BERT N4903B
high-performance serial BERT, the N4916B de-emphasis signal converter, the
N4915A-014 PCIe 3.0-compliant calibration channels, the 81150A or 81160A pulse
function arbitrary noise generator, an Infiniium 90000 or 90000 X-Series
high-performance oscilloscope, and N5990A-101 and N5990A-301 test automation
and link training software. For motherboard testing, the N4880A reference
clock multiplier is available.

Benefits of the Agilent PCIe 3.0 receiver characterization solution include:

  *Support for PCIe receiver testing with both common and separate reference
    clocks by the ability to count errors while ignoring SKP ordered set
    length changes.
  *Accurate and repeatable receiver test results enabled by stress
    calibration software, adjustable pre- and post-cursor de-emphasis,
    J-BERT’s built-in PCIe 3.0-compliant jitter and sinusoidal interference
    sources, periodic jitter-sweep functionality, a 100-MHz reference clock
    multiplier and PCIe 3.0-compliant calibration channels.
  *Higher R&D efficiency enabled by PCIe 3.0 stress calibration and receiver
    test automation software and the PCIe 3.0 link-training suite, which
    controls J-BERT’s pattern sequencer to bring the device under test into
    loopback mode.
  *Investment protection enabled by using Agilent instruments that can be
    repurposed for accurate characterization for multiple gigabit test
    applications, such as USB, SATA, MIPI M-PHY, TBT and QPI.

Agilent will demonstrate its enhanced PCI Express 3.0 receiver
characterization solution at DesignCon 2013, Jan. 28-31, at the Santa Clara
Convention Center, Booth 201. Agilent offers a wide selection of high-speed
digital solutions, including essential tools to pinpoint problems, optimize
devices and deliver results for design and simulation.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

J-BERT software revision 7.40 is available now as a free download from To use PCIe 3.0 SKP ordered set handling, the
N4903B J-BERT must have the SER/FER analysis option N4903B-A02/-UA2 installed.

More information about the Agilent PCIe 3.0 receiver test solution is
available at Photos of the solution
are available at

Information about Agilent’s complete portfolio of PCI Express transmitter,
receiver and channel test solutions is available at

Agilent’s Digital Test Standards Program

Agilent Digital Test Standards Program experts are involved in various
international standards committees, including the Joint Electronic Devices
Engineering Council, PCI-SIG®, Video Electronics Standards Association, Serial
ATA International Organization, Serial Attached SCSI (T10), USB-Implementers
Forum, MIPI Alliance, Ethernet standards (IEEE 802.3), Optical Internetworking
Forum and many others. Agilent’s involvement in these standards groups enables
the company to bring the right solutions to market when customers need them.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world’s premier measurement company
and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences, diagnostics,
electronics and communications. The company’s 20,500 employees serve customers
in more than 100 countries. Agilent had revenues of $6.9 billion in fiscal
2012. Information about Agilent is available at

PCIe, PCI Express and PCI-SIG are U.S. registered trademarks of PCI-SIG.

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Agilent Technologies Inc.
Janet Smith, +1-970-679-5397 (Americas)
Twitter: @JSmithAgilent
Sarah Calnan, +44 (118) 927 5101 (Europe)
Iris Ng, +852 31977979 (Asia)
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