Work In Progress: Characterizing 224 Gbps Ethernet Interfaces

With the transition to remote work environments, and new technologies like virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI), internet infrastructure modernization projects are accelerating. This means new technologies to support infrastructure updates are also advancing rapidly. The development of these new end-to-end communication channels requires a close examination of integrated circuits (IC), printed circuit boards (PCB), connectors, and cable assemblies.

The next generation of high-speed channels (transmitter and receiver) must include proper equalization schemes and signal integrity design to achieve the necessary performance. This work includes measuring real-world signals for comparison to the channel operating margin (COM) to ensure workable design solutions.

Evaluating device under test (DUT) performance using the COM method requires at least two different measurement setups. The first setup uses an arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) connected to a sampling oscilloscope to compute the parameters need to establish COM. The second setup inserts a DUT between the AWG and sampling scope to evaluate channel performance. Another measurement setup aspect for consideration is the required bandwidth of the S-parameters used in COM. The frequency limits of the S-parameters are directly impacted by such things as vector network analyzer (VNA) band, connector types, and cabling.

Ultimately, groups continue to work on applying the COM method to data rates above 200 Gbps. To learn more about Keysight's work in this area, and to see a solution for characterizing 224 Gbps Ethernet interfaces, read Exploring the Requirements for 224 Gbps Channel Characterization Using Simulations and Measurements.