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86100CU-400 Phase Locked Loop (PLL) and Jitter Spectrum Measurement Software

Product Status: Obsolete
This product is no longer available

Key Features & Specifications

Flexible Measurement Configuration:

  • Phase Locked Loop, Jitter Transfer/Spectrum, Phase Noise measurements
  • Device Input/Output can be Data (50Mb/s-13.5Gb/s) or Clock (25MHz-6.75GHz) signals
  • Clock Analysis, including Spread Spectrum Clocking (SSC)
  • Electrical and Optical Signals

Simple Automation:

  • Pre-Configured test setups for standards-based PLL / Jitter Transfer measurements
  • Jitter Source and Receiver are automatically configured for each test
  • Customizable test setups for automated operation
  • Test results report documents test configuration, measurement results, pass/fail status

Standards Supported:

  • PCI EXPRESS® 1.0, 1.1, and 2.0 (Gen 3.0 when available)
  • SATA


  • Instruments: Jitter Transmitter, Jitter Receiver – see below for equipment list
  • Controller: External PC or 86100C DCA-J running Microsoft® Office Excel2003/Excel2007
  • Remote Control: GPIB or LAN
  • Optional Hardware: PCI-SIG® compliance test fixtures available from 


The 86100CU-400 PLL / Jitter Transfer Analysis Software is a FREE Microsoft Excel based application that makes fast, accurate, and repeatable Phase Locked Loop (PLL) measurements using a precision jitter source and receiver. Running on an external PC, or on an 86100C DCA-J running MS Excel, the application includes pre-configured setups and automated report generation for:

  • PCI Express PLL testing, PCI-SIG approved (Gen 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0)
  • SONET/SDH PLL testing
  • PCI Express Reference Clock measurements
  • SSC modulation analysis, and more.

The key to the measurement is a high-performance differential phase detector, developed by Keysight Labs, which is an integral part of the 86108A and 83496B clock recovery circuits. The output of the phase detector is effectively the demodulated jitter of the incoming data or clock signal. Through monitoring the phase detector output, the phase noise and jitter spectrum can be observed. When combined with an accurate jitter source, precision phase PLL measurements, sometimes referred to as jitter transfer, can be made.

Complete test systems start at $48.5K USD.

Brochure: Keysight 86100CU-400 PLL and Jitter Spectrum Measurement Software


Flexible System Setup

The system can also be easily customized for unique PLL applications. Its flexible architecture can test input/outputs from 50 Mb/s to 13.5 Gb/s (data signals) and/or 25 MHz to 6.75 GHz (clock signals). Thus several classes of devices can be measured including clock extraction circuits, multiplier/dividers, and PLLs.

Depending on the device being tested, the jitter source and receiver can be any one of many commonly used lab instruments:

Jitter Receiver:

86100C DCA-J configured with any ONE of the following:

  • 86108A Precision Waveform Analyzer
  • 83496B Clock Recovery Module (optical or electrical)
  • 83496A Clock Recovery Module with Option UAB (optical or electrical)

Jitter Source:

Any ONE of the following instruments:

  • 81150A Pulse Function Arbitrary Noise Generator
  • J-BERT N4903A High-Performance Serial BERT
  • N5182A MXG RF Vector Signal Generator
  • 33250A Function Generator controlling delay line on pattern generator
    Software: Microsoft Office Excel2003 or Excel 2007


  • External PC
  • PCI-SIG® compliance test fixtures
  • 82357B USB/GPIB Interface High-Speed USB 2.0

Instrument control is made using either LAN or GPIB.

Fast and Accurate

In a matter of seconds, the system accurately characterizes PLL bandwidths of over 80MHz, a precision measurement that could take an hour or more if performed manually.

At start-up, the jitter source and receiver can be calibrated to remove any instrument non-linearities from the measurement. This calibration, which takes less than a minute to perform, ensures accurate and repeatable measurements, and provides engineers with the confidence that the system will not introduce measurement error into the results.

The software includes an industry-first collision avoidance technique to ensure the jitter source avoids testing at periodic jitter frequencies inherent in the device, resulting in precise and repeatable PLL measurements.


The 86100C DCA-J, well known for its speed, accuracy, and ease-of-use as a jitter measurement tool, also allows engineers to observe the device’s output waveform while making the PLL measurement. This ensures the PLL is being tested under the correct setup conditions; such as using the correct device pre-emphasis levels, data pattern, bias settings and data rate.

In addition to PLL measurements, the 86100CU-400 software also provides valuable insight into the root causes of jitter by making jitter spectrum/phase noise measurements on data and clock signals.

Typical Configurations

The 86100CU-400 software operates with an 86100C DCA-J and a variety of test equipment that is often found in labs and on manufacturing floors. Shown below are example configurations for basic and advanced applications:

Basic Test System:

Application: Compliance Testing - PCI Express TX PLL bandwidth and peaking
Device Configuration: PLL – clock in, data out
Jitter Source: 81150A Pulse Function Arbitrary Noise Generator
Jitter Receiver: 86100C DCA-J with 83496B-100
Controller: Microsoft Excel2003 installed on 86100C DCA-J.
Remote Control: LAN cable from 86100C to 81150A

Advanced Test System:

Applications: All. PCI Express, SATA, SONET/SDH, Repeaters, PLL Multipliers
Device Configuration: PLL – clock or data input, clock or data output
Jitter Source: J-BERT N4903A
Jitter Receiver: 86100C DCA-J with 86108A Precision Waveform Analyzer
Controller: PC running Microsoft Office Excel2007
Remote Control: 82357B USB/GPIB converter connected to 86100C and N4903A.

PCI-SIG” and the PCI SIG design marks are registered trademarks and/or service marks of PCI-SIG.
Microsoft is a U.S. registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.