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Keysight Digital Communication Analyzer (DCA) Solutions


Keysight Digital Communication Analyzer (DCA) Solutions

Increased accuracy for wireline communications infrastructure test

Keysight Digital Communication Analyzer (DCA) Solutions

For more than 25 years, Keysight has been the leader in the sampling scope industry. We’ve designed Digital Communications Analyzer (DCA) solutions to increase the efficiency and accuracy of test. Along the way, we’ve proudly created industry-leading sampling scopes, modules, accessories and software used to test communications infrastructure from the serial I/O semiconductors to optical transceivers in modern data centers. We innovate so you stay on the leading edge.

Engineered for Unmatched Measurement Accuracy

As the market demands faster and more data, you respond by designing high-speed digital communications infrastructure components that perform nearly error-free and accommodate signals with shorter bit periods and faster edge speeds. You employ techniques such as emphasis and equalization and take great care to minimize jitter and noise impairments on signals. Built to test communications infrastructure, our DCA solution family provides industry-leading measurement accuracy for high-speed digital designs such as 800G/1.6T Ethernet and 128G Fibre Channel. The Keysight DCA platform features a wide variety of optical, electrical, and TDR/TDT modules, compliance applications, and a common FlexDCA user interface to ensure more efficient testing in both R&D and manufacturing. Keysight DCA solutions provide engineers with critical insights and data to quickly and accurately analyze complex waveforms to optimize the performance and reliability of electrical and optical system designs.

What Does a DCA Measure?

A Digital Communications Analyzer (DCA) is Keysight’s term for instruments otherwise known as sampling oscilloscopes or equivalent-time sampling oscilloscopes. Due to its superior accuracy, dedicated analysis features, and lower cost than other oscilloscope technologies, the DCA is the ideal instruments used to view the time-domain waveforms of optical and electrical transmitters used in highspeed serial communications systems.

  • Wide bandwidth in excess of 100 GHz 
  • Low noise and low jitter 
  • High vertical resolution, up to 16 bits 
  • 30 GHz configurations starting at 40K$ and 100 GHz starting at 90K$

How is Such High Performance Achieved?

A synchronization signal is essential for instrument timing which is typically achieved with a clock signal, synchronous to the signal being measured, injected into the DCA that dictates when waveform samples are taken. Synchronous triggering allows the DCA to operate with a much lower sample rate. There are two key restrictions. If the actual bit sequence is to be displayed, the data pattern must repeat to allow for multiple observations by the DCA to reconstruct the waveform. If the signal does not repeat, it can still be accurately observed as an eye-diagram. The DCA is a modular instrument, where the bandwidth, channel count, and channel type are configurable with a large family of plug-in modules. One special DCA configuration that takes advantage of the very wide instrument bandwidth is time-domain reflectometry (TDR). TDR allows for very high resolution impedance characterization of electrical digital data transmission lines. The DCA has the concept of operation ‘modes’ that provide easy to use menus to make specific classes of measurements.


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