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M8196A 92 GSa/s Arbitrary Waveform Generator

Data Sheets

Keysight Technologies

M8196A 92 GSa/s Arbitrary Waveform Generator

M8196A at a Glance

The Keysight Technologies, Inc. M8196A arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) has the highest sample rate and the widest bandwidth in its class with up to four synchronized channels operating simultaneously on one module.

–Sample rate up to 92 GSa/s (on up to 4 channels simultaneously)

–Analog bandwidth: 32 GHz (typical)

–8 bits vertical resolution

–512 kSa of waveform memory per channel

–1, 2, or 4 differential channels per 1-slot AXIe module (number of channels is software upgradeable)

–Amplitude up to 1 Vpp(se) (2 Vpp(diff.)), voltage window –1.0 to +2.5 V

–t rise/fall (20%/80%) < 9 ps (typical)

–Ultra-low intrinsic jitter

–Built-in frequency and phase response calibration for clean output signals

Coherent Optical Applications

200G, 400G and 1 Terabit applications demand a new class of generators that provide high speed, precision and flexibility at the same time.

The M8196A is also ideally suited to address multi-level/multi-channel interfaces using any standard or custom data format, such as PAM-n (n = 3,4,5,…). The M8196A supports pattern lengths up to PRBS 215-1 and baud rates up to 64 GBaud, including the necessary parameter changes, such as variable transition times, various pulse-shaping filters, adding distortions, and will also generate PAM-n signals with non-equidistant voltage levels.

With up to 4 channels per 1-slot AXIe module, each running at up to 92 GSa/s with 32 GHz of analog bandwidth, it allows dual polarization testing in a small form factor and the generation of complex signals with multiple modulation schemes (PAM-4,PAM-8, QPSK, nQAM) up to an outstanding speed of 64 GBaud and beyond.

Compensation for distortions generated e.g. by cables and amplifiers can be realized by embedding/de-embedding the S-parameters of the respective circuits or by performing an in-situ calibration using the Keysight Technologies vector signal analysis software.

Combined with the 81195A optical modulation generator software, the M8196A makes it easy to generate optical impairments (e.g. PMD) for stressing the optical receiver over multiple test scenarios.

Multi-Level/Multi-Channel Digital Signals

The M8196A is also ideally suited to address multi-level/multi-channel interfaces using any standard or custom data format, for example high-speed backplane connections using PRBS pattern, can reach a pattern size upto 1x10-13. Other pattern methodology also available such as PAM-4 or PAM-8 format, as well as technologies in the mobile application space.

The flexibility of the waveform generation at its highest speeds, combined with excellent intrinsic jitter performance makes the M8196A a truly future-proof instrument.

At data rates of multiple Gb/s, the effect of cables, board traces, and connectors etc. has to be taken into account in order to generate the desired signal at the test point of the device under test. The M8196A incorporates digital pre-distortion techniques for frequency- and phase-response compensation of the AWG output and any external circuit to generate the desired signal at the device under test. Channels can be embedded/de-embedded if the S-parameters of the respective circuits are provided.

In conjunction with the 81195A optical modulation generator software various kinds of distortions can be added to the signal.

The M8196A is now fully integrated into the M8070A BER System controller software. With its high channel density, it is well suited as an affordable pattern generator for multi-lane high-speed interfaces or as SI/RI source in conjunction with M8020A/M8040A.

Physics, Chemistry and Electronics Research

With the M8196A AWG it is possible to generate any arbitrary waveform you can mathematically describe and download it directly to the M8196A. This includes ultra-short yet precise pulses down to 20 ps pulse width or extremely short, yet wideband RF pulses and chirps which are needed to investigate in live time chemical reactions and elementary particle excitation.



The warranted performance of a calibrated instrument that has been stored for a minimum of two hours within the operating temperature range of 0 to 40°C and after a 45-minute warm-up period. All specifications include measurement uncertainty and were created in compliance with ISO-17025 methods.

Typical (typ)

The characteristic performance, which 80% or more of manufactured instruments will meet. This data is not warranted, does not include measurement uncertainty, and is valid only at room temperature (approximately 23°C).

Nominal (nom)

The mean or average characteristic performance, or the value of an attribute that is determined by design such as a connector type, physical dimension, or operating speed.

This data is not warranted and is measured at room temperature (approximately 23°C).

Measured (meas)

An attribute measured during development for purposes of communicating the expected performance. This data is not warranted and is measured at room temperature (approximately 23°C).


Represents the traceable accuracy of a specified parameter. Includes measurement error and timebase error, and calibration source uncertainty.


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