Traditionally, the challenges presented by these vastly differing requirements would have been addressed by using discrete instruments to handle the different test environments of each application sector. Now, however, all-in-one solutions are emerging that will carry out accurate measurements on next-generation high-speed electronic and optical devices – including the optical transceivers and modules used in high-end servers and communications equipment for M2M and IoT applications.
Typical of these solutions is the system shown in Figure 2, which is based on a high-performance bit error rate tester (BERT) that can accurately evaluate high-speed interface designs during the early development stage. This instrument can measure the performance of network-side interfaces at speeds of 400 GbE, 200 GbE, and 100 GbE, as well as internal PCI Express bus interfaces, to help speed design evaluation times and lower the overall cost of test.
It now becomes possible to address all the emerging test requirements for the telecoms, data centre and storage network sectors, plus high-speed serial Bus segments, on the same multichannel platform. This uses a modular approach combining a mainframe unit with plug-in modules that support multiple applications via a range of both hardware and software options, leading to a solution that offers flexibility over time and support for long-term users’ return on investment.