Who Says 400G Coherent Test Equipment is Always Expensive and Bulky?

Blog Post created by stmichel Employee on Sep 5, 2017

#Optical coherent transmission, initially used in long-haul transmission, is getting deployed in #metro networks, and is expected to make its way to #data center interconnects. Each product generation increases transmission speed by moving to higher symbol rates and higher-order #QAM constellations. Today’s 100G systems that use quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK) at 32 GBd will evolve to 400G by doubling both the bits per symbol and the symbol rate, i.e., using 16-state quadrature amplitude modulation (16QAM) at #64 GBd.


At the same time, the industry strives to reduce size, cost, and power consumption of the transceiver hardware. The higher complexity of the transmission schemes combined with the new challenges that result from the dense electronic and photonic integration leads to tighter requirements and lower performance margins for all the components as well as the assembled transceivers. To achieve this, more testing is required during development, NPI and production.

 M8290A Optical Modulation Analyzer and High-speed Digitizer Test Solution

The new M8290A rack-mountable modular coherent test system for the AXIe platform is designed to address the 400G speed class in a significantly narrower form factor and a more attractive price point than today’s oscilloscope-based solutions for this speed class.


For coherent transmitter and receiver testing, the optical modulation analyzer module M8292A and the #digitizer module M8296A fill the gap between the compact and affordable N4392A integrated #optical modulation analyzer for 100G and the real-time oscilloscope-based N4391A optical modulation analyzer supporting speed classes of 400G, 600G and Terabit per second.


The novel compact and modular approach makes the M8290A an ideal system for coherent transmitter qualification and debugging using error vector magnitude (#EVM) and related parameters as well as for component characterization like #ICR, #PMQ or even fully assembled #CFPx-ACO modules. The concept addresses the needs of development teams, new product introduction (NPI) groups and production test engineers, looking for compact and affordable test equipment for 400G . The M8290A modular coherent test solution provides the flexibility and scalability to choose an optical module for characterizing transmitter components and/or an electrical module for characterizing receiver components. In the same platform, it is further possible to add one of Keysight’s high-speed arbitrary waveform generators to combine timulus and response testing in one AXIe mainframe. This makes the M8290A an optimal combination of compactness, affordability sand performance that cannot be achieved with current oscilloscope-based solutions in this speed class.


Experience the solution live at ECOC.