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Thunderbolt Receiver Test Solution using Signal Quality Analyzer MP1800A


Anritsu Corporation (President Hirokazu Hashimoto) submits Thunderbolt*1 Receiver Test Solution GRL-TBT3-RXA calibration and receiver test software developed in cooperation with Granite River Labs (GRL) for use with Anritsu’s Signal Quality Analyzer MP1800A series at Q1 ‘16 Thunderbolt Plugfest in Taiwan.

GRL starts sales of the GRL-TBT3-RXA software on March 7th, 2016.

Using this test solution supports calibration of the complex test signals required for evaluating Thunderbolt devices to lighten the workload of test engineers.

[Development Background]

Data traffic is increasing explosively due to the spread of smartphones, mobile terminals and 4k video streaming. Achieving high-speed, large-capacity data transfers requires technologies for speeding-up networks and devices, as well as faster interfaces between high-end computers and peripherals. The receiver test for PHY devices*2 using high-speed interfaces uses a stressed signal with added transmission loss, jitter, etc., to assure compatible connectivity. The next-generation Thunderbolt 3 standard increases the bit rate per lane to 20.625 Gbit/s, which requires even higher precision calibration and measurement.

Calibration of receiver test signals uses complex procedures to control multiple parameters, including Emphasis control*3 of test signals, addition of multiple jitter types such as SJ, RJ, and SSC*4, and addition of common-mode noise, etc. Additionally, at device verification, it is important to control these functions within a specified range assuring good reproducibility.

Consequently, reducing the complexity of test signal calibration at receiver tests not only requires automated control in accordance with test specifications, but also requires measuring instruments with assured excellent reproducible performance for bit error rate measurements, low intrinsic jitter and noise, high input sensitivity, etc.

Anritsu and GRL are releasing this new solution to meet these test needs by automating complex test signal calibration.

[Test Solution Outline]

This receiver test solution uses a combination of the MP1800A, noise-generating signal source, and real-time oscilloscope controlled by the GRL-TBT3-RXA software to lighten the workload of test engineers by automating calibration of complex test signals for jitter tolerance testing.

Additionally, the MP1800A is a wideband BERT with good performance including excellent waveform quality and input sensitivity, supporting not only high-reproducibility Thunderbolt receiver tests, but also evaluation of high-speed serial interfaces, such as 100GbE, InfiniBand, etc.

This new solution combining the GRL-TBT3-RXA software and MP1800A hardware simplifies receiver test calibration for jitter tolerance tests with good reproducibility to improve device evaluation efficiency.

´╝╗GRL-TBT3-RXA Software Features´╝Ż

  • Calibration of high-reproducibility test signals for receiver testing
  • Interface for easy setting of measurement conditions and testing
  • PDF format reporting function

[Details of MP1800A]


*1 Thunderbolt
One bus standard for connecting computers and peripheral devices.

*2 PHY Device
Physical-layer device; device converting logic signals to actual electrical signals at interface, such as Ethernet card.

*3 Emphasis Control
One digital transmission technology for emphasizing high level side of signal depending on attenuation characteristics of transmission path.

Abbreviations for Jitter types classified according to generation source and characteristics.
SJ: Sinusoidal Jitter
RJ: Random Jitter; wide and unbounded with width mimicking normal distribution.
SSC: Abbreviation for Spread Spectrum Clocking; technology for adding jitter to reference Clock signal to alleviate electromagnetic interference (EMI).

About Granite River Labs

Granite River Labs (GRL) provides end-to-end Engineering Services and Test Solutions to help hardware engineers adopt high speed interfaces. A trusted partner of up-and-coming hardware developers to some of the largest companies in the world, GRL combines recognized industry experts, high performance test equipment, and automated test solutions. For more information, please visit us at

About Anritsu

Anritsu Company is the United States subsidiary of Anritsu Corporation, a global provider of innovative communications test and measurement solutions for 120 years. Anritsu’s “2020 VISION” philosophy engages customers as true partners to help develop wireless, optical, microwave/RF, and digital solutions for R&D, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance applications, as well as multidimensional service assurance solutions for network monitoring and optimization. Anritsu also provides precision microwave/RF components, optical devices, and high-speed electrical devices for communication products and systems. The company develops advanced solutions for 5G, M2M, IoT, as well as other emerging and legacy wireline and wireless communication markets. With offices throughout the world, Anritsu has approximately 4,000 employees in over 90 countries.

For further information please contact:

Anritsu Pte Ltd
11, Chang Charn Road
#04-01 Shriro House
Singapore 159640
Tel : 65-62822400
Fax :65-62822533
Contact Us for more information.

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