Skip to main content

Thunderbolt Receiver Test Solution using Signal Quality Analyzer MP1800A


Anritsu Corporation submits Thunderbolt 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. 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 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 of test signals, addition of multiple jitter types such as SJ, RJ, and SSC, 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

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

To learn more about Signal Quality Analyzer MP1800A

About Granite River Labs (GRL)

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 Corporation ( has been a provider of innovative communications solutions for more than 110 years. The company's test and measurement solutions include wireless, optical, microwave/RF and digital instruments, operations support systems and solutions that can be used during R&D, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance. Anritsu also provides precision microwave/RF components, optical devices, and high-speed devices for design into communication products and systems. With the addition of OSS monitoring solutions it has expanded its offering to provide complete solutions for existing and next-generation wireline and wireless communication systems and service providers. Anritsu sells in over 90 countries worldwide with approximately 4,000 employees.

For further information please contact: