News | January 27, 2014

Agilent Technologies Introduces TDR/TDT Solution For Accurately Characterizing Multiport 25/28/100-Gb/s Designs

Solution Resolves Magnitude, Location of Impedance Discontinuities with Unmatched Performance

Agilent Technologies Inc. recently introduced the Agilent N1055A 35/50-GHz (8-ps) time-domain reflectometry and transmission module for the Agilent 86100D DCA-X platform. The module provides fast, accurate impedance and S-parameter measurements on high-speed designs that have up to 16 ports.

On next-generation digital communication systems such as IEEE 802.3ba/bj/bm (40-Gb/100-Gb Ethernet), engineers face significant challenges, such as assessing crosstalk across many channels and controlling impedance at faster edge speeds.

The 86100D DCA-X oscilloscope mainframe can be configured with one to four N1055A TDR/TDT plug-in modules to provide a 2- to 16-channel TDR/TDT measurement system that is both economical and accurate. The 2/4 port TDR/TDT remote heads can be configured with a sampler bandwidth of 35 GHz or 50 GHz, providing single-ended and differential measurement capability, including True-Mode stimulus functionality.

"Time domain reflectometry is an intuitive and easy-to-use method for characterizing signal paths," said Jay Alexander, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Oscilloscope and Protocol Division. "But as the industry transitions to higher data rates, classic TDR measurement instruments may no longer have the performance required for new designs. Agilent's new 86100D-based TDR/TDT solution is engineered to give customers the fast and accurate impedance and S-parameter measurements they need for their next-generation designs."

Highest-Resolution TDR/TDT Measurements
High TDR resolution is essential for accurately characterizing complex high-speed structures such as connectors, interconnects and printed circuit boards that must operate at data rates to 28 Gbps and beyond. With TDR step edge speeds as fast as 8 ps and receiver bandwidths of 50 GHz, the DCA-TDR solution resolves the magnitude and location of impedance discontinuities with unmatched performance.

Fast, Accurate Multiport S-Parameters
With Agilent 86100D Option 202 enhanced impedance and S-parameter analysis software, scattering parameters (S-parameters) are generated in real time within the oscilloscope and simultaneously displayed with time domain results. The N1055A's fast rise time enables calibrated S-parameter measurements to 50 GHz and above. The high-channel-count capability of the DCA-TDR solution also helps to minimize cable reconnections and facilitate more efficient near-end crosstalk and far-end crosstalk measurements in both R&D and high-volume test applications.

World's Easiest-to-Use Solution
TDR/TDT calibration dramatically enhances measurement accuracy by removing systematic imperfections in the instrumentation as well as the impact of adapters, cables and fixtures used to connect to the DUT. The DCA-TDR solution achieves a significant breakthrough for accuracy and ease-of-use with its support for electronic calibration (ECal) modules, leveraging an advanced calibration technique originally developed for vector network analyzers and recognized as the "gold standard" in S-parameter measurements. A special Agilent N4694A DC 67-GHz ECal module was developed for the DCA-TDR to let users calibrate and de-skew channels and TDR modules quickly. The result is a fully integrated TDR/TDT/S-parameter measurement system that provides calibrated results on up to 16 channels in real-time.

Additional information about the Agilent N1055A can be found at . Product images are available at Further information about the Agilent 86100D DCA-X wide-bandwidth oscilloscope family is available at
Agilent's complete oscilloscope portfolio includes instruments with a variety of form factors and with bandwidths from 20 MHz to 90 GHz.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Agilent N1055A 35/50-GHz 2/4-port electrical remote sampling head module with TDR/TDT capability can be ordered now, with prices starting at $45,000. Complete systems, including 86100D DCA-X mainframe, start at $67,700.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences, diagnostics, electronics and communications. The company's 20,600 employees serve customers in more than 100 countries. Agilent had revenues of $6.8B in fiscal 2013. For more information, visit

On Sept. 19, 2013, Agilent announced plans to separate into two publicly traded companies through a tax-free spinoff of its electronic measurement business. The new company is named Keysight Technologies, Inc. The separation is expected to be completed in early November 2014.

SOURCE: Agilent Technologies Inc.