Keysight teams with Kandou Bus on high speed Chord links

Keysight teams with Kandou Bus on high speed Chord links

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Keysight Technologies has added the high speed Chord signaling technology developed by Swiss startup Kandou Bus to its test equipment to characterise transmitter and receiver designs.

IDC predicts that by 2025 data centres will handle more than 175 zettabytes of data generated around the world per year. As a result, data centres are evolving from using 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GE) data speeds to 400GE and beyond. This requires moving from Non-Return to Zero (NRZ) to new modulation technologies such as four-level Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM4), or alternatively the use of Chord signaling. Chord signaling is a multi-wire signaling approach that is a generalization of differential signaling.

“Keysight is performing a pivotal role in helping the industry advance the use of Chord signaling in high-speed digital applications, unlocking new capabilities in electronic devices and systems,” said Dr. Joachim Peerlings, general manager of Keysight’s networks and data centers segment. “Our collaboration with Kandou is a great example of how Keysight’s first to market solutions accelerate at the pace of innovation, enabling engineers to address complex design challenges and meet market demands.”

Keysight’s transmitter test system uses the multi-channel N1000A DCA-X wide-bandwidth oscilloscope and the recently introduced N1010100A FlexDCA R&D software to decode and analyze Chord signaling applications that use groups of correlated signals such as CNRZ-5 (5 bits on 6 correlated wires) and ENRZ (3 bits on 4 correlated wires). Together with Keysight’s M8100 Series Arbitrary Waveform Generator (AWG), users can generate the multi-wire encoded waveforms for receiver tests.

“Our close collaboration with Keysight has enabled us to accelerate development and deployment of Kandou’s Chord signaling technology, which can deliver faster, more dense and lower power interconnects compared to PAM4 and NRZ technologies,” said Dr. Amin Shokrollahi, founder and CEO of Kandou Bus. 

Next: Adding Chord testing 

“The availability of Chord Signaling on their sampling scopes and Arbitrary Waveform Generators (AWG’s) means potential users of our technology can use these devices in tandem, and their preferred communication channel in the middle, to study the Signal Integrity of our ENRZ or CNRZ-5 coding on their real channels.”

Chord is designed for reducing power consumption and improving the performance of devices in routers, servers, mobile phones and satellites. It can also be used to support USB4 high-speed digital connections as well as 400GE applications.;


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