Microwave Journal

LeCroy announces world’s fastest real-time oscilloscope

April 25, 2012

LeCroy Corp. announces the extension of its LabMaster 10 Zi product line to 65 GHz, from a previously-announced 60 GHz, and unveils a roadmap to provide 100 GHz of real-time bandwidth in the LabMaster 10 Zi platform. The improvement to 65 GHz is made possible by outstanding results achieved with 8HP SiGe chipsets. The world’s first 100 GHz real-time oscilloscope using LeCroy’s patented Digital Bandwidth Interleave™ (DBI) technology will be available in calendar year 2013. This technology is used in LeCroy’s current product lines to achieve 45 GHz real-time bandwidth, and has been supplied to customers since 2010.

LeCroy’s silicon bandwidth advantage is due to years of accumulated experience with widely adopted, mainstream, commercial SiGe processes. LeCroy uses 8HP SiGe, the most recently available process, to obtain 36 GHz on four channels. LeCroy’s 65 GHz model and 100 GHz plans are implemented with LeCroy’s patented and proven technology path, DBI. Furthermore, LeCroy’s proprietary ChannelSync™  architecture in the LabMaster 10 Zi oscilloscopes permits precise synchronization of up to 80 silicon-based 36 GHz / 80 GS/s channels and up to 40 65 GHz /160 GS/s DBI channels – capability not offered by any other manufacturer – with a future 100 GHz upgrade path.

Modular Oscilloscope Platform Enhances Usage

The LabMaster modular oscilloscope architecture separates the oscilloscope signal acquisition function from the display, control, and processing functions. The LabMaster Master Control Module (MCM-Zi) contains the display, controls, ChannelSync architecture, and a powerful server-class CPU. LabMaster 10 Zi Acquisition Modules provide silicon-based 36 GHz performance with up to 65 GHz on two channels (and future upgrade to 100 GHz on one channel). One LabMaster 10 Zi Master Control Module and one LabMaster 10 Zi Acquisition Module function as a single, conventional four-channel 36 GHz oscilloscope, or as a conventional two-channel 65 GHz and four-channel 36 GHz oscilloscope. However, by using LeCroy’s ChannelSync architecture, up to 20 LabMaster 10 Zi Acquisition Modules can be perfectly synchronized, thus extending the already unique channel density performance by a factor of 20 to achieve up to 80 channels at 36 GHz and 40 channels at 65 GHz. A newly announced expansion module for LabMaster oscilloscopes provides the capability to quadruple the total number of acquisition modules and channels compared to before.

The LabMaster ChannelSync architecture advantages are numerous. There is a single sample clock and trigger circuit utilized by all acquisition modules to provide the highest acquisition precision possible for up to 80 channels. The modular design is “plug-and-play,” so no programming, external clocking, clock synchronization, or complex connections between oscilloscopes are required. There is a single display and a single server-class (12-core) central processing unit (CPU) in the MCM-Zi Master Control Module. All acquired channels and processed waveforms from all acquisition modules are displayed in one location, for ease of use and understanding of information – just like in a single, conventional oscilloscope. The entire connection and setup of multiple oscilloscope acquisition modules, including fine deskew calibration, takes approximately five to ten minutes.

28 Gb/s True-Hardware Serial Trigger Adds to LabMaster 10 Zi Superiority

LeCroy is announcing a 28 Gb/s – the world’s highest speed – serial pattern trigger with support for up to 80-bit non-return to zero (NRZ) serial patterns, 8b/10b and 64b/66b symbols, and PCI Express Generation 3.0 protocol. This is in addition to the previously announced 14.1 Gb/s serial trigger with identical NRZ, symbol and protocol support. Both of these are true-hardware FPGA-based triggers that provide real-time monitoring of the acquisition stream and capture specific serial data traffic as defined by the user. This trigger significantly enhances the value of LabMaster 10 Zi for high-speed serial data debugging by providing the ability to isolate errors to specific bit patterns or symbols. It is more sophisticated and useful compared to a “software-trigger” provided by other manufacturers.

Multi-Lane Serial Data Analysis and Crosstalk/Noise Analysis

At DesignCon 2012 in Santa Clara, California, LeCroy previewed the ability to display eye diagrams, histograms, bathtub curves, jitter measurements, etc. on four lanes simultaneously with reference/compare capability. Additionally, the crosstalk/analysis application package was previewed. These capabilities have been beta-tested and will be available to customers in July of 2012. These capabilities are ideally suited to engineers testing four lanes of electrical serial data, such as 40 GbE (4 x 10 Gb/s) or 100 GbE (4 x 25 or 28 Gb/s) and who need the ability to visually assess multiple lanes simultaneously for crosstalk infringement, measure amplitude noise at specific sampling points in the unit interval, and then perform subsequent analysis on crosstalk root cause. A LeCroy LabMaster 10 Zi system with four channels at 65 GHz (two acquisition modules) will provide the ability to view two lanes simultaneously using cabled inputs and capture serial data signals with power spectral density to nearly the fifth harmonic, or use eight channels at 36 GHz to capture all four lanes for detailed crosstalk analysis.

Optical Transmission Using Coherent MIMO

While DP-QPSK and 16-QAM modulation formats have garnered most of the research investments for optical transmission in the past few years, parallel optical systems, such as frequency-parallel coherent optical super-channels or spatially-parallel coherent optical multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) systems have been gaining attention due to their ability to scale fiber capacities and to obtain higher transmission rates with lower-speed components. In recent MIMO experiments done at Bell Labs, a LabMaster 9 Zi-A modular oscilloscope with 12 channels was utilized to demonstrate a mode-multiplexed 6 x 20-GBaud QPSK transmission (240-Gb/s per wavelength channel) up to 4200 km. The results were honored with post-deadline paper acceptance at OFC/NFOEC in Los Angeles, California in March 2012.

Toward Terabit/second Interface Rates in Optics

Other researchers at Bell Labs have also used LabMaster oscilloscopes for record-breaking QPSK and 16-QAM research at data rates approaching 1 Tb/s, most recently a 640-Gb/s single-channel line rate using 80-GBaud PDM-16QAM.

“LabMaster oscilloscopes have played a key role in our research at Bell Labs. In our coherent MIMO experiments, the modular oscilloscope system synchronizes all 12 high-speed channels for us, which significantly facilitates our experiments,” commented Dr. Peter Winzer from Bell Labs. “We appreciate the support that LeCroy has provided to us in our efforts to approach Terabit/second single-carrier interface rates, based on their family of high-bandwidth oscilloscope systems.”  

LabMaster 10 Zi Pricing and Delivery

The 65 GHz LabMaster 10 Zi acquisition module is priced at $355,000, and a complete two-channel at 65 GHz and four-channel at 36 GHz LabMaster oscilloscope is priced at $451,900. LeCroy expects to begin customer shipments of LabMaster 10 Zi products in the summer.