Keysight Technologies, Inc. announced the first 256 GSa/s arbitrary waveform generator (AWG), Keysight's M8199A, with 65 GHz analog bandwidth in a compact two-slot AXIe module.

The growing demand for higher data transmission rates in telecom and data centers is driving transmission speeds to levels that are impossible to reach with the physical limitations of current test instruments. A creative approach was needed to extend rates towards theoretical limits and meet the needs of next generation transmission.

Keysight addressed this challenge by targeting the specific needs of engineers working on the fastest, most complex signals the industry has ever seen. As a result, Keysight Labs developed a new digital to analog converter application specific integrated circuit (DAC-ASIC) that translates the memory data into an analog signal. In addition, the company created a new package that avoids soldering sensitive radio frequency (RF signals), by placing an RF connector at the DAC-ASIC, thus avoiding signal degradation, plus a new breakthrough amplifier technology to deliver high speed and quality output signals with a smooth frequency roll-off.

These new components resulted in the industry's first AWG that allows 256 GSa/s with a useable signal bandwidth beyond the nominal 65 GHz even up to 80 GHz.

Keysight's new M8199A 256 GSa/s AWG provides research engineers a high performing signal source for arbitrary signals, enabling development of designs that push beyond the current limitations. Whether testing the discrete components of an optical coherent transmission system or experimenting with terabit transmission for data centers, research engineers need high sample rate, bandwidth, precision and flexibility to meet the challenges of these industry-leading applications.

Keysight's M8199A 256 GSa/s AWG delivers twice the sampling rate of any AWG on the market today, coupled with at least 50 percent more analog bandwidth. As a result, research engineers can quickly develop advanced components for terabit transmission systems.

"Keysight continues to invest in core test and measurement technologies, and we are happy to introduce the world's first 256 GSa/s AWG," said Brad Doerr, vice president and general manager of Keysight's Digital and Photonics Center of Excellence. "We are confident that the new M8199A will enable our customers to take the next step in the race for higher data transmission rates."

Built with new Keysight-custom technology, the M8199A AWG enables early research users to load waveforms, test pre-distortion algorithms, create stimuli for physics experiments and generate radar pulses of high modulation bandwidth.

Keysight's M8199A AWG starts at USD $331,000 for the two-channel 128 GSa/s version. It will be available in December 2020.