Keysight Technologies

Teamwork Streamlines Timing Validation

Jan. 27, 2020
Real-time oscilloscopes (RTOs) and test software from Keysight Technologies combined with high-performance semiconductor devices and expertise from Silicon Labs provide a practical solution for measuring phase noise even at device performance limits.

Stability can be difficult to characterize for a high-frequency source, whether as jitter in the time domain or phase noise in the frequency domain. For example, when the noise level of the source under test drops below that of the test equipment, where lies the solution? For that reason, two companies with strong backgrounds in precision timing solutions have developed practical methods for validating the performance of low-noise clocks and oscillators, to render consistent phase-noise measurements even at the lowest levels of phase noise close to the carrier. The measurement solutions build upon the strengths of both companies, semiconductor devices from Silicon Labs and test instruments from Keysight Technologies.

By working from the two different design vantage points, device and system levels, the two companies have refined their own timing/phase-noise characterization methods and have shared those results with end-users. The active devices developed by Silicon Labs include high-frequency clocks and oscillators with stability performance critical to both analog and digital electronic systems while the Infinium UXR Series real-time oscilloscopes from Keysight Technologies provide as much as 110-GHz real-time analysis bandwidth to accurately study the phase noise of a device under test (DUT). The oscilloscopes are used in tandem with the instrument maker’s phase-noise analysis software to speed and simplify traditionally difficult measurements. The software is now available to owners of UXR Series oscilloscopes. 

“Combining Silicon Labs’ deep experience in measuring and characterizing low-jitter timing signals with Keysight’s high-performance oscilloscopes significantly simplifies our customers’ ability to evaluate our low-jitter clocks,” said James Wilson, general manager of timing products for Silicon Labs. “We’re committed to working with partners like Keysight to speed the development of applications that will connect things, information and people.”

Satish Dhanasekaran, senior vice president of Keysight and president of Keysight’s Communications Solutions Group, added: “We are pleased to work with Silicon Labs to support common goals and innovative technology that will help a wide range of industries advance toward a more connected future.”

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