Keysight Technologies' Oscilloscope Firmware Update Adds PAM-4 BER Measurement Capability, Enhanced Multi-Frame Support

Update Supports IEEE 400G Applications as well as Real-Time, Multi-Frame-Based Oscilloscope Measurements


  • Adds enhanced bit error ratio measurement for the N8827A PAM-4 analysis software

  • Adds the ability to use the N8834A MultiScope software on Keysight InfiniiVision oscilloscopes

SANTA ROSA, Calif. – Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS) today introduced two software updates for its real-time oscilloscope products. The software updates are currently available in the Infiniium oscilloscope firmware version 5.60.

The N8827A PAM-4 analysis software update adds bit error ratio (BER) capabilities for 4-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM-4) based signals. The N8834A MultiScope software update adds support for Keysight’s InfiniiVision oscilloscopes.

The N8827A PAM-4 analysis software update adds a BER and symbol error ratio (SER) measurement tool designed to help engineers perform BER and SER measurements on PAM-4 signals. Measuring the BER or SER of a PAM-4 signal allows designers to fine tune the transmitter or receiver equalization parameters of their PAM-4 devices by highlighting where burst error failures can impact a receiver’s forward error correction (FEC) protocol. The N8827A software is supported on Keysight’s Infiniium S-Series, 90000A, V-Series and Z-Series oscilloscopes; as well as the discontinued 90000 X- and 90000 Q-Series oscilloscopes.

Historically, since many PAM-4 implementations take advantage of forward error correction, it is possible to operate a communication link that uses PAM-4 operating at a BER of 10e-6 or 10e-5 or even greater. By comparison, traditional non-return-to-zero (NRZ) or PAM-2 based signaling technologies operate at a BER level of 10e-12 or lower. At 10e-6 or greater, such BER calculations for PAM-4 signals are now well within the reasonable measuring capacity of the Infiniium Z-Series and V-Series real-time oscilloscopes. In addition to BER measurement, this new feature allows engineers to also identify and locate burst errors on a continuous repeating patterns.

“The new BER feature of our N8827A PAM-4 analysis software gives customers confidence that their receiver architecture is correct,” said Dave Cipriani, vice president and general manager of Keysight’s oscilloscope business. “The software now allows engineers to isolate the causes of burst errors, which can significantly reduce their debug time.”

The N8834A MultiScope software enables engineers to connect multiple Infiniium and InfiniiVision oscilloscopes, allowing them to have up to 40 time-correlated analog channels available for signal acquisition. Designers working on high-speed, multilane applications, such as optical networking, MIMO (multiple input multiple output) antennas, power rail analysis, DDR memory and high-speed serial standards, can gain insight faster, save money and improve their productivity using the N8834A MultiScope application to make simultaneous measurements across multiple lanes. The 5.60 software release allows engineers to use MultiScope on InfiniiVision oscilloscopes while running the software on their PC. Previously, MultiScope only worked on Infiniium oscilloscopes.

“Now that the MultiScope software can support InfiniiVision oscilloscopes, customers can run multi-channel applications, such as a three-phase power application, at a lower cost. This allows Keysight to broaden the solution space we cover and help our customers reduce their cost to test,” added Cipriani.

Additional information about Keysight’s BER/SER tool for PAM-4 is available at or Product images are available at

Additional information about Keysight’s MultiScope Application is available at Product images are available at

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Infiniium 5.60 firmware release is a free upgrade.

The Keysight BER/SER measurement feature for PAM-4 is now available as an enhancement to the N8827A PAM-4 analysis software for Infiniium real-time oscilloscopes running Infiniium oscilloscope system software version 5.60 or later.

The Keysight MultiScope measurement application is now available as an enhancement to the N8834A MultiScope software application for Infiniium real-time oscilloscopes running Infiniium oscilloscope system software version 5.60 or later.

About Keysight in Digital Test

Keysight's solutions for digital applications are driven and supported by Keysight experts who are involved in various international standards committees. Keysight experts are active in the Joint Electronic Devices Engineering Council (JEDEC), PCI Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG®), Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO), USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), Mobile Industry Processor Interface (MIPI®) Alliance, Ethernet standards (IEEE 802.3), Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) and many others. Keysight is committed to involvement in standards groups and related workshops, plugfests and seminars to ensure the right test solutions are created to meet customers' evolving needs.

About Keysight Technologies

Keysight Technologies (NYSE: KEYS) is a global electronic measurement technology and market leader helping to transform its customers’ measurement experience through innovations in wireless, modular, and software solutions. Keysight’s electronic measurement instruments, systems, software and services are used in the design, development, manufacture, installation, deployment and operation of electronic equipment. The business had revenues of $2.9 billion in fiscal year 2015. Information about Keysight is available at

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