Keysight teams with Kandou Bus on high speed Chord links

September 24, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
Keysight Technologies and Kandou Bus collaborate on advanced Chord signaling technology for high speed connectivity
Keysight Technologies and Kandou Bus collaborate on Chord signaling technology for data centre high speed connectivity

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 

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