Agilent Technologies' 40 Gb/s BER Test Platform Enables Sierra Monolithics to Test Industry's First Multi-rate OC-768 SerDes Chipset

9/10/2002 - Agilent Technologies and Sierra Monolithics (SMI) announced that SMI has selected Agilent's Parallel Bit Error Rate Tester (ParBERT) to test and verify the industry's first multi-rate serializer/deserializer (SerDes) chipset for OC-768 optical communications applications.

SMI is a leading designer of silicon germanium (SiGe) integrated circuits and high-frequency RF microwave modules for aerospace and government. The Agilent ParBERT system provides SMI with a variety of key, field-proven high-speed digital component test capabilities, including the ability to verify the SerDes device's compliance with the industry's recently introduced SerDes Framer Interface Level-5 (SFI-5) specification.

SMI uses the Agilent 81250 ParBERT 40G test system for stimulating and analyzing the SerDes chipset's SMI4021 16:1 multi-rate multiplexer (mux), and SMI4031 16:1 multi-rate demultiplexer (demux) at 2.7 Gb/s and 43.2 Gb/s. In production since November 2001, the 81250 test system features a modular design that makes it especially well suited for stimulating and analyzing additional channels, a key requirement for verification of the SFI-5 interface.

The SMI4021/31 SerDes chipset is the industry's first highly integrated, multi-rate solution for OC-768 optical communications. It provides superior performance while accommodating multiple applications in a variety of short-haul to long-haul market segments. Advanced SiGe process technology enables the chipset to convert 16 parallel inputs to a high-speed serial stream in a single integrated circuit, which saves power and complexity by linking a system's electronics to the optics without the need for high-speed proprietary interfaces.

"Agilent shares our commitment to the emerging market for OC-768 communications systems that require high-performance 40 Gb/s components," said Achim Hill, president and CEO of Sierra Monolithics. "The Agilent 81250 Parallel Bit Error Ratio Tester has enabled us to test our industry-leading SerDes chipset and to ensure full compliance with the Optical Internetworking Forum's SerDes SFI-5 specification."

The Agilent 81250 — the first SFI-5 test solution available on the market — is ideal for high-speed digital component testing. The SFI-5 standard is used with 40 Gb/s devices running 16 inputs at approximately 2.5 Gb/s for automatic phase alignment of input signals. It requires 16 data-channel inputs and a 17th channel that acts as a conduit for carrying information for alignment. The Agilent ParBERT 81250's superior waveform and intuitive user interface enables unprecedented SFI-5 test performance.

The 81250 ParBERT platform supports data rates up to 45 Gb/s on both electrical and optical interfaces.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Agilent 81250 ParBERT 40G SFI-5 test solution is available now, with a starting price of approximately $740,000.

About Sierra Monolithics (
Founded in 1986, Sierra Monolithics, Inc. (SMI) has developed numerous integrated circuits and microwave modules for high performance wireless and wired communications applications. In 1996, the company shifted its focus to providing integrated circuit design services for chips developed with IBM's Silicon Germanium (SiGe) process. Since then, Sierra Monolithics has leveraged that design expertise to bring its own unique SiGe products to market. SMI is a privately held company located in Redondo Beach, California.

About Agilent Technologies (
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics and life sciences. The company's 37,000 employees serve customers in more than 120 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $8.4 billion in fiscal year 2001.

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