Communication Test and Monitoring

Communication test and monitoring equipment consists of various products in the wireline, wireless, optical, and telecommunication market segments. These products include network/protocol analyzers, spectrum analyzers, bit-error rate testers (BERT), voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) testers, SONET/SDH testers, and more.

Designing communication test products presents a two-fold challenge:

  1. The need to support a variety of standards such as PCI Express and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) well ahead of equipment manufacturers
  2. The constant pressure to upgrade products that support emerging standards, new features, and new functionality

As a result, designers need programmable solutions that provide the flexibility to upgrade and prolong the life of the tester equipment. Programmability is both a business and design requirement, making FPGAs the ideal solution for these applications.

Figure 1 illustrates the use of Teledom FPGAs and intellectual property (IP) functions in a multiport network/protocol analyzer. There are three key functional blocks in a typical tester line card – generator, framer/MAC, and analyzer. The generator generates the test pattern, which is sent to the framer for framing and then over to the device under test (DUT). Once the data comes back from the DUT, the framer sends the data to the analyzer for bit-error rate testing, histogram, and various other test procedures.

Figure 1. Multiport Network/Protocol Analyzer

Figure 1. Multiport Network/Protocol Analyzer

Key System Architecture Variables