DALLAS Dallas Semiconductor has introduced a 3.3-volt version of its 5-V single-chip bit error rate tester (Bert), which checks the integrity of signal transmissions in multiplexers, routers, bridges, channel switching units, data service units, customer-premises equipment, D/A converters and other telecom equipment.
Dallas' DS21372 generates pseudorandom or user-defined patterns that are sent to the equipment and looped back for comparison and diagnosis. The alternative, according to product engineer Arthur Harvey, is an external test box that has to be set up and operated by a skilled craftsperson.
The DS21372 provides a test resource available on demand through an existing processor. It enables local or remote testing via software commands.
The 3.3-V Bert chip supports operating speeds from 0 to 20-MHz, compared with a top end of 52 MHz in the 5-V version. The DS21372 is pin-compatible with the 5-V DS2172 for systems moving to lower-voltage power supplies.
Like Dallas' 5-V Bert, the DS21372 can generate the loopback patterns required for T1, Fractional-T1 and other protocols. Both versions can generate repetitive patterns up to 32 bits in length and detect test patterns with bit error rates down to 10-2. The DS21372 is priced at $7.25 in quantities of 1,000.
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EETInfo No. 607