I saw this question addressing testing USB 2, but I was wondering what the most cost effective way to test USB 3.0 superspeed was. Obviously the frequencies are far higher (multiple GHz), so the test equipment gets more expensive. The Infiniium 90000A is one that people use, but it's >$40k. Are there any cheaper options or methods?


2 Answers 2


BeB00, unfortunately you are sorely mistaken underestimating the challenge. The USB 3.0 eye qualification requires at least a 6 GHz scope, which will bring you into ~$75k area.

More, if you mean a wider USB 3.0 qualification, the price tag is substantially higher. To begin, you will need a set of RF-grade test fixtures, which will run into additional $15-$20K. You will need a special signal generator (~$100K) to test LFPS signaling, BERT system (~$150K), protocol analyzer (another $25k), and a set of certified (USB-IF approved) devices. Last time I recall the bill was approaching $0.5M mark.

ADDITION: To evaluate USB 3.0 signals (eye diagram), you must have a qualified oscilloscope with DSP capabilities and corresponding software installed. Old direct methods don't work because the signal eye is typically closed at the far end of transmission link, sometimes completely, as this Teledyne/LeCroy article illustrates on PCIe example:

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and the receiving device (scope in this case) must use CTLE to open it, which implies a continuous sequential sampling of signals.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This sounds silly and very believable. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 4, 2018 at 19:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ I did just mean the eye qualification. I'm not sure which part was "sorely mistaken"... \$\endgroup\$
    – BeB00
    Oct 4, 2018 at 19:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BeB00, <$40k, no? And you still need the SMA-grade test fixtures... \$\endgroup\$ Oct 4, 2018 at 19:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ale..chenski I said >$40k, which is different to <$40k \$\endgroup\$
    – BeB00
    Oct 4, 2018 at 19:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ale..chenski that is indeed the case, however I still fail to see the mistake. I never stated that cheaper options were available, I was simply asking if they were available. \$\endgroup\$
    – BeB00
    Oct 4, 2018 at 19:58

I was wondering what the most cost effective way to test USB 3.0 superspeed was

Go to a lab with the right equipment and people who knows how to use it. Have them measure your device, pay what they ask, then go home and implement their suggestions.

Perhaps not what you actually ask for, but likely the only alternative for someone who has to ask the price...

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 I would support this advice too. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 6, 2018 at 0:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ But if you have multitude devices in the production pipeline, and have a dozen of customers to support, then having your own pre-certification equipment and learning all protocols and keeping up with evolving test requirements is a must. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 6, 2018 at 0:46

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