Using Pseudo-Random Binary Sequences to Stress Test Serial Digital Interfaces

In this whitepaper, PHABRIX discusses the use of pseudo-random binary
sequences (PRBS – also referred to as pseudo-random bit sequences), along with
bit-error rate tests (BERT – also referred to as bit-error ratio tests) to stress test
serial digital interfaces. The purpose of any physical layer serial digital interface
(PHY) is to transmit or receive data whilst preserving that data’s integrity. In
practical systems the major cause of bit-errors is random noise. To stress test such
systems, it is necessary to both generate a “noisy” bit stream and then analyse
the output from the interface to determine the bit-error rate which represents the
integrity of the data.