December 8, 2008 -- NetXen Inc., a supplier of 10 Gigabit Ethernet adapter cards, announced that it has successfully completed multi-vendor interoperability testing of small form factor pluggable (SFP+) direct attach copper products. Participants in the testing included switch, cable and PHY vendors AMCC, Amphenol, Aristra Networks, Cisco, Molex, Quanta, Tyco and W.L. Gore.
The testing, conducted at NetXen's QA lab, used multiple SFP+ direct attach twinax copper cables of lengths varying from 1 m to 10 m connecting the NetXen NX3-20GCU adapter and switches. For establishing the testing baseline, the same adapter was used with optical SR modules to connect to the switches.
SFP+ copper twinax cables are hot-pluggable and have a smaller footprint and thickness than CX4 cables intended for datacom applications, maintains NetXen. The copper twinax interfaces offer a small, low-power option for 10 Gigabit Ethernet to enable increased density in enterprise applications. The electrical and mechanical interface specifications for SFP+ direct attach cables are under definition by the SFF Committee, a multi-source agreement group with broad industry participation. The cables are available from a variety of vendors.
The interoperability test consisted of passing traffic at line rate between two NetXen SFP+ adapters and an intervening switch while monitoring bit error rates on the links. Each test was run for sufficient time to establish at 99.99% confidence that the bit error rate was below the 10-12 allowed by the SFP+ standard.
"SFP+ direct attach copper increases switch port density and dramatically reduces the overall cost of deploying 10 Gigabit Ethernet technology," comments Rolwin Lewis, senior product line manager, NetXen. "By successfully completing this extensive, multi-vendor interoperability testing between different SFP+ direct attach copper products, we are giving end users the confidence they need to deploy SFP+ technology in their network environments."