Fluke Networks unveils standards-based 10-Gig copper testing system

May 10, 2006
May 10, 2006 - The DTX 10 Gig Kit takes less than 30 seconds to measure the crosstalk between all possible wire pair combinations in two links-under-test.

Fluke Networks (www.flukenetworks.com) recently announced the introduction of a 10-Gigabit Ethernet cable-testing solution for copper, consisting of the company's DTX-1800 CableAnalyzer plus the new DTX 10 Gig Kit. This new testing package provides a standards-compliant 10-Gig certification solution that supports cabling from 10-Mbit to 10-Gbit Ethernet—the only one of its kind, Fluke Networks says. The system will be available for delivery in June.

The demand for faster data-center transmission rates has up to now been the domain for high-performance fiber-optic links, Fluke Networks explained in a release announcing the new system. The company's DTX 10 Gig solution certifies the link performance for very high-speed transmissions over twisted-pair copper cabling. This allows 10-Gig performance without expensive optoelectronics.

The DTX 10 Gig Kit measures the crosstalk between all possible wire pair combinations of the two links under test in approximately 30 seconds. These pair-to-pair test results are transmitted from the DTX main unit to the PC that is running the DTX AxTalk Analyzer software. This process is repeated for up to 10 victim/disturber combinations, as required by standards, and the combined effect calculated by the software.

The DTX 10 Gig Kit consists of a set of communications modules that snap into the DTX-1800 main and remote units. Also included is a Windows-based software program to calculate alien crosstalk (AxTalk) power-sum test parameters that analyze the combined effect of all cabling links on the link under test (disturbed link), Category 6A/Class EA permanent link adapters and 10-Gig channel adapters that deliver improved measurement accuracy above 350 MHz, and eight cable termination plugs.

The DTX 10 Gig Solution for copper has been proven over the last six months, Fluke Networks says, by hardware suppliers that are working to finalize the IEEE 802.3an, TIA TSB-155, and ISO 11802 2nd Edition standards for 10-Gig Ethernet. Adoption of these standards is expected in June of this year. The DTX 10 Gig testing solution fully complies with these standards and exceeds measurement performance specifications.

Fluke Networks' new solution for 10-Gig copper Ethernet makes it possible to measure and evaluate the alien crosstalk test parameters, unlike current certification tests, which measure crosstalk between pairs in a single cable. Alien crosstalk test parameters measure the signal coupling from one cable to another within a bundle of twisted-pair links. Alien crosstalk is a significant disturbance at 10-Gig speeds because the signaling contains high-frequency components up to 500 MHz and crosstalk increases as the frequency of the transmitted signal rises. In addition, the alien crosstalk disturbance in a cabling link (the victim cable) is made up of the combined effect from all other cables in a bundle (disturber cables).

The system substantially reduces the time required to certify cabling installation, Fluke Networks says. This tester provides a Category 6 autotest that meets TIA-568-B certification requirements required for structured cabling warranties in about one-third the time of other testers, the company adds. The DTX CableAnalyzer exceeds requirements for Category 5e/6 and Class E/D/F, and is independently verified by UL to meet ISO Level IV as well as proposed TIA Level IIIe accuracy requirements.

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