Nexans adds 10-Gig testing capability to R&D program

June 24, 2004
June 24, 2004 - New equipment allows testing of such high-speed fiber and copper systems in real-world setups.

Nexans recently announced that its Data Communications Competence Center has added new capabilities in testing copper and fiber-optic cables at a data rate of 10 Gigabits per second. In advance of the uptake of 10 Gigabit Ethernet implementations, the Competence Center, located at Berk-Tek (www.berktek.com) headquarters in New Holland, PA, added significant new equipment over the past year.

"Adding this equipment was part of a large capital investment in our R&D capabilities to react to customer requests regarding performance characterization of cabling products running next-generation network applications," said Eric Lawrence, technical director, telecom for Nexans North America.

The competence center has established and conducted a large-scale test program evaluating LAN cabling systems while running real-world 10 Gigabit Ethernet traffic.

The performance of these optical cabling systems was tested in a network environment with laboratory-grade traffic generators containing 10 Gigabit Ethernet XENPAK load modules. With such accurate data, Nexans explains, it is able to provide performance that surpasses the requirements of the IEEE 802.3ae specification by both length and frame error rate.

"The test data shows an order of magnitude difference in frame error rate and a doubling of length," said Lisa Huff, senior project engineer at the competence center. "With at least one transceiver manufacturer's devices, you can run double the distance specified and have a higher reliability to protect your data."

The competence center will further its testing on cabling systems using Berk-Tek's GIGAlite-10XB fiber using different transceiver and transponder manufacturers' devices in the active system. Other fiber types from Nexans' fiber-optic manufacturing facilities throughout the world are also being characterized.

Nexans will present a complete synopsis of the testing program in a technical paper at next year's OFC Conference.

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