Ethernet Alliance completes 802.3ba interoperability event for 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet

Ethernet Alliance members gathered at Ixia’s iSimCity in Santa Clara, California to verify interoperability of test equipment, switches, routers, NICs, transceivers and cabling.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- The Ethernet Alliance has announced the summarized results of the Higher Speed Ethernet (HSE) subcommittee interoperability plugfest for products designed to support IEEE Std. 802.3baTM-2010, 40 and 100 Gbps Ethernet.

Sixteen Ethernet Alliance members including Altera, Amphenol, CommScope, Cisco, FCI, Finisar, Ixia, Leviton, Mellanox Technologies, Opnext, Panduit, Siemon, Vitesse Semiconductor, and Volex Group gathered at Ixia’s iSimCity in Santa Clara, California during the week of September 13, 2010 to verify interoperability of test equipment, switches, routers, NICs, transceivers and cabling.

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The plugfest was assisted by the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab (UNH-IOL). Complete success was achieved for interoperability between transceivers, cables and systems tested, except for one cable that was determined to be faulty due to incorrect assembly.

Ethernet Alliance says the interoperability results were impressive considering that this was the first time so many vendors had participated in such an event. The test results are intended to give service providers an increased level of comfort knowing that there will be a wide availability of HSE products and a greater breadth of vendor choice.

Participants were able to demonstrate effectively the interoperability of their products. Cables tested either met or exceeded IEEE Std. 802.3ba, and bit error ratio tests (BERT) were used in the transceiver and cable tests to verify link-level error-free operation within the requirements of IEEE Std. 802.3ba. Basic layer 3 traffic was used to verify system-level error-free operation.

Ixia provided 40 and 100 Gbps test ports, Cisco provided 40 and 100 Gbps switch and router ports, Mellanox provided 40 Gbps NICs, and development boards from Altera and Vitesse were used for transceiver testing. CFP MSA transceivers from Finisar, Opnext and one other optics vendor were included in the testing as well as QSFP transceivers from Finisar and QSFP active cables from Amphenol, Finisar and Siemon. Optical cables, including OM3 and OM4 multimode fiber and direct attached copper, passive and active cable assemblies along with direct attach active optical cable assemblies were contributed by Amphenol, CommScope, FCI, Leviton, Panduit, Siemon and Volex Group.

“This interoperability event demonstrates that the 40 and 100 Gbps Ethernet ecosystem is real and ready for deployment,” said David Schneider, marketing chair of the Ethernet Alliance’s Higher Speed Ethernet subcommittee. “The fact that widespread interoperability was so quickly achieved is testament to the strong engineering teams of the member-participants and to the standard itself.”

“The fact that Ethernet Alliance members pulled together an interoperability event within one quarter of the standard’s ratification demonstrates the availability of the 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet ecosystem,” said John D’Ambrosia, chair of the IEEE P802.3ba 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s Ethernet Task Force, and director, Ethernet-based Standards of the CTO Office for Force10 Networks. “Future interoperability events and public demonstrations will highlight the growth of the ecosystem and the 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet family of products and standards.”

Additional information on the interoperability demonstration will be available in a white paper that will be published on the Ethernet Alliance website on November 15 at: http://ethernetalliance.org/library/higher_speed_ethernet_40gbs_and_100bs_ethernet/white_papers.

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