New Ethernet standard creating testing challenges


The IEEE 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s standard, also known as the 802.3ba, addresses the growing need for more bandwidth, higher speeds and improved link aggregations. However, the new standard also creates testing-related challenges that could impact both service providers and end users, as reported in Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine.

According to engineers from the UNH Interoperability Lab, efficiency could prove to be one of the most difficult attributes to test. New devices capable of handling the standard rarely include full-line rate support. As a result, major testing procedures, such as Bit Error Ratio Testing, can be difficult to accomplish efficiently.

Ethernet PHY procedures could also prove challenging under the new standard, the report said, as new PHY types used with the standard frequently use Wavelength-Division Multiplexing. This makes wavelength splitting tools a critical part of testing because previous Ether net PHY technology relied primarily on single channel signals.

A recent report from Interconnection World said the new 802.3ba standard will require new parallel optics construction to split fiber optic cable into two separate channels, one for the 40 Gb/s, and the other to transmit 100 Gb/s. Currently, this can only be accomplished through MPT/MPO 12-fiber connectors, the report said.


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