Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Saturday, February 24, 2024

UNH-IOL Announces Support for 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet 

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), an independent provider of broad-based testing and standards conformance services for the networking industry, today announced expanded interoperability testing and support for 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (40G/100G) including 25Gb/s serial-lanes, Power over Ethernet (PoE), Backplane Ethernet and Automotive Ethernet. This activity is taking place within several of the UNH-IOL’s consortia and collaborative testing programs.

With heightened demand for 40G products in 2014, the UNH-IOL 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium has seen a significant increase in participation from members seeking 40G interoperability, which along with IEEE standards-compliance is a helpful market differentiator. The Consortium has also received its first 100G products for testing. To better support its member community, over the past six months the Consortium has added twelve new Ethernet test suites; in particular, Physical Layer (PHY) electrical testing for hosts, modules and cables covering IEEE clauses 83, 85, 86, 92 and 93 of the 802.3 standard.

The UNH-IOL is working closely with test and measurement manufacturers to upgrade its test equipment for 25Gb/s Ethernet solutions. This testing will focus on IEEE 802.3 clauses 92 and 93, which are designed for Backplane and twin-axial based implementations. Future testing will target chip-to-chip and chip-to-module applications, both of which are described in the upcoming IEEE Std 802.3bm Ethernet standard. It is anticipated that the standard will be ratified this December. The UNH-IOL has scheduled an initial test for these technologies during the third week in January. The Consortium plans to have its Physical Coding Sublayer (PCS) and Reconciliation Sublayer (RS) test suites available online before the end of the year. Furthermore, the UNH-IOL’s PCS test tool, which tests the PCS in 40G products, is ready and available to members. The PCS test tool, unavailable via any commercial hardware, is a unique UNH-IOL service that enables testing at the single-bit level to ensure that Ethernet chips can handle a wide array of challenging network conditions.

In addition, the UNH-IOL is collaborating with the Ethernet Alliance on a plugfest slated for 2015 targeting 40GbE and 100GbE technologies. “Repeated multi-vendor testing is no less important today than when the IEEE ratified the 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet standard in 2010,” said John D’Ambrosia, Chairman, Ethernet Alliance. “The goal of this plugfest is to demonstrate multi-vendor interoperability, which will accelerate adoption and broaden the market for both 40GbE and 100GbE.”

Also in partnership with the Ethernet Alliance, the UNH-IOL Power over Ethernet (PoE) Consortium will facilitate a plugfest focused on IEEE 802.3af and 802.3at, standards relevant to IP cameras, wireless access points, automation, and other applications. The Power over Ethernet plugfest will test participants’ devices to the respective IEEE 802.3 PoE specifications, which distinguishes IEEE 802.3-based devices from other non-standards based PoE solutions.

Testing activity surrounding 10G Backplane Ethernet, or 10BASE-KR, is also on the rise. Of special interest is channel training and channel modeling, as several of the 40G standards are implemented using four lanes of backplane-based 10G. From June 2013 to June 2014, membership in the UNH-IOL Backplane Ethernet Consortium grew nearly three-fold.

The UNH-IOL Automotive Ethernet Consortium is also gaining momentum and is now open to car manufacturers and parts suppliers worldwide. On October 24, 2014, UNH-IOL Backplane Ethernet Consortium Manager Curtis Donahue spoke at the IEEE Standards Association (SA) Ethernet & IP Automotive Technology Day in Detroit about the application of Ethernet testing techniques to the automotive Ethernet space, as well as the UNH-IOL’s BroadR-Reach Physical Medium Attachment (PMA) test station and the PCS/PHY Control Test Tool, which was available for demonstration. Two years ago, the automotive industry’s OPEN (One-Pair Ether-Net) Alliance endorsed the UNH-IOL as the first laboratory to test BroadR-Reach, a standard that enables 100Mbps Ethernet connectivity in automotive networking applications. In a report delivered at the IEEE-SA event in Detroit, Strategy Analytics’ Director of Automotive Electronics Ian Riches pointed to automated-driving assistance (ADA) and infotainment systems as the two leading growth areas for Automotive Ethernet.

“Interoperability has been a defining feature of Ethernet since its start forty-one years ago,” said UNH-IOL Senior Manager, Ethernet Technologies, Jeff Lapak. “From our first testing of Ethernet technology in 1988 to our current work in 40G/100G, PoE, Automotive and other areas of Ethernet, member companies have turned to us for reliable interoperability results to build consumer confidence and support their go-to-market strategies.”

The UNH-IOL collaborative testing model distributes the cost of performing trusted, independent testing and validation through an annual membership. The fee for participation in UNH-IOL Ethernet consortia ranges from $15,000 to $24,000.