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Keysight Launches First Forward Error Correction (FEC)-Aware Layer 1 Test System

Published: Oct 05,2019

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Keysight Technologies announced two new solutions - the N4891A 400GBASE Forward Error Correction (FEC)-aware compliance test solution, which finds performance and interoperability issues early in the design and validation process of data center-related devices, and the A400GE-QDD 400GE multiport test system, which characterizes and quantifies the actual bit error rate (BER) and forward error correction (FEC) performance of silicon communication devices.

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Cloud solutions are driving deployments of 400 Gigabit Ethernet speed interfaces in data centers. However, 400G Ethernet technologies, based on the 56Gb/s electrical lane signaling rates, increase the level of complexity in the development of stable port electronics in networking devices. The challenge is characterizing and quantifying the BER along with FEC performance of silicon devices, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), fiber and copper interconnects, optical transceivers and port electronics of switches and routers.

Keysight has combined the functionality of its A400GE-QDD 400GE Layer 1 multiport test system with that of the M8040A high-performance BERT system resulting in a new solution, the N4891A 400GBASE FEC-aware receiver test solution. This new solution provides the industry’s first FEC-aware compliance testing solution for measurement of frame loss ratio in 400G Ethernet links using FEC by supplying one stressed lane and maintaining the proper FEC striped test pattern data, without placing stress on the other lanes.

“Keysight’s new test solution fills a gap in high-speed Ethernet testing by combining best-in-class technologies from analog and protocols,” said Jerry Pepper, Fellow, Keysight Technologies. “Until now, the industry had no way to verify FEC performance while simultaneously stressing one of the lanes according to the IEEE 802.3 recommendation. This innovation enables customers to enter systems testing with higher confidence and deliver their 400GE products to market faster.”

“It’s exciting to see the contributions we are making to the industry to fully master the challenges that are associated with 400GE by combining our Ixia and Keysight technology leadership,” stated Joachim Peerlings, vice president and general manager, Network and Data Center Solutions, at Keysight.

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