By combining the UNH-IOL’s expertise in cable assembly and backplane compliance tests with Rohde & Schwarz test solutions, both partners are paving the way for automated compliance tests in line with the latest IEEE 802.3 Ethernet and InfiniBand standards.
Test and measurement specialist Rohde & Schwarz and the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) extend their ongoing collaboration to expand Ethernet and InfiniBand compliance testing. Both have pooled their expertise to provide methods of implementation (MOI) for precise, fast and error-free compliance testing of high-speed cables and backplanes in line with IEEE 802.3 (up to IEEE 802.3ck) and InfiniBand standards (up to rate designator HDR), using vector network analysis test equipment from Rohde & Schwarz.
Data rates and data traffic grow faster than ever. The high data rates need to be transported between computer modules or high-speed data networks. The latest specifications planned to be published in fall 2021 for Ethernet IEEE 802.3ck will allow data rates up to 800 Gbps. InfiniBand, a communications standard to address very low latency and very high throughput rates, opts in the extension planned for 2021 even for throughput rates up to 1200 GB/s when combining several links. Long-distance transmission in both standards is handled via optical links. But to bridge short distances, high-speed copper cables are used. To secure reliable data transmission with these extremely high data rates, cable compliance tests are highly encouraged to provide confidence in the products.
UNH-IOL is a worldwide reference for cable compliance tests, and cable manufacturers turn to the interoperability laboratory for their testing services. During a period of time in 2020, Rohde & Schwarz, provided UNH-IOL with a state-of-the-art R&S ZNBT40 multiport vector network analyzer with 16 integrated test ports, covering up to 40 GHz, to support efficient testing.
UNH-IOL has created the methods of implementation (MOI) for IEEE 802.3 Ethernet and InfiniBand based on their superior experience. The MOI describe exactly how to perform compliance test measurements on high-speed cables and backplanes to fulfil the corresponding specifications.
Martin Stumpf, Market Segment Manager High Speed Digital Design Test at Rohde & Schwarz, says: "The MOIs along with the included state files provide excellent guidance for the industry and describe the test steps as well as the calculations of channel operating margin (COM) and effective return loss (ERL). Later this year, we plan to provide automatic scripts based on our R&S ZNrun test sequencer software that will further simplify compliance tests. We are excited to pursue this goal together with the UNH-IOL."
Bob Noseworthy, principal engineer, at UNH-IOL, says: "After a successful collaboration with Rohde & Schwarz to develop this MOI, we look forward to further collaboration to extend UNH-IOL high speed cable conformance testing capabilities in the near future."