Rohde & Schwarz R&S ZNBT40 vector network analyzer.

UNH-IOL cooperates with Rohde & Schwarz in the area of InfiniBand and high-speed Ethernet compliance testing

  • Rohde & Schwarz and UNH-IOL (New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory) are expanding their collaboration to include the development of Ethernet and InfiniBand compliance testing procedures.
  • The two partners have developed methods for compliance testing of high-speed cabling and backplane systems according to IEEE 802.3 (up to IEEE 802.3ck) and InfiniBand (up to the HDR rate indicator) standards.
  • The R&S ZNBT40 vector network analyzer is used to perform the tests according to the requirements.

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 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 experience. The MOI describe 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.”