UNH-IOL expands industry need; delivers 50, 100, 200 and 400 Gigabit Ethernet testing services for optical and electrical PAM4 signaling

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) announced on Thursday that it has expanded Ethernet testing capabilities by introducing a new testing service. This service covers the new IEEE 802.3bs and the new IEEE 802.3cd specification for 50, 100, 200 and 400 Gigabit Ethernet primarily focusing on the industry shift to PAM4, a new signaling scheme deemed necessary to address the growing need for more bandwidth while still realizing physical design realities.

The services are for electrical and optical conformance testing of 50, 100, 200 and 400 Gigabit Ethernet specifications, with plans to offer interoperability testing as new higher speed Ethernet products enter into development and, eventually, the market.

The UNH-IOL is dedicated to being the world’s premier data networking resource. Beginning in 1988, the UNH-IOL has built a multimillion dollar testbed and developed testing solutions to help companies efficiently and cost effectively deliver products to market. UNH-IOL’s services fit the needs of the market, while maintaining broad, comprehensive interoperability and conformance testing of networking, data, telecommunications, and storage products. The industry relies on UNH-IOL’s extensive staff experience, standards-bodies participation, 28,000+ square foot facility, and over 100 students who represent the future interoperability testing and verification.

The need for Ethernet speeds exceeding existing 100 Gigabit (based on 25G NRZ signaling) is being driven by exponentially increasing capacity demands across the board. Cloud service providers are looking to the higher efficiency and density that 50Gb/s PAM4 technologies (scalable up to 400Gb/s) Ethernet offers as they build out massive cloud-scale data centers, while the surge in mobile connectivity has telecoms pursuing higher speed Ethernet services.

Additionally, bandwidth demand continues to grow at data centers tasked to service high-bandwidth, rich media applications such as video streaming, online gaming and digital marketing. In response, the UNH-IOL has taken a leading step to provide Ethernet stakeholders with testing services for 50, 100, 200 and 400 Gigabit through the multi-million dollar investment in new state of the art testing equipment.

“Ethernet standards built upon 50 Gb/s signaling technology will provide the networking foundation for next generation data centers, covering a variety of use cases from servers connected with 50GbE to spine and data center interconnect running 400GbE,” said David Chalupsky, Principal Engineer in Intel’s Network Division. “I am delighted to see the UNH-IOL investing in the infrastructure needed to serve the testing needs of these higher Ethernet speeds, and thus ensure new products and applications can be brought online with the assured performance and reliability that will help drive market acceptance and expansion.”

“Today, a diverse array of applications and markets are driving the need for higher-speed, higher-density and lower cost connectivity solutions. Advances in new signaling technology is enabling the industry to rapidly deploy optimized solutions that achieve higher data rates to meet this demand,” said Mike Klempa, UNH-IOL Ethernet and Storage Technical Manager. “The investment in new equipment to test to these higher Ethernet speeds follows in line with UNH-IOL’s commitment to provide the most comprehensive Ethernet testing in a rapidly changing industry and also allows us to leverage our expertise in past 100Gb/s testing to help control testing costs at these evolving signaling types.”


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