Joint Ethernet Alliance NBASE-T Alliance test demonstrates market readiness of next-gen Ethernet

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The Ethernet Alliance and NBASE-T Alliance recently confirmed standards’ conformance of 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T Ethernet technologies at a joint plugfest in October 2016 at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) in the US. The event sought to verify the interoperability and robustness of next-gen Ethernet and its maturity for adoption by the market.

“When the NBASE-T Alliance was formed two years ago, we had a vision of new Ethernet solutions enabling enterprises to evolve their access layer networks, providing up to five times the bandwidth without re-cabling—and now that vision is a reality,” said Peter Jones, chairman, NBASE-T Alliance; and principal engineer, Cisco. “This plugfest proves that NBASE-T technology is ready for mass deployment in a variety of applications.”

During the event, over 1,100 interoperability link-up and Frame Error Rate (FER) tests were completed, covering the IEEE 802.3bz standard and NBASE-T Alliance PHY interface specifications, resulting in a >99% success rate for all cabling and equipment combinations. A broad array of products supporting 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T were thoroughly evaluated against multiple test scenarios and checks, such as:
· Conformance – verifying equipment conformance against IEEE 802.3bz standard and NBASE-T Alliance specifications;

· Link-up – authenticating ability of 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T equipment to connect with other devices;

· FER – monitoring of errors in data frames passed between devices; and

· Downshift – confirming NBASE-T ports’ capacity to move to a slower data rate when the capacity of the cabling is constrained due to noise.

“With the release of the IEEE 802.3bz 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T standard, NBASE-T Alliance’s PHY interface specifications, and other application-driven standards, we’re seeing networks gaining the ability to connect more people and deliver better end-user experiences and new services, thereby increasing the value of the networks themselves,” concluded John D’Ambrosia, chairman, Ethernet Alliance; and senior principal engineer, Huawei. “Our plugfest results illustrate 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T are ready to go.”