Ixia jump starts 400 Gigabit Ethernet test

The IEEE P802.3bs 400GbE Task Force has barely begun work on 400 Gigabit Ethernet specifications, but that hasn’t stopped Ixia (NASDAQ:XXIA) from launching a 400 Gigabit Ethernet test set. Ixia describes its 400GbE Jumpstart Test System as a “proof of concept” test platform that Ciena Corp. (NYSE:CIEN) has already used for a 400GbE interoperability test.

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The IEEE P802.3bs 400GbE Task Force has barely begun work on 400 Gigabit Ethernet specifications, but that hasn’t stopped Ixia (NASDAQ:XXIA) from launching a 400 Gigabit Ethernet test set. Ixia describes its 400GbE Jumpstart Test System as a “proof of concept” test platform that Ciena Corp. (NYSE:CIEN) has already used for a 400GbE interoperability test.

Ixia has positioned the 400GbE Jumpstart Test System as a developer tool kit for network equipment manufacturers working on pre-standard 400GbE networking hardware. The test instrument will enable designers to create, test, and verify the interoperability of 400GbE systems, Ixia promises. Key features of the test system, according to the test and measurement company, include wire-rate packet generation at 400 Gbps below the minimum and above the maximum Ethernet frame sizes.

In the Ciena test, the 400GbE Jumpstart Test System provided such wire-rate packet generation/reception at 400 Gbps.

“Networks are evolving and growing rapidly, which means that we have to be proactive in developing quality products that help construct the networks of the future,” said Roger Carroll, senior director, hardware engineering at Ciena. “Ixia’s continued leadership in offering first-to-market high-capacity Ethernet test solutions enables us to develop next-generation network systems.”

Although it’s early days for 400 Gigabit Ethernet, it’s not too early for such test and measurement hardware, according to John D’Ambrosia, Ethernet Alliance chairman of the board and IEEE 802.3bs Task Force chair.

“Networks are under increasing strain while expectations of uptime and speed are growing, and 400GbE technologies will quickly become a critical part of the network’s backbone,” he explained via an Ixia press release. “Development for these solutions must happen long before 400GbE becomes standard, and Ixia’s development of the industry’s first 400GbE testing program will prove vital in ensuring equipment manufacturers can meet the needs of next-generation networks.”

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