Teledyne LeCroy has unveiled four-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM4) capabilities for its SierraNet T328 Protocol Analyzer. Through the NET-T200-P4L-A license, technicians can add PAM4 features to the unit to perform trace capture and analysis in 802.3cd and 802.3bs 50/100/200/400 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) applications, particularly in data center and cloud-based services scenarios.
PAM4 modulation is an integral part of IEEE 802.3cd and 802.3bs specifications, which aim to boost transmission rates beyond 40 Gbps without recourse to coherent transmission. However, PAM4 signals are susceptible to errors in noisy environments, asserts Teledyne LeCroy. Systems using PAM4 will negotiate transmission parameters that maximize signal quality at the receiver to overcome these potential noise impairments, and PAM4 systems designers require link-layer analysis capabilities to ensure such negotiations proceed smoothly.
The new capabilities are designed to meet such requirements, enabling technicians to use the SierraNet T328 to identify and reduce link-interoperability problems among such fabric components such as switches, routers, network interface adapters, servers, and network attached storage (NAS). The test system can capture and decode the auto-negotiation and link-training sequences, says Teledyne LeCroy, which enables network and design engineers to troubleshoot 50GbE through 400GbE connectivity issues. The company’s patented TAP4 passive probing technology passes the data stream without interruption, Teledyne LeCroy adds.
The new features have found favor with at least one customer already. “As an industry leader in the data-center market, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is keenly aware of the need for high reliability and zero downtime in the enterprise data center,” commented Perry Hoffman, master technologist at HPE, via a Teledyne LeCroy press release. “We have extremely high standards, and the Teledyne LeCroy SierraNet T328 is an important part of our meticulous design and validation processes that are dedicated to assuring the complete interoperability of our products within the data center.”
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