Active Electrical Cable Technology for Ixia 400GE to 4x100GE with PAM4-to-NRZ Conversion

APPLICATION NOTE

Active Electrical Cable Technology for Ixia 400GE to 4x100GE with PAM4-to-NRZ Conversion

Data center operators have widely deployed mature 100GE NRZ-based technologies. However, higher speeds, such as 400GE, create a new mixed signaling, mixed FEC, multi-rate environment. This new environment produces unique challenges relating to the integration of PAM-4-based 400GE and 100GE-capable switch ports with existing 100GE NRZ signaling-based switch port technology.

Keysight now offers the first, cost-effective test solution that enables data center operators to leverage 400 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) capable test ports to link with and test legacy 100GE network equipment. The test solution bridges the signaling gap between incompatible PAM4- and NRZ-encoded signaling. It removes potential compromises in testing configurations to improve overall performance validation and quality. The active electrical cable (AEC) technology performs the necessary conversions to allow a PAM4-encoded port to interoperate with an NRZ-encoded port. The solution provides support for testing four ports of 100GE NRZ from a single port of 400GE QSFP-DD PAM4 in 4x100GE speed mode. 

Open the document referenced for details on the Ixia AresONE 400GE test system and AEC technology enable data center operators to accelerate validation of 100GE NRZ devices and network infrastructure while leveraging 400GE-capable PAM-4 ports to support demand in the future.