To keep pace with bandwidth demands, network operators are supporting higher transmission rates and data centers are upgrading both the capacity and number of their facilities. The industry standards’ bodies are pushed to develop more and faster Ethernet speeds, such as 400GE, to support trends like IoT, cloud, big data, and 5G.
Network infrastructure planners must deal with skyrocketing demands for more bandwidth, including in the data center interconnect (DCI) or even in core and metro networks. Network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) continue to push the limits of technology, developing increasingly innovative 400G solutions. Service providers are constantly expanding their networks, looking for more efficient and cost-effective ways to deploy those high-speed circuits.
Preparing the 400G ecosystem for prime time
Enter the compact FTBx-88460 Power Blazer modules. Offering a complete suite of 400G ecosystem testing capabilities, they address the requirements of early adopters and transition smoothly from in-lab innovation to testing in the field.
Compatible with portable and rackmount platforms
These new Power Blazer modules deliver an optimized and portable testing solution. Insert modules into the FTB-4 Pro for the most compact 400G solution on the market—easy to transport both within and outside the lab environment.
For rackmount applications, FTBx-88460 Power Blazer Series solutions are compatible with EXFO’s LTB-8 Rackmount Platform. Featuring the ability to support up to two modules running simultaneously, they are the industry’s only solutions that can test up to 800G—ideal for testing today’s complex and bandwidth-hungry networks.
The FTBx-88460 Power Blazer Series offers advanced Ethernet testing capabilities, including forward error correction monitoring and validation. The Power Blazer’s 400G Ethernet testing capabilities include:
- 400G Ethernet MAC PCS/PMA/PMD layer testing
- FEC KP4 RS (544, 514) decoding and error correction
- Test pattern monitoring
- MDIO read/write
- Alarms/errors generating and monitoring
- Skew measurement per lane
- FEC testing
- BER monitoring
FlexE (Flex Ethernet)
Flex Ethernet is a key technology for data centers, helping them deliver links that are faster than emerging 400G solutions. The Flex Ethernet (FlexE) supports one or more bonded 100GBASE-R PHYs supporting multiple and mixed Ethernet MAC clients operating at rates of 5, 10, 25, 40, 50, 100 or up to 400 Gbit/s. It also supports sub-rate links (i.e., 10G, 25G and 50G) which are essential for data centers but also for carriers that need to isolate their traffic..
FlexE testing capabilities include:
- FlexE groups
- Mixed Ethernet client types
- Client ID edition
- FlexE shim configuration
- FlexE alarms/errors generation and monitoring
- Alignment marker corruption and substitution
- Full client to calendar slot assignment edition capabilities
Advanced optics support
The following transceivers are supported on the FTBx-88460: QSFP-DD (TA4), CFP8 (TA4), QSFP28
Rapid evolution in transceiver technology
Whether motivated by cost, power requirements, space or increased demand for bandwidth, pluggable transceivers are evolving rapidly. Predicting how long an existing transceiver will be required before another comes along to take its place is tough—making the obsolescence of today’s hardware simply a waiting game.
Another challenge is that network operators and data centers still need to support existing technologies, but also be ready to address new rates and technologies without always doing forklift upgrades. New high-speed transceivers (pluggables) are being designed to be smaller and consume less power in order to meet the requirements of delivering high port density at a low cost. Whether it’s QSFP-DD, OSFP, or even COBO, it’s clear that in the upcoming 400G world, integrating all these into a network—as well as testing and validating them—is a huge task. The smart move is to allocate budget for versatile—not limited—solutions.
EXFO’s Open Transceiver System (OTS)
Introducing a new concept available on the FTBx-88460 Power Blazer module: EXFO’s Open Transceiver System (OTS). The OTS is an innovative, evolutionary design enabling any transceiver (now or future) to fit into an EXFO test solution. Benefits include:
- Experience ultimate flexibility—swap out OTS modules right in the field, lab or on the production floor, choosing only the ones needed for whichever applications, rates or technologies under test.
- Save tens of thousands of dollars by eliminating the necessity to completely replace an expensive testing module. Instead, change a less costly OTS module and extend the life of testing equipment.
- Support multiple transceiver types simultaneously with a future-proof architecture designed to handle both current and upcoming high-speed transceiver technologies as they are developed and launched.
Support for multiple transceiver types
The FTBx-88460 Power Blazer module supports the transceiver types listed below.
- 400G data rate
- PAM4 support
- 8x50G electrical/
- 400G data rate
- PAM4 support
- 8 x 50G electrical/optical lanes
- 400G data rate
- NRZ to PAM4 support
- 16 x 25G electrical / 8x50G optical lanes