As the volume of data transferred through internet and the number of data centres across the globe increase, proper testing of Ethernet cable assemblies becomes crucial. As DAC cables are the most economical solution for short data connections, they are broadly employed in high-speed networks and data centres. Installations include many of these DAC cables, and their performance is essential for the whole system. IEEE 802.3bj and IEEE 802.3by cover data rates of 25Gbps per lane, IEEE 802.3cd goes up to 50Gbps per lane. The latest IEEE 802.3ck standard further doubles the data rate to 100Gbps per lane, allowing cable assembly configurations of 100GBASE-CR1, 200GBASE-CR2, 400GBASE-CR4 and 800GBASE-CR8.
Rohde & Schwarz tackles these challenges with two new options for the R&S ZNrun vector network analyser automation suite. The R&S ZNrun-K410 is intended for automatic testing of cable assemblies according to IEEE 802.3bj, by and cd, and has considerable time savings for users. The solution comprises the automation of the measurement, postprocessing of COM and ERL results, Pass/Fail and margin analysis and the generation of the test report, therefore, drastically lowering the overall test time. The suite is already prepared for testing cable assemblies according to the IEEE 802.3ck Ethernet standard, which will reach data rates of 800 Gbps for 800GBASE-CR8 configurations.
The test setups are based on the corresponding vector network analyser, such as the R&S ZNA or R&S ZNB. To reduce the handling effort for the user, the R&S OSP open switch and control platform is supported to provide an economic multiport solution. The whole setup is controlled by the R&S ZNrun vector network analyser automation suite with the compliance options R&S ZNrun-K410 or -K411, automating the complete test sequence, data collection, postprocessing and test report generation.