25G Plugfest a Success; 25G Spec Published

Brian Santo
News Analysis
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading
1/30/2017



The 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium declared its recent plugfest a success after the vast majority of devices -- many operating at 25G and roughly half again at 50G -- were demonstrated to be interoperable.

Encouraged by the results, the 25G Consortium has published its 25G/50G specifications. They are available for download here. It is now available for anyone to build products against, a key step in the progress of the new 25G/50G market.

The topline results from the report were that 843 of 882 link configurations at 25G attempted were successful, and that 341 of 360 at 50G passed. The plugfest also looked at packet error ratios, and the success rates were similar.

The plugfest was based upon 25 Gbps SERDES technology. Products included a variety of adapters, switches, test and measurement devices and interconnects.

The Consortium said the plugfest had a record number of participants. The mix of device vendors and test companies included Arista, Cisco, Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL), Delta, Hitachi Communication Technologies America Inc. (Hitachi-CTA) , Intel, Ixia, Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL), Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: MLNX), Microsoft, Netronome , QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC), Spirent, Teledyne LeCroy and Xilinx Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX). Vendors providing cable products included Amphenol Corp. (NYSE: APH), Hitachi Cable Ltd. , Molex and TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL). The plugfest was held at UNH-IOL.

The testbeds used either an Ixia XGS2 with a Novus 25G or Multis 25/50G blade, or Spirent Test Center N4U with a FX3-100GQ-T2 blade, or used internal generators in the DUT and Link Partner. The DUT and Link Partner were connected via a direct attach copper SFP28 or QSFP28 cable labeled at the Cable Under Test, the report said.

The Consortium reported that the plugfest demonstrated not only multi-vendor plug and play compatibility, but successful auto-negotiation and support for both forward and backward compatibility.

"In order to handle the increasing amount of data, server architectures all too often require multiple 10G ports. 25G Ethernet arrives just in time and has started its climb towards dominance as the leading server-to-ToR switch interconnect. As this transition occurs, plugfests assure users that 25G and greater speeds from different vendors will perform as advertised with solid plug-and-play interoperability," said Vittal Balasubramanian, chair of the 25G/50G Ethernet Interop Committee and principal signal integrity engineer at Dell, in a statement.

— Brian Santo, Senior Editor, Components, T&M, Light Reading


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