Electronic Products & Technology

Keysight demos full line rate 1.6 terabit ethernet test capability

EP&T Magazine   

Electronics Test & Measurement Engineering Ethernet measurement terabit test

Keysight Technologies Inc. and Credo Semiconductor set a new milestone by developing a joint testbed that demonstrates the first IEEE 802.3dj draft specification compliant 1.6 terabit (T) Ethernet measurement system running full line rate layer 2 Ethernet traffic on a real world hardware development platform. The demonstration delivered proof that 1.6T Ethernet speed is possible and that its performance can be measured.

Network bandwidth demand continues to grow 30-40% annually, driven in large part by the need for today’s large-scale networks to support data intensive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), video streaming, cloud networking, and high-performance computing. To keep pace, network equipment manufacturers, silicon chip manufacturers, and data center operators must build and operate next generation 1.6T Ethernet networks.

Source: Keysight

To help data center operators overcome any potential hurdles, network equipment and chip manufacturers must:

  • Deliver higher speed and data throughput without increasing data center power and cooling requirements
  • Implement faster electrical lane speeds for the communication chips embedded in optical transceivers, switches, routers, servers, and test systems without compromising reliability or quality
  • Measure the performance of silicon chips, network equipment, and network interconnection devices during their quality assurance (QA) cycle in final product benchmark testing

In recognizing the challenges of deploying 1.6T Ethernet, Keysight, developed the industry’s first working 1.6T Layer 2 traffic generation and measurement system, and is demonstrating it in a joint testbed with Credo. As 1.6T adoption gains momentum, establishing a testing framework early in the product development life cycle is critical to help speed time to market and enable confident deployment. Keysight, a leader in 400GE and 800GE testing is now helping companies prepare their 1.6T development plans and has the measurement systems needed for early adopter testing.

Highlights of the Keysight and Credo testbed demonstration include:

  • Operational 1.6T Layer 2 engine – The engine operates on an interface of 16 electrical lanes running at 106.25 gigabits per second (Gbps) per lane with Pulse Amplitude Modulation 4 (PAM4) signaling and Forward Error Correction (FEC). This is also called 16 x 100G SERDES.
  • Keysight hardware development test platform –With OSFP-XD front panel ports that can send and receive full line rate 1.6T layer 2 bi-directional traffic over a Credo provided 2-meter HiWire Active Electrical Cable (AEC). The 1.6T measurement system measures the performance of the link and the AEC.
  • Reliability with FEC – The Layer 2 engine running at full 1.6T line rate provides packet and FEC measurements, plus counters, and other related statistics. FEC enhances data reliability by detecting and correcting errors that occur during data transmission.

Manufacturers use these metrics during development and quality assurance testing to identify areas for improvement in device error correction performance and Ethernet link stability over time. End users can utilize FEC measurements to assess the resilience of network equipment under different stress conditions, so they can confidently deploy devices, interconnects, and networking equipment into their production networks.


“Credo launched the 1.6T HiWire AEC in support of our key customers’ product roadmaps in 2023 and it’s generated a great deal of industry interest. We’re excited to work with Keysight to support the buildout of a robust test and measurement ecosystem for this developing networking standard,” said Credo CEO Bill Brennan.



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