ANTONY SAVVAS NETWORK TESTING
networks, next-generation testing is “paramount to the success” of global network transformation, he says. Component manufacturers are looking for a streamlined approach for fast, accurate validation of electrical and optical testing. Testing needs to be comprehensive, providing coherent end-to-end solutions for repeatable and accurate results wherever testing is done, says Scheppke. Transceiver qualification – and especially testing at the die-level stage – requires a complete range of high-end optical and electrical testers. To help transceiver vendors ensure compliance throughout the transceiver lifecycle, EXFO expanded its range of electrical and optical test solutions by acquiring InOpticals at the end of 2020.
with some modification, and will require new clock recovery solutions.”
ZNrun-K410 will be available by “mid- 2022”, followed by the R&S ZNrun-K411 “later in 2022”, the vendor says. CHIPS Simplified, time-efficient testing is essential when developing next- generation devices. Keysight Technologies has introduced a new 120 Giga Baud high-performance bit error ratio test (BERT) solution, for validating next generation chip deployments of up to 120 GBd for the 1.6T (or trillion bits per second) market. Test engineers are challenged with higher loss and distortions when moving from 112 Gbps per lane to 224 Gbps per lane. The new M8050A BERT system is designed to overcome these challenges with “high signal integrity”, enabling more test margin. This allows customers to move to next generation 1.6T designs, while maintaining the flexibility needed to quickly adopt the M8050A to new requirements in the future, says Keysight. The M8050A delivers application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) technology to optimise the design to the requirements of the instrument. Speaking generally on some of the key testing trends in optical communications moving forward, Greg D. Le Cheminant, strategic planner of optical solutions at Keysight, told Optical Connections, “There is a lot in the early investigation phase, but a few things are clear. Transmitter and dispersion eye closure quaternary (TDECQ) is here to stay and will be the primary metric for transmitter quality. And short-reach links achieving 100 Gb/s per lane on multimode fibre are being designed. These too will rely on TDECQ,
Le Cheminant adds, “Looking further into the future, to facilitate multi-terabit systems, use of near or co-packaged optics technologies will drive the need for lower cost test systems capable of measuring high-channel count optical engines.” PICS Speaking of co-packaging, Michael Scheppke, vice president for global labs and manufacturing at EXFO, told us, “Silicon photonics are changing the way optical systems are designed and built. PICs (photonic integrated circuits) are ‘table stakes’ for network equipment manufacturers who want to remain competitive. With hyperscale data centres expanding and 5G driving the proliferation of transmitters, the only way to meet that exponential demand will be to use PIC-based solutions to reduce component size and lower power consumption.” However, optical testing presents a “major bottleneck” in component manufacturing, says Scheppke, due to tight tolerances in optical wafer testing compared to electrical testing. In fact, based on statistics from foundries and design houses, EXFO estimates that optical testing and component assembly currently comprise 80% of test and assembly cost of the final product. Non-automated and non-integrated testing set-ups impede testing PICs at optimum levels, adds Scheppke. Given that silicon photonic wafers are critical to supporting emerging technologies in high-speed data centres and 5G hardware and software, which is used to rapidly isolate and troubleshoot faults on the network. Diagnostics will be automated for any issues as they’re raised by Openreach’s communications service provider (CSPs) customers. Customer service will be enhanced as contact centre procedures will also be automated, equipping operators with “fast” test results for “rapid” pass/fail interpretation. This allows further troubleshooting to be focused on the root cause, whether inside the Openreach network, or at the CSP. A key element of Fusion is its small form-factor pluggable (SFP) capability, enabling micro-probes to be plugged into thousands of nodes across the country. These probes enable automated throughput testing from all CSPs’ ingress points to end-user premises.
“InOptical’s solutions are being integrated into EXFO’s test and
measurement product line, to deliver modular and scalable test solutions across the end-to-end process for transceivers and optical components based on PICs,” Scheppke says.
ChristophGlingener Chief Technical Officer, ADVA
FULL-FIBRE CASE STUDY
Openreach in the UK and VIAVI Solutions are collaborating to automate testing the quality and speed of the Openreach national full-fibre broadband network using Fusion, a virtual performance monitoring system. Openreach says it is on track to reach 25 million premises by December 2026, with a current footprint of 6.5 million homes and businesses, including 2 million in rural areas across the UK. Fusion will effectively deliver an on-demand network “speedometer”, said the partners, showing “near real-time” views of the speeds that end users can achieve. This will be the first time that proactive network testing of end user speeds has been deployed in fibre access networks across the UK, independent of the customer’s internet connection. VIAVI Fusion incorporates both
Greg D. Le Cheminant Strategic Planner, Optical Solutions, Keysight
Michael Scheppke Vice President, Global Labs & Manufacturing, EXFO
ISSUE 29 | Q2 2022
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