Ethernet Networking Interoperability Testing Speeds Up

Created November 7, 2018
Dave Chalupsky, Plugfest Chair and Board MemberApplications and Research

Ethernet Alliance Higher Speed Networking Plugfest Set For December

The Ethernet Alliance (EA) has announced its next Ethernet Higher Speed Networking Plugfest for port data rates ranging from 25 Gbits/s to 400 Gbits/s. The week-long event – beginning December. 3, 2018, at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) in Durham, NH – is designed to allow EA members, equipment manufacturers, test and measurement professionals, etc. to test and improve interoperability of their solutions. In addition, members of the 100G Lambda Multisource Agreement (MSA) Group also are invited to attend the plugfest, under terms of a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) between that industry consortium and the EA.

With demand for faster, more reliable high-speed connectivity exploding across market segments such as cloud, enterprise, telecommunications, financial services and Internet exchanges, the EA event will provide a confidential, non-competitive environment for testing and verification of advanced Ethernet solutions such as new PAM4-based electrical and optical signalling. The December event comes on the heels of a successful August. 13 to17 plugfest at UNH-IOL, which proved to be one of the Ethernet Alliance’s most ambitious testing and debug events ever.

“With so much technology development underway and transpiring on different timeframes, industry is more and more often demanding opportunities for trustworthy interoperability testing for their solutions. This is a role for which the Ethernet Alliance has grown globally respected,” said Dave Chalupsky, Plugfest Chair and Board Member, Ethernet Alliance, and Network Product Architect, Intel Corporation. “Ethernet is amid significant and historic growth, with so many new standards activities coming out over the last two years and still rolling out. Our plugfests allow Ethernet Alliance members to more rapidly iterate on product development and confidently deliver multi-vendor-interoperable products that their customers can rely on from day one.”

The EA says its plugfests are proven for bringing together the always-expanding Ethernet ecosystem to quickly meet the market’s growing appetite for robust and dependable connectivity, and swiftly deliver upon the promise and benefits of the next generation of Ethernet speeds. The testing matrix for the December plugfest encompasses technologies based on both recently completed and soon-to-be-ratified standards. With the recent completion and/or expected approval of standards – such as IEEE 802.3bis and IEEE P802.3cd, as well as specifications such as 100G Lambda MSA’s 100G-FR and 400G-FR4, which are based on 100 Gb/s PAM4 signalling and designed for datacentre connectivity over links of up to 2 km -meeting demand for greater Ethernet speeds while maintaining the technology’s legacy of proven interoperability is increasingly important. Among equipment to be tested during the December event are Ethernet physical layer transceivers (PHYs); network interface controllers (NICs); switches; test and measurement solutions, and an array of optical and copper media at speeds of 25, 50, 100, 200, and 400 Gbits/s.

Companies interested in participating in the December plugfest will need to join the Ethernet Alliance. Information regarding membership may be found at:
For other information about the Ethernet Alliance, please visit


This article was written
by John Williamson

John Williamson is a freelance telecommunications, IT and military communications journalist. He has also written for national and international media, and been a telecoms advisor to the World Bank.