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Media Contact: press@infinibandta.org

Wed, Aug 29, 2012

InfiniBand Trade Association Announces Results of First Ever Active Cable Time-Domain Test From Plugfest 21

Dates for Plugfest 22 are now confirmed, Oct. 15-26

BEAVERTON, Ore. — Aug. 29, 2012 — The InfiniBand® Trade Association (IBTA), a global organization dedicated to maintaining and furthering the InfiniBand™ specification, today announced the results of the Plugfest 21 InfiniBand device and cable conformance testing, as well as the latest additions to the IBTA Integrators’ List. During April’s Plugfest 21 (PF-21) at the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab (UNH-IOL), testers added the active cable time-domain testing procedures to the methodology for verifying vendor products for compliance with the InfiniBand™ architecture specification as well as interoperability with other InfiniBand products. Agilent Technologies, Anritsu, Picosecond Pulse Labs and Tektronix provided equipment for the FDR (56Gb/s) InfiniBand cable and device testing.

The IBTA Integrators’ List, a compilation of all IBTA compliant products, is updated to reflect the test results from Plugfest 21 and is available for download at http://www.infinibandta.org/integratorslist. The list is updated every spring and fall, following the IBTA biannual Plugfest, and highlights the methodical testing and qualifying of various InfiniBand adapters, switches and cables.

For more information about the results from IBTA Plugfest 21, or to learn more about Plugfest 22, contact ibta_plugfest@soft-forge.com.

Active cable time domain testing was completed on all active cables at PF-21. The test involved passing a stressed eye pattern through one victim lane of the active cable, while far-end and near-end crosstalk aggressors were transmitting on all the other lanes in both directions. The testing required a complicated test-calibration procedure that measured the incoming signals during testing, known as stressed eye-diagram pattern, through a mated pair of a host-compliance board (HCB) plugged into a module-compliance-board (MCB). Once the victim’s stressed eye output was calibrated to the IBTA input specifications, the HCB was replaced with a second MCB. Each cable assembly was then plugged into the two MCBs and tested for compliance to the IBTA specification. Device testing was completed by measuring the output of the active cable receiver on the victim lane. Each cable took less than five minutes to test. Other time-domain parameters were also measured, including jitter (J2/J9) and transition time (rise/fall).

Before the active cable time-domain testing methodology, previous Plugfests focused only on frequency-domain testing for active cable assemblies. The addition of time-domain testing gives a more complete audit of active assemblies against the IBTA specification.

Given the success of the previous Plugfests and the promising results from the active cable time-domain testing, the IBTA is pleased to announce the dates of Plugfest 22. The two-week event is scheduled for Oct. 15–26, 2012, and will take place at the UNH-IOL.

Vendors who contributed test equipment to the IBTA Plugfest 21 include the following:

  • Agilent Technologies. The E5071C ENA Series Network Analyzer and 86100C Infiniium DCA-J Wideband Oscilloscope were used during cable and device testing.
  • Anritsu. The MP1800A/MP1825A configuration was used during the compliance testing, which created a technically sophisticated environment to determine if active cables were in compliance with the latest FDR InfiniBand architecture specifications.
  • Picosecond Pulse Labs. The Picosecond Pulse Labs’ SDG Model 12070, a high performance 30 Gb/s pattern generator, was used in the Active Cable Time Domain testing.
  • Tektronix. Tektronix provided two Performance Oscilloscopes; the DSA8300 Series Sampling Scope for Active/Passive Cable testing and the 20GHz DSA70000 Series Real-Time Scope for Device/Active Cable testing. In addition, Tektronix provided a BERTScope Bit Error Ratio Analyzer for Device Stress Testing on the FDR InfiniBand HCAs.

About the InfiniBand® Trade Association
The InfiniBand® Trade Association was founded in 1999 and is chartered with maintaining and furthering the InfiniBand specification. The IBTA is led by a distinguished steering committee that includes HP, IBM, Intel, Mellanox Technologies, Oracle, QLogic and System Fabric Works. Other members of the IBTA represent leading enterprise IT vendors who are actively contributing to the advancement of the InfiniBand specification. The IBTA markets and promotes InfiniBand from an industry perspective through online, marketing and public relations engagements, and unites the industry through IBTA-sponsored technical events and resources. For more information on the IBTA, visit www.infinibandta.org.

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