Keysight, Credo to Deliver Signal Conversion Technology for Data Center Test Solutions

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS), a technology company that helps enterprises, service providers and governments accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, announced the first, cost-effective test solution that enables data center operators to leverage 400 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) capable test ports to link with and test legacy 100GE network equipment, the company said.

The new test solution is comprised of Keysight´s Ixia AresONE 400GE High Performance Layer 1 through 3 test system based on Pulse Amplitude Modulation level-4 (PAM4) signaling interconnected to legacy 100GE non-return-to-zero (NRZ) networking equipment ports using Credo´s HiWire™ Active Electrical Cable (AEC) technology. This collaboration provides speed-shifting of the signaling rates and forward error correction (FEC) conversion.

Data center operators have widely deployed mature 100GE NRZ-based technologies. However, higher speeds, such as 400GE, create a new mixed signaling, mixed FEC, multi-rate environment. This new environment produces unique challenges relating to the integration of PAM-4-based 400GE and 100GE-capable switch ports with existing 100GE NRZ signaling-based switch port technology.

The combined Keysight and Credo test solution bridges the signaling gap between incompatible PAM4- and NRZ-encoded signaling. It removes potential compromises in testing configurations to improve overall performance validation and quality. The AEC cable technology performs the necessary conversions to allow a PAM4-encoded port to interoperate with an NRZ-encoded port. The solution provides support for testing four ports of 100GE NRZ from a single port of 400GE QSFP-DD PAM4 in 4x100GE speed mode.

Keysight Technologies solutions optimize networks and bring electronic products to market faster and at a lower cost with offerings from design simulation, to prototype validation, to manufacturing test, to optimization in networks and cloud environments. More information is available at