The UNH InterOperability Lab Announces Ethernet Test Solution Now Available

Durham, N.H., April 26, 2018 -- The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL), an independent provider of broad-based testing and standards conformance solutions for the networking industry, recently announced their custom test tool, the BitPhyer Test Tools, are now available to the public. These tools compliment what commercially available tools can do, by stressing the lower, typically/previously untestable physical layers, for Fast, Gigabit, and Automotive Ethernet. Previously only available internally, the public can now test their devices in the same manner that the UNH-IOL would, allowing for immediate debug in any lab around the world.   

BitPhyer is a family of hardware platforms used to test the IEEE 802.3™ MAC, Flow Control, PCS, and RS layers for Ethernet devices. This platform is based on Xilinx FPGAs and custom built hardware which are used to create a flexible bit-level based test system. The FPGA based design makes for a flexible platform that can grow beyond the Gigabit Media-Independent Interface and Media-Independent Interface (GMII/MII)-based system. BitPhyer features bit-level control, allowing manufacturers to test hard-to-reach portions of the standard, such as Clause 49 PCS state diagrams and block encoding/decoding. Companies testing in-house will receive faster root cause analysis, decrease testing time for validation, as well as decrease costs for testing by implementing a common set of test cases for easy compliance comparison.

“Due to market shifts and recent developments (industrial, automotive, etc), new adopters in the Ethernet space are continuously emerging ” said Jeff Lapak, Associate Director, UNH-IOL. “The BitPhyer platform is designed to grow with those shifts. Being able to test both existing product and products under development, companies can cut down on unnecessary revisions of silicon by getting it right the first time.”

In addition, the UNH-IOL will be teaming up with the NBASE-T Alliance and its member companies at the InteropITX event in Las Vegas, NV, April 30-May 4, 2018, as the technical lead for the show. This will include a live interop demo highlighting the extensive connectivity of NBASE-T and show in detail how the wide variety of products from multiple vendors can cohabitate in an intricate network. BitPhyer will be highlighted as an example of a way to test the devices in the demo for conformance. BitPhyer is a way to ensure that any device will interoperate with any BASE-T port, whether it was manufactured in 1999 or 2019.