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Agilent Technologies and Solarflare Communications Demonstrate Tools that Enable Cost-Effective 10-Gigabit Ethernet Upgrades on Installed Copper Cabling


Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) and Solarflare Communications, a leading vendor of 10-Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) products, today will demonstrate network elements and validation tools that enable 10GBASE-T operation over installed LAN cabling. The products enable network operators to cost-effectively upgrade their installed networks to 10 GbE. The demonstration will take place at Interop 2007, Las Vegas, at Booth 1774.

The joint demonstration shows the validation of 10GBASE-T operation over a 6-around-1 bundled cabling configuration using the Agilent WireScope Pro and the SwiftAXT alien crosstalk stimulators. These stimulators enable the validation of 10GBASE-T operation over installed cabling in accordance with the 10GBASE-T link segment specification and the recently published TIA/EIA TSB-155 guidelines. The stimulators provide innovative, efficient approaches to reducing the labor time associated with field test measurements that include alien crosstalk.

One of the main concerns about operating 10 GbE over existing copper installations is the impact of alien crosstalk on the effective transmission capacity. Alien crosstalk from tightly bound LAN cables can increase the number of packet retransmissions on a disturbed channel longer than 37 meters, and can eventually lead to reduced transmission bandwidth.

Agilent’s N2648A alien crosstalk test solution, an optional extension kit to the N2640A WireScope Pro, enables field testing of 10GBASE-T conformance and allows cabling installers to correct initially non-conforming and marginal links. Benefits of this innovative measurement approach include:

labor times associated with the field test reduced from hours to minutes;
test results available directly on the instrument, allowing a user to take immediate action in case of a marginal installation;
tracking and troubleshooting modes for fast failure location;
scalable overall validation time through the use of additional stimulator pairs; and
easy set-up and operation with clear status indication and guided process steps.
“We are pleased that Solarflare has adopted our alien crosstalk test kit for the WireScope Pro,” said Alois Hauk, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s Photonic and Network Test Division. “Our solution removes a major barrier for 10GBASE-T upgrades of installed copper. It provides our customers with an incredibly fast test and troubleshooting solution that satisfies their need for cost-efficient, easy-to-operate measurement equipment.”

“The availability of a test kit for installed copper cabling from Agilent, known for its excellent testing products, is an important step in the adoption of 10GBASE-T,” said Bruce Tolley, vice president of marketing at Solarflare. “By enabling customers to use installed cabling as the basis for their move to 10 GbE, enterprise data centers and networks can easily and cost-effectively benefit from the higher performance of this latest Ethernet technology.”

Agilent’s N2648A alien crosstalk test solution is based on the WireScope Pro, the DualRemote Pro and one or multiple pairs of alien crosstalk stimulators. Each of the two stimulators attached to the ends of a disturbing link displays the status and allows control of both stimulators. The active stimulator excites the link under test with a known signal spectrum, while the WireScope Pro and DualRemote Pro capture the alien crosstalk of one or more “talking” links. The straightforward solution emulates the behavior of the communication system and is in conformance with the guidelines of TSB-155 and the 10GBASE-T link segment specification.

About Solarflare 10GBASE-T Products

Solarflare Communications designed the Solarstorm 10 GbE controller to deliver the industry’s lowest-power, highest-performance solution and to leverage the host CPU as efficiently as possible. Solarstorm server-adapter reference designs (10GBASE-T, 10GBASE-CX4 and XFP optical) are available now and priced at $1,500 each. The Solarflare 10Xpress 10GBASE-T PHY supports distances of at least 100 meters on UTP Category 6A cabling. The PHY is available now. Pricing is available upon request. For more information about these products, contact

Agilent Pricing and Availability

The Agilent N2648A Alien Crosstalk test kit is available now starting at $2,462. Detailed product information about the WireScope Pro is available at


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