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Agilent Technologies Introduces Electrical Conformance Software and Test Fixtures to Facilitate 10GBASE-T Ethernet Testing


Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced new electrical performance validation software and test fixtures that enable design engineers working on 10GBASE-T (10-Gigabit Ethernet over twisted-pair copper wiring) designs to easily test and validate their devices. This test solution is ideal for engineers working in the wireline networking, data communications and data storage industries and will help facilitate the deployment of 10GBASE-T products.

The Agilent U7236A 10GBASE-T Ethernet electrical conformance application software, which runs on Agilent 90000 Series Infiniium oscilloscopes and digital signal analyzers, helps engineers confirm their devices conform to the 10GBASE-T specifications as defined by the IEEE 802.3an-2006 specification. The U7237A 10GBASE-T transmitter electrical test fixture gives engineers easy access to probe the 10GBASE-T electrical signals.

10GBASE-T is the speed upgrade that brings 10-Gigabit data-rate transmission to twisted-pair copper wiring. 10-Gigabit Ethernet has existed since 2002, but it has been limited to transmission over optical fiber or short-reach copper cabling, which are expensive to install. 10GBASE-T will transmit over the cheaper twisted-pair copper wiring and will bring 10-Gigabit Ethernet to desktop computing.

Agilent’s 10GBASE-T electrical conformance application enables fast and accurate validation with superior signal integrity and ease of use. For conformance testing of 10GBASE-T devices, engineers will need to use an oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer and vector network analyzer. The software, which runs on the oscilloscope, will take care of all the instrument control required to run the tests. The fixture allows confident probing of the 10GBASE-T devices by bringing the signals from the RJ-45 connector out to SMP cables for easy signal access.

The software reduces test setup complexity and makes testing more convenient. Engineers can select from a list of tests, run them with the push of a button, and view the results in a flexible and informative HTML format that can be saved for distribution. They also can run multiple trials on selected groups of tests and view a statistical report with worst cases highlighted.

The software offers additional advantages because it runs on the Agilent 90000 Series Infiniium oscilloscope, which has the lowest noise floor and flattest frequency response in the industry. The software also supports a broad range of Agilent’s award-winning spectrum analyzers and vector network analyzers.

The Agilent U7236A software and U7237A test fixture were developed using IEEE Standard 802.3an-2006 compliant 10Xpress 10GBASE-T PHY devices from Solarflare Communications, a leading provider of standards-compliant 10-Gigabit Ethernet silicon.

“Agilent electrical conformance software and test fixtures are leading products that align with Solarflare’s mission to enable the 10GBASE-T ecosystem,” said Ajay Rane, Solarflare Communications’ director of marketing. “Agilent’s 10GBASE-T conformance software and test fixtures will help server, switch and storage OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] and ODMs [original design manufacturers] easily test standards compliance and help accelerate time to market for their high-density 10GBASE-T solutions.”

Agilent also collaborates with the 10 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium of the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Labs (UNH-IOL) on the development of the test methods and requirements for 10GBASE-T testing. The UNH-IOL 10 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium is an industry-supported organization that works in conjunction with its member companies to provide a neutral test environment and industry-accepted test methodologies for the purpose of promoting and fostering conformance and interoperability of 10 Gigabit Ethernet devices.

The Agilent 10GBASE-T test solutions complement other Agilent solutions for 10 Gigabit Ethernet testing, including structured cable installation testing, XAUI electrical validation, and other optical-fiber test solutions. Additional information about the U7236A and U7237A is available at High-resolution images are available at

Agilent’s complete portfolio of oscilloscopes is available in a variety of form factors, with bandwidths from 20 MHz to 90 GHz. These oscilloscopes offer industry-leading specifications and powerful applications.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Agilent U7236A software and U7237A test fixture are available now, and pricing starts at $6,000.


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