Ixia, a Keysight Business, & Mellanox Demonstrate Live Traffic 200G Transceivers & 400G DAC Cables


Showcasing New 200G SR4 transceivers & 400G DAC Cables in the New Keysight/Ixia AresONE Tester

Ixia, a Keysight Business, and Mellanox demonstrated together new high-speed products 400G DAC Cables and the AresONE Ethernet at the European Convention for Optical Communication (ECOC) in Rome last month.

Mellanox Demonstrates 400G DAC Cables at ECOC

We demonstrated our new 200Gb/s SR4 multi-mode Ethernet transceiver (orange cable in the photo above) which is also used in our 200G AOCs as well.

  • Base on 4-channels of 50G PAM4
  • Enables up to 100-meter reach using OM4 multi-mode fiber
  • Based on QSFP56 form-factor
  • Utilizes standard MPO optical connector
  • Supports both 200G Ethernet and InfiniBand HDR

Also, demonstrated several of our new 400G DAC cables based on 8x50G PAM4 using the QSFP-DD form-factor (black cables).  The dual cable form-factor enables easier handling and a tighter bend radius.

Ixia Demonstrates AresONE Ethernet test solution

Thananya Baldwin, Vice President, Strategic Programs, Ixia Solutions Group, Keysight Technologies demonstrated their new AresONE Ethernet test solution enabling 8-ports of QSFP-DD testing at rates of 200G or 400G with simulated Ethernet traffic totaling 3.2 Tb.

Based on Ixia’s first generation, field-proven K400 test platform, the award winning AresONE enables full line-rate traffic generation functionality for transmit, receive, and capture with real time analysis of received traffic. The Ixia-developed industry-leading intellectual property for the critical elements of 400GE: MAC, PCS, FEC, and FEC error injection and statistics enable faster test feature development and response times as industry standards evolve.

Facilitating RFC benchmark testing, stress testing, and hardware/ASIC bring-up in high-port-count test beds. It can be used for optics and cable qualification at 50G, 100G, 200G and 400G rates, interoperability, and functional test. With “IxNetwork”, Ixia offers the broadest and highest performance Layer 2/3 routing protocol emulation coverage and performance available in the industry.

Ixia Test Statistics GUI & Mellanox Transceivers and DACs

After 40 mins of testing at 200GE line rate, Mellanox’s 200GbE SR4 transceiver test results (column B & C below) show a Pre-FEC Bit Error Rate (BER) of ~5.7e-12 and 1.7e-13 which are well above the IEEE standards. Many competitor transceivers just barely meet the IEEE specifications illustrate a 1e-13 BER after FEC is computed.

Ixia’s AresONE GUI also monitors the symbol error density (row 10 – 26 below). Mellanox’s 200G SR4 transceivers shows only maximum of 1 corrected symbol on any codeword over 6-7 hours of run time. This is far below the KP4 FEC’s ability to correct up to 15 symbol errors in a code word.

A new parameter, Frame Loss Ratio (FLR), was introduced in the IEEE specifications for 200GE (row 8). FLR is equivalent to number of 64-byte packets lost due to uncorrected FEC symbol errors. We are seeing 0 for FLR because there were 0 uncorrectable FEC code words reported by the test gear (row 27).

This low BER is very important in high-speed networks running at speeds like 200G as errors can quickly pile up and burden the system with correcting up to 15 FEC symbol errors.  This increases the link latency as the host switch or NIC has to calculate the error correction algorithm to correct errors and if errors become excessive, it may force a retransmission. It also can interrupt the state of the switch machine and force other delays.


The AresONE colored LEDs indicate the Tx and Rx status, FEC and speed of the links. Blue equals 200G and purple equals 400G.

One 400G DAC cable was damaged during shipping.  See if you can tell which one it is from the display screen!



Answer: Col E&F showing the error water fall with up to 9 error corrections.

About Mellanox & LinkX:

Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ: MLNX), a leading supplier of optical transceivers and high-performance, end-to-end smart interconnect solutions for data center servers and storage systems. Mellanox offers a full line of 25/50/100/200Gb/s Ethernet cables and transceivers for hyperscale and datacenter applications and 100Gb/s EDR and 200Gb/s HDR for InfiniBand.


About Keysight Technologies:

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS) is a leading technology company that helps enterprises, service providers, and governments accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world.  Keysight’s 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. Customers span the worldwide communications ecosystem, aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, semiconductor and general electronics end markets. In April 2017, Keysight acquired Ixia, a leader in network test, visibility, and security. More information is available at


Supporting Resources:

About Brad Smith

Brad is the Director of Marketing at Mellanox, based in Silicon Valley for the LinkX cables and transceivers business focusing on hyperscale, Web 2.0, enterprise, storage and telco markets. Recently, Brad was Product Line Manager for Intel’s Silicon Photonics group for CWDM4/CLR4 and QSFP28 product lines and ran the 100G CLR4 Alliance. Director of Marketing & BusDev at OpSIS MPW Silicon Photonics foundry. President/COO of LuxSonar Semiconductors ( Cirrus Logic) and co-founder & Director of Product Marketing of NexGen, a X86-compatible CPU company sold to AMD - now the X86 product line. Brad also has ~15 years in technology market research as Vice president of the Computer Systems group at Dataquest/Gartner; VP/Chief Analyst at RHK and Light Counting networking research firms. Brad started his career at Digital Equipment near Boston with the VAX 11/780 and has served as CEO, president/COO and on the board-of-directors of three start-up companies. Brad has a BSEE degree from the University of Massachusetts; MBA from University of Phoenix and holds 2 optical patents

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