Nexans Data Communications Competence Center Analyzes OM3 and OM4 Reach Capabilities for 40G/100G Ethernet

Berk-Tek OM4 Pre-Terminated Fiber Assemblies Successfully Exceed 800m. Distance

New Holland, PA, April 15, 2011 - Nexans’ Data Communications Competence Center (DCCC), in New Holland PA, recently challenged the performance boundaries of Berk-Tek Pre-Terminated Optical Fiber Assemblies with rigorous experiments using a variety of test configurations and platforms. The results demonstrated that Berk-Tek’s GIGAlite-10 OM3, GIGAlite10-FB OM4, and GIGAlite10-XB OM4+ cables consistently exceed the IEEE Standard for both 40G and 100G Ethernet by a substantial margin.OM4 Pre-Term Assembly

“At the DCCC, we continually push performance boundaries” said Eric Lawrence, VP Emerging Technologies & Technical Director. “The fact that we perform Frame Error Rate testing, which is far more stringent than Bit Error Rate testing means that our tests run hundreds of times longer than the industry requires and our cables continue to exceed the industry standards. Using multiple connection points is also important because in real-world applications, our customers need to know that our cable can perform reliably and dependably in a variety of configurations.”

To provide solid, real-world performance results and to ensure interoperability, the DCCC utilized multiple test platforms and transceivers. The strong relationship with many component manufacturers has solidified the DCCC’s leadership position in the field and ensures maximum performance for customers in a wide variety of configurations.

The DCCC results are particularly noteworthy not only for the distances achieved, but also due to the utilization of Frame Error Rate testing instead of the more commonly used Bit Error Rate testing. In Frame Error Rate Testing, a single bit error will cause the entire frame to be discarded. This approach more accurately reveals the impact of errors on the application than BERT and is therefore a more meaningful metric. This testing arrangement means that the systems successfully exceeded the desired 10-12 Frame Error Rate for 40G over five hours rather than the 32 second minimum duration of Bit Error Rate testing.  Likewise, the 100G channels were tested successfully over two hours instead of the 13 second minimum BERT duration. In addition, the multi-connector channel configurations made the tests more challenging.
 
During the 40G Frame Error Rate testing using Avago 40G QSFP+ transceivers, the Berk-Tek standard OM3 fiber achieved 202 meters, which is double the reach specified by the IEEE 40GBASE-SR4 standard. Even more impressive were the results of the OM4 tests with a 10-connector channel where the Berk-Tek Pre-Terminated Optical Fiber Assemblies successfully transmitted beyond 800 meters, more than five times the reach specified by the standard. Separately, during the 100 Gb/s Frame Error Rate testing, Berk-Tek’s OM3 fiber met a 10-12 Frame Error Rate over 252 meters with three connections while the OM4 fiber reached 352 meters with 4 connections, more than double the reach of the IEEE 100GBASE-SR10 standard.
 
“Obviously, we are very pleased with the results,” stated Alfred Flores, Berk-Tek Pre-Terminated Optical Fiber Product Manager. “Successfully going 800 meters across 10 connection pairs using OM4 fiber clearly demonstrates what can be achieved when you combine our outstanding quality optical cable and connectors in support of next generation communications technologies.” 
 
 “These types of studies are part of the value that Berk-Tek brings to the customer beyond simply the components themselves.” said Mike Connaughton, Fiber Optics Products Business Manager for Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company. “The fact that the Competence Center successfully transmitted both 40G and 100G Ethernet to distances beyond those defined by the standard with our OM3 Pre-Term products was very positive. But more important than that, the stellar results of our OM4 grade fiber, when combined with the Avago transceivers, create a new benchmark in the industry and underscore the superiority of our OM4 cable assemblies for higher speed Ethernet applications.” 
 
About the Nexans Data Communications Competence Center
 
Nexans’ Data Communications Competence Center, located at the Berk-Tek Headquarters in New Holland, Pennsylvania, focuses on advanced product design, applications and materials development for networking and data communication cabling solutions.
 
The Advanced Design and Applications team uses state-of-the-art, proprietary testing and modeling tools to translate emerging network requirements into new cabling solutions. The Advanced Materials Development and Advanced Manufacturing Processes teams utilize sophisticated analytical capabilities that facilitate the design of superior materials and processes. The Standardization and Technology group analyzes leading edge and emerging technologies and coordinates data communication standardization efforts to continuously refine Nexans’ Technology Roadmap. An international team of experts in the fields of cable, connectors, materials, networking, standards, communications and testing supports the competence center.
 
The competence center laboratories are part of an extensive global R&D network that includes four research centers, three application centers and twenty-four development networks dedicated to advanced technologies and materials research.
 
About Nexans
 
With energy as the basis of its development, Nexans, worldwide leading expert in the cable industry, offers an extensive range of cables and cabling systems. The Group is a global player in the infrastructure, industry, building and Local Area Network markets. Nexans addresses a series of market segments: from energy, transport and telecom networks to shipbuilding, oil and gas, nuclear power, automotives, electronics, aeronautics, material handling and automation.
 
Nexans is a responsible industrial company that regards sustainable development as integral to its global and operational strategy. Continuous innovation in products, solutions and services, employee development and engagement, and the introduction of safe industrial processes with limited environmental impact are among the key initiatives that place Nexans at the core of a sustainable future.
 
With an industrial presence in 40 countries and commercial activities worldwide, Nexans employs 23,700 people and had sales in 2010 of more than 6 billion euros. Nexans is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris, compartment A. For more information, please consult www.nexans.com.
 
Press Contact
Lisa Moughan                717-351-9362                lisa.moughan@nexans.com

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