What is Thor?
Most of us know Thor as the Nordic god of thunder and lightning. But in the world of Ethernet testing world, Thor plays a starring role in the Valkyrie product line, which is Xena’s stateless Ethernet Traffic Generation & Analysis (TGA) solution.
Thor boasts some truly heroic features – like being able to test both NRZ and PAM4 speeds. For NRZ based Ethernet at data rates of 10G / 25G / 40G / 50G and 100G. And for PAM4 based Ethernet at data rates of 50G / 100G / 200G / 400G. It can also test Auto-Negotiation and Link Training (AN/LT).
In the Valkyrie line we also have Odin (NRZ testing 10Mbps to 10G), Loki (NRZ testing 10G to 100G), and Freya (currently PAM4 testing 100G to 800G and in the future also 1.6 Terabits).
Speeds and technology
In addition to NRZ technology, Thor also uses PAM4 technology. Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM) increases the number of bits in serial data transmissions by using several pulse amplitude levels. Unlike the NRZ modulation technique, which uses two voltage levels to represent logic 0 and logic 1, PAM4 uses four voltage levels to represent four combinations of two bits logic – 11, 10, 01, and 00. With this a SerDes speed of 56Gbps can be achieved, keeping the Baud rate (symbol rate) at 28GBaud.
Because PAM4 allows more data to be transmitted faster, it was chosen as the underlying technology for enabling 400 Gigabit Ethernet traffic.
Thor supports Ethernet testing of NRZ data rates of 10G / 25G / 40G / 50G / 100G, as well as PAM4 56Gbps SerDes data rates of 50G / 100G / 200G / 400G.
Thor exists in 2 different versions (see table below). Both are available in the Xena’s fixed 1U chassis, called the ValkyrieCompact. Or as a separate test module for Xena’s modular 4U ValkyrieBay (Val-C12-2400G) chassis.
All Valkyrie solutions include user-friendly software to make it quick and easy to perform a multitude of relevant performance, QA, compliancy and functional testing: ValkyrieManager, applications for automated RFC 2544, Y.1564, RFC 2889 and RFC 3918 testing, ValkyrieCLI and ValkyrieTimeSynch.