Communication networks evolves constantly and new data rates are defined, optimizing the network capacity. Ethernet communication devices used in the networks require testing during development and manufacturing. New data rates typically lead to investments in test equipment, but the use of a Layer 1 (L1) Matrix can defer these investments.
During development and manufacturing it may be required to test a multiport Ethernet communication device loaded with traffic on all ports. This can be achieved with a high number of test ports in an Ethernet traffic generator. Alternatively, a L1 Matrix can to duplicate a signal passing through it and output this to numerous ports.
In an environment where multiple communication devices need to be tested, connections between test equipment and the devices may need to be reconfigured between tests. When done manually by moving cables this is a time-consuming task that easily lead to errors, causing faulty and useless test results. If a L1 Matrix is used between the test equipment and the devices to be tested, it is easy to ensure that the intended and needed connections are set up for each test.
Xena test modules that do not support data rates to be tested, can be enhanced to support higher speeds by the port aggregation capability of the NPB-II packet broker from CGS Tower networks. The NPB-II also supports multi-port Ethernet traffic duplication and can act as a switch between the Xena test platforms and Ethernet communication devices to be tested. The NPB-II operates as an advanced cross connect – a L1 Smart Matrix.