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Ixia to debut power-over-Ethernet testing

Posted: 17 Mar 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ixia communications? test module? 1600t? 400t? cisco systems?

Ixia Communications Inc. appears to be the first test equipment company to produce dedicated test platforms for the IEEE 802.3af Power-Over- Ethernet (POE) standard.

The launch of a test module for the 1600T and 400T Ixia chassis comes as new POE products are being launched by Cisco Systems Inc. and Extreme Networks Inc. to address integrated voice-over-Internet Protocol systems and 802.11 wireless LAN (WLAN) meshes, which require power failover in an enterprise LAN environment.

Josh Goldstein, product line director at Ixia, said it has monitored the 802.3af task force for several months, but Ixia had not launched a specific module development program until Ixia's Ethernet switch customers began adding self-powered 802.11 support to enterprise switches. At that point, Ixia began designing a test module to emulate a powered node.

The module is a mid-span board that links to the main TXS board in the Ixia test system, and to the device under test, using FPGA-based protocol testers to emulate four independent and isolated powered devices. The ports can advertise as any class of device from 0 to 4 (which correspond to the wattage of the powered device).

Two jacks on the front panel of the module determine whether voltage or current is monitored. Each port can simulate a range of valid or invalid signatures during detection, classification or maintenance of power, dissipating up to 16W per port.

Ixia has completed prototypes of the module, and is promising to provide samples to key customers within 90 days. Goldstein said the actual schedule may be more aggressive.

- Loring Wirbel

EE Times

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