Agilent Launches Test Solution for Characterization of SONET/SDH

6/3/2003 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) enhanced its OmniBER OTN functional test platform by adding support for SONET/SDH high and low order virtual concatenation.

The new test capability gives design and verification engineers the first practical test solution for characterizing high and low order container differential delay performance, a critical specification of virtual concatenation designs. Delay performance can now be verified in a few minutes on the bench, as opposed to taking many hours on a test network, ensuring a faster time to market for next-generation SONET/SDH devices, services and equipment.

The Agilent OmniBER OTN communications performance analyzer provides powerful SONET/SDH/OTN testing at all standard rates from 1.5 Mb/s to 43 Gb/s, including comprehensive error and alarm generation, overhead access with sequence generation and capture, and jitter generation and measurement. The OmniBER OTN powerful test capability is particularly well suited to design and verification test applications for next-generation SONET/SDH and G.709 OTN devices and network equipment.

Virtual concatenation is a recently defined concatenation procedure that enables data services such as Ethernet to be carried more efficiently, with regards to bandwidth, across SONET/SDH networks. Virtual concatenation groups individual SONET/SDH containers into a virtual high-bandwidth "link." High order virtual concatenation container sizes are 55 Mb/s and 155 Mb/s, while low order container sizes are 1.5 Mb/s or 2 Mb/s. The virtual process, however, can lead to containers arriving out of order at the link, terminating equipment. This equipment must be able to buffer these "differential delays" to enable correct re-construction of the original data signal. Traditionally, verifying differential delay performance was a major issue, requiring the creation of test networks with variable lengths of fiber to introduce the delay. With the OmniBER OTN's ability to simulate container differential delays, this critical performance parameter can be characterized accurately on the bench in minutes. Such bench-based checks, performed early on in the design life cycle, can save weeks in the overall time to market of virtual concatenation devices.

"Virtual concatenation is a critical enhancement for those SONET/SDH network operators looking to provide new and enhanced data services," said Ronnie Neil, Agilent's data over next-generation SONET/SDH program manager. "A design's ability to cope with differential container delays is of considerable concern. For the first time, users and designers of virtual concatenation products now have a quick and accurate way of characterizing this differential delay performance for both high order and low order container sizes."

Within data over SONET/SDH devices, virtual concatenation complements data signal encapsulation techniques such as Generic Framing Procedure (GFP) and Link Access Procedure for SDH (LAPS). In addition, the bandwidth efficiency benefits of virtual concatenation can be further enhanced by the introduction of the associated Link Capacity Adjustment Scheme (LCAS). LCAS enables the virtual concatenation group size to be varied in accordance with instructions from the network management system. The OmniBER OTN already supports GFP and LAPS encapsulation, while the new virtual concatenation capability is designed for future LCAS support.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Agilent OmniBER OTN 2.5 Gb/s (and below) SONET/SDH analyzer with GFP/LAPS encapsulation mappings and Ethernet payload structures is available now for $88,000. Shipments are expected to take 8 weeks. The virtual concatenation capability is also available now as a software upgrade for $20,000, and is expected to ship in the fourth quarter of 2003.

More information on the OmniBER OTN is available at More information on Agilent's data over SONET/SDH test solutions is available at

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 32,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6 billion in fiscal year 2002. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

Previous Page | News by Category | News Search

If you found this page useful, bookmark and share it on: