Wetzikon, Switzerland, September 29, 2011

The Swiss cabling specialist R&M has set a new record for data transmission over fiber optic cabling. At a demonstration in Zurich, the company showed for the first time error-free 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40GbE) data transmission over 550 meter long multimode cabling with nine MPO/MTP® connections. The results are approximately 60 percent above the previous benchmark and exceed the parameter defined by the IEEE 802.3ba standard by a multitude. The test set-up ran for more than six hours. This public demonstration took place at a technical seminar entitled “It’s NOT the Network” in the studios of Swiss national TV. Organizer of the event was the network specialist Emitec.

The multifiber push-on (MPO/MTP®) connectors used in the test were fabricated at R&M’s own facility in Wetzikon near Zurich. In the past months, the R&M laboratory has optimized the surface processing of fiber end faces and its quality testing. R&M now controls and refines the end faces of the individual glass fibers in the connector in the sub-micrometer range. The demonstration in front of an audience of technical experts in Zurich documented the advances in these R&D activities. “We are reaching a transmission quality that far exceeds all the parameters defined in the standards,” says R&M’s Chief Technology Officer Gianfranco Di Natale.

R&M conducted the test in collaboration with Reflex Photonics Inc. from Sunnyvale, California, and Xena Networks from Copenhagen. With its 40GBASE-SR4 transceiver module, Reflex Photonics provided the optoelectronics necessary for the transmission of the optical signal. Xena Networks supplied the instrumentation necessary for the demonstration with its 100 Gigabit Ethernet test platform.

The IEEE 802.3ba Committee ratified the 40GbE standard (40GBASE-SR4) in June 2010. It prescribes a transmission link of a maximum of 150 meters that is to be built up with OM4 fiber optic cable. Within the 150 meter channel, connector losses of a maximum of 1 dB are permitted. The goal is to guarantee a bit error rate of less than 10^-12. For its 40GbE solution, R&M defined stricter quality standards to ease the migration from 10 to 40/100GbE. The 550 meter distance is very common on the market for 10GbE applications (10GBASE-SR). It corresponds to the requirement of many network operators. Until now, lossless 40/100GbE transmissions could be demonstrated in the cabling industry only for distances of 275 and 340 meters. “We have further increased performance by combining optimized connectors of the highest quality that we have manufactured ourselves with bend-insensitive OM4 cables and advanced optoelectronics,” states Di Natale. Users such as data centers or the financial industry can thus start the transition into the 40/100 Gigabit Ethernet era without taking any risks, plan their networks more flexibly and operate them with peace of mind.

“For Reflex, it’s really exciting to see this huge increase in transmission distance,” says Robert Coenen, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Reflex Photonics. “The combination of R&M’s outstanding production process quality and Reflex’s superior CFP performance clears the way for the broad application of 40/100 Gigabit Ethernet in the data center.” Adds Jacob Nielsen, CEO at Xena Networks, “The 40/100GbE market is rapidly gaining momentum, so it was exciting to witness R&M dramatically exceed the limits of the standard. Using Xena’s 40/100GbE test module (M1CFP100 / M2CFP40), they were able to document an error-free transmission over a 550-meter link with nine MPO connections. This is a convincing accomplishment and a testimony to the high-quality manufacturing of their advanced cabling solutions.” Armin Diethelm, CEO of Emitec and organizer of the technical seminar, agrees, saying “With this demonstration, R&M showed emphatically what Swiss finishing can achieve in fiber optic cabling by processing standard components with high precision.” The results also have economic advantages for users; in the future, they can once again plan more connections, more flexibly design high-performance data networks and save several energy-consuming active devices.

About R&M

Reichle & De-Massari AG (R&M, ) develops and manufacturers passive cabling solutions for communication networks. With its high-quality products in both the copper and fiber optic segments, R&M has established a reputation as quality leader. The company has set up its own marketing organization in 30 countries which are divided into seven sales regions. R&M earns 71% of its revenues outside of Switzerland. Sales in 2010 were CHF 179.6 million, and average EBIT over the last five years has been 8.0 percent. Each year, 5% of revenues are reinvested in R&D. R&M is among the 500 largest companies in Switzerland and currently employs approximately 600 people. The company is privately owned by the Reichle family and is being operated in the second generation as an independent family company.

About Reflex Photonics Inc.

Founded in 2002, Reflex Photonics is a developer of high-speed, parallel channel optical connectivity solutions for data transfer and semiconductor packaging applications. Reflex addresses the growing demand for high-speed interconnects in enterprise-class storage/server environments and telecom-class switches/routers, enabling equipment developers to design smaller, lower cost and lower powered systems that result in higher fidelity and faster connectivity. (www.xenanetworks.com)

About Xena Networks

Founded in 2007 and based in Denmark, Xena develops affordable, easy‐to‐use, and flexible L2‐L3 Gigabit Ethernet test solutions. The company markets its products through an international network of partners. Xena Networks was recently crowned as one of Red Herring’s Europe Top 100 tech start‐ups. In 2010 they won Frost & Sullivan’s “Global Gigabit Ethernet Test Equipment Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award” as a result of their innovative business approach to the Gigabit Ethernet test market.