Technology – Network Interface Devices

From the largest global telecommunications service providers to the smallest regional players, there is no such thing as a “stand-alone” network. Telecom networks are comprised of a complex web of fiber optic cables, transport gear, switches, routers, gateways, servers, and datacenters that provide the path over which telecom packets flow and data are stored. To support the services subscribers desire such as internet, mobile smartphone, voice, telemetry, streaming video services, and others, telecom service providers interconnect with the networks of other telecom service providers who in turn connect to yet more thus creating access to the global subscriber base and the internet in its entirety.

There are many hand-off points in today’s networks and these are often referred to as demarcation points. These include external demarcations between two different service providers, between the telecom service provider and the end-customer, and they include internal demarcations that are needed for other purposes, for example crossing the border between two countries in transition, between logical portions of the network, for example between core networks and wireless backhaul and between network and between metro and access networks.

The most prevalent use-case is between the network and the customer premise.

In almost all cases Network Interface Devices (NIDs) are installed for the purposes of testing, monitoring, and segmentation of networks during troubleshooting. Instead of sending out a service technician to each demarcation location with a test instrument, the NID provides an automated way of providing a loopback or in fact even generating test patterns.

AimValley proven track record

Pictured above is just one of many NIDs that Aimvalley has designed, the AimValley Ex14. This model featured two SFP ports, an electrical ethernet port, and featuring a full suite of OAM functionality, low latency, and wirespeed throughput.

EX14 application diagram
Core Network Diagram incl. several NIDs

Types of NIDs

NIDs come in a variety of models based on several factors:

  • The number of ports to be managed.
  • Data rates to be supported.
  • The environment that might exist at the location of intended installation (for example an outdoor cabinet versus an indoor application).
  • The specific interfaces to be connected.
  • The scope of the features supported, from a simple loopback, all the way to a complex set of test and channelized features.
  • The highest ‘wire-speed throughput required.
  • Power supply type and capacity.

In terms of features, simple NIDs offer the ability to provide a loop-back of the received data. In that manner bits sent toward the NID are simply retransmitted back towards the source which is typically a telecom test instrument, an automated test system, or network monitoring system.

It is also possible to loopback only “some” of the data, which might include only 1 or 2 VLAN channels.

Overall, most transmission schemes include an Operations And Maintenance (OAM) channel that is defined by internationally accepted standards, and as such NIDs supports specific commands and protocols for the various functions.

NIDs also provide the opportunity to convert the media, for example, a different SFP for long haul, perhaps on a different wavelength.

AimValley NID Expertise

Aimvalley has a long history and recent experiences in designing various carrier-grade NIDs. These vary from simple single port, small box NIDs for GigE rates, both in and out up to multiport, multirate, multifunction units that act as mid or central NIDs in hubs.

Aimvalley is ready to design your next NID to serve your customers and we have and offer intellectual property blocks that we can adapt to various rates and ports to save time and cost during the design cycles.

Overall, we can provide compatibility with any chosen rates from 100 Mbit/s up to 100 GigE (typically GigE/10GigE) and higher.

Our team of design experts, support:

  • High-Speed Ethernet,
  • OAM standards Y.1731
  • Integrated RFC-2544 & Y.1564 service activation testing,
  • TWAMP,
  • MEF Carrier 2.0 certification,
  • Transparent to Synchronous Ethernet ITU-T G.8261/G.8262/Y.1362,
  • and much more.

Vital to the success of any NID is its reliability, low latency, and Transparency in so far as Synchronous Ethernet ITU-T G.8261/G.8262/Y.1362.

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