New White Paper Finds Formal RapidIO® Device Interoperability Testing is the Cornerstone of the Due Diligence

First RapidIO Radio features author discussing how interoperability testing can mean the difference between market success and failure for both OEMs and vendors.

A new white paper, Interoperability Testing and the RapidIO® Standard: The Need for Repeatable and Quantitative Assessment, released today by the RapidIO® Trade Association and by Fabric Embedded Tools Corporation (FET), identifies three key implementation challenges that often affect device interoperability. The paper offers embedded designers a detailed analysis of the types of interoperability and the critical need for repeatability in testing that will prove invaluable as they specify devices for next generation applications. The paper, authored by Jim Parisien, president of FET, and chair of the RapidIO Trade Association Interoperability Working Group, is available on the RapidIO web site, www.rapidio.org/education/interoperability/.

“With data rates moving to 10Gbps we are seeing ever more complex semiconductor devices and shorter product development cycles. As a result, OEMs don’t have the time to prototype and discover interoperability issues in-house or to wait for hardware fixes before bringing products to market,” said Ernie Bergstrom, Vice President, Research, and Chief Analyst, Crystal Cube Consulting. “Consequently, extremely thorough device level interoperability must be completed prior to product design. RIOLAB, realizing this critical step, delivers repeatable assessments across multiple devices.”

As the white paper notes, “the only way to validate complete, true interoperability is to carefully test each device against the RapidIO specification and to test each device against every other device.” Different manufacturers use varied, proprietary test suites, systems from the same manufacturer are often not homogeneous, and no one can predict with certainty every device that will be plugged in over time. As such, before investing in a device, OEMs are eager to ensure repeatable interoperability test results.

“This white paper, Interoperability Testing and the RapidIO® Standard: The Need for Repeatable and Quantitative Assessment, underscores what I hear repeatedly from OEMs struggling to choose the ‘right’ devices for next generation systems,” said Tom Cox, executive director of the RapidIO Trade Association. “There is no doubt that OEMs are painfully aware of the financial, market, and business implications of using devices that don’t perform to expectations and standards.”

The new white paper focuses on device interoperability and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of relying on test results from semiconductor manufacturers’ in-house labs. The paper defines the criteria required for truly independent reporting and examines the benefits of RIOLAB, the world’s only independent RapidIO Interoperability Lab.

Throughout 2008, the RapidIO Trade Association will provide additional educational information about interoperability and the RapidIO standard. The initial episode of RapidIO Radio, to debut February 14, 2008, will feature author Jim Parisien, and the RapidIO web site will have a special education page dedicated to this material www.rapidio.org/education/interoperabliity/. For more information, visit the RapidIO web site, www.RapidIO.org.

RapidIO technology is an established, scalable, packet-switched, high-performance fabric specifically developed to address the needs of equipment designers in the wireless infrastructure, edge networking, storage, scientific, military and industrial markets. Under active development since June 1997, the RapidIO standard represents continued commitment of the RapidIO Trade Association to addressing the needs of the ever-changing networking and communications marketplace. This ISO-certified, open-standard seamlessly enables the chip-to-chip, board-to-board, control, backplane and data plane interconnections needed in high-performance networking, communications and embedded systems. Information is available at www.RapidIO.org.

RapidIO® is a registered trademark of the RapidIO Trade Association. Product and company names mentioned may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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