Sifos Technologies Releases the PowerSync (TM) Analyzer Programmable Load and PSA 2.1 Software for Testing IEEE 802.3af - Power over Ethernet – Switches

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Sifos Technologies once again has greatly lowered the cost of testing IEEE 802.3af, Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches (PSEs). With the introduction of the PowerSync™ Analyzer Programmable Load to its PowerSync™ Analyzer (PSA) product family, PoE engineers have the broadest choice among PSE test equipment ever. At the same time, the testing capability and speed of all PSAs have been increased with the release of PSA 2.1 software. Also, PSA 2.1 now runs on Linux and Solaris, in addition to MS Windows.

Last August, Sifos Technologies shook the PoE test equipment market by introducing the PSA RackPack, which lowered the cost per port for testing PoE by 40%. With the introduction of the PSA Programmable Load, this cost per port is reduced another 50%, to a price point 70% less than the price a year ago! No longer is it economical for engineers to consider building their own PoE test tools.

The PSA Programmable Load addresses the needs of test engineers who:

1) Face budget restrictions

2) Want to test their PSE by varying the load

3) Want to do Multi-Port Testing

4) Want to manually test via a GUI or command line

5) Want to automate the testing of their PSE, the way they want to test it, not by using some pre-canned test that cannot be changed.

As with any PSA product, the engineer can:

1) Test End-Point switches

2) Test Mid-Span Hubs

3) Test Powered Patch Panels

4) Test Integrated Modular Connectors

5) Pass 10/100/1000 megabit Ethernet data traffic without adding any delays or impairments

6) Simultaneously test the same DUT while other datacom test equipment also run their tests

The PSA Programmable Load is a modular based system that is scalable from 4 ports to well beyond the largest Ethernet systems today.

The PSA Programmable Load can:

1) Measure and determine whether the PSE uses Alt A or Alt B, MDI or MDI-X configurations

2) Change the Detection Resistance anywhere from 9K to 39K ohms, in 1K ohm steps

3) Change the Detection Capacitance from 0.1 to 58 micro-Farads, which is important for testing both IEEE 802.3af as well as PoE Legacy switches.

4) Dynamically change the load current of any port, independently, from 0 to 510 mA in 0.5 mA steps – a method far more accurate than using physical resistors to change the load

5) Measure DC voltage from 0 to 60 Volts – something no other load box can do

6) Measure DC current from 0 to 510 mA – something no other load box can do

7) Regulate the Steady-State Load of the each port

8) Do 100% port loading and stress testing on a Multi-Port or Single-Port basis

9) Perform Loop-Back transmission tests on a Multi-Port or Single-Port basis

The PSA 2.1 software upgrade increases the speed and test capabilities of all PSA products. The main features and enhancements to our PSA software are:

1) Enhanced graphical user interfaces (PowerSync Interactive) to support faster signal analysis. There are new one-button test routines for common and popular test scenarios in the Waveform and Event Control menus.

2) Simultaneous Multi-Port PD emulation capabilities and Multi-Chassis configurations.

3) The 802.3af PSE Conformance Test Suite is also enhanced to further increase test coverage, accuracy and descriptive reports.

4) PowerShell automation is now available for Linux and Solaris including the popular scope trace. NFS compatible (Software vs User file) Application Organization.

5) A new graphical user interface is available for the PSA Programmable Load, and will work with both MS Windows and Linux operating systems.

6) The user can configure DC test loads to accompany packet (datacom) testing.

7) PSA 2.1 will correctly test all current PoE PSE chips available on the market.

Chip vendors are developing new PoE PSE chips with new and creative waveforms which comply with IEEE 802.3af. Each time a new chip is introduced to the market, Sifos Technologies does thorough testing of the chip and insures our software will test the chip properly, in addition to maintaining proper testing of all previous chips. PSA 2.1 covers all the PoE PSE chips currently available on the market. You don’t need different “personality” applications or modifications for different chips.

Customers can upgrade the comprehensive PSA 2.1 software to any of their PSAs without the need to change or add any hardware. An optimized firmware revision is included with this upgrade. All scripts written with earlier versions are fully compatible and executable with PSA 2.l Software.

About Sifos: Sifos Technologies ( is a privately held corporation, founded in 2003, and is located in Tewksbury, Ma., near Boston. Sifos Technologies is the leader in DOCSIS (cable modems, set-top boxes, cable modem head ends) and PoE test equipment.


Chuck Koch

Sifos Technologies

(408) 310-3466


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