The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) this week launched a consortium for companies preparing 40/100G Ethernet products compliant with the IEEE 802.3ba standard.

The consortium is currently accepting founding member companies to provide early input into the testing process for market ready products. One member has already committed and the lab is in discussions with three more, though UNH-IOL declined to identify the parties.

The UNH-IOL has been offering a variety of testing programs, or consortiums, for network interoperability since 1988 with the goal of decreasing research and development and quality assurance expenses, reducing product time-to-market and driving industry acceptance of a technology. The lab has been conducting Ethernet testing for more than 16 years.

The IEEE 802.3ba Ethernet standard was ratified this past June and is the first standard to specify two new Ethernet speeds, 40Gbps for computing and networked storage applications, and 100Gbps for core networking applications. The standard is designed to maintain compatibility with existing 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet devices and preserve investments in those products and in previous R&D.

The UNH-IOL testing model distributes the cost of performing testing and validation through an annual membership. The fee for participation in the 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium is $24,000.