Synopsys Ethernet 1.6T Verification IP and Protocol Solutions for Next-Generation Networking and Communication Systems

Laxmi Narayan

Jun 14, 2024 / 4 min read


Ethernet has been instrumental since the 1980s. The rates have increased from 10Mbps in 1985, to 1Gbps in 1997, to 10Gbps in 2004, 100 Gbps in 2010, to 400 Gbps in 2018, leading up to the emerging 1.6Tbps Ethernet standard. The surge in data from technologies such as virtual reality, video streaming, social networking, AI, ML, automotive, and cloud services are some of factors which are fueling the evolution in high-speed interfaces. Steered by the ever-increasing internet traffic, there is always a need for more bandwidth.

With every iteration of the Ethernet standard applications are becoming diversified. The latest addition of 1.6T (1.6 Terabits per second) speed is going to further transform data centers to meet the continuously increasing demands for high bandwidth.

The standard provides specifications for 1.6T implementation based on 16 lane x 100 Gb/s technology, enabling adopters to deploy advanced high bandwidth interoperable Ethernet technologies.

As discussed above, the requirements for increased bandwidth to high-performance computing (HPC) applications continues to rise. Synopsys Protocol Verification solutions for Ethernet 1.6T, based on specification from IEEE 802.3dj group, enables system-on-chip (SoC) teams to design next-generation networking chips for data centers with easy-to-use interface and fast integration, resulting in accelerated verification closure and time-to-market. 

Synopsys VIP enables IP level verification for designers working on creating Ethernet controllers for 56G Ethernet, 112G Ethernet, and 224G Ethernet speeds to meet long and short reach interface requirements.

Ethernet 1.6T Verification Challenges

Multiple challenges are involved in verifying 1.6T design because of its complexity  

  • 64/66 encoding/decoding
  • Transcoding, Scrambler/Descrambler
  • Align Markers handling, RSFEC, interleaving, bit-muxing, symbol/lane-muxing
  • Flexibility to user defined lanes combination
  • PAM4/NRZ signaling
  • Skew/De-skew, odd PCSLs delay

Synopsys Verification IP (VIP) for Ethernet 1.6T

Synopsys VIP for Ethernet 1.6T can switch speed configurations dynamically at run time and includes an extensive and customizable set of frame generation and error injection capabilities. UNH-IOL compliance suites, available for key Ethernet features and clauses, allow teams to quickly jumpstart their own custom testing and accelerate verification closure. Following are the highlights of the Synopsys VIP solution:

  • Collaboration with standard bodies and partners
  • Extensive error injection support at all levels –
    • Insertion of Fault Sequences /Control Codes in Datapath @ MAC Layer
    • Insertion of corrupted Align Marker Nibbles, 66 Bit PCS Blocks  @ PCS Layer
    • Insertion of Invalid Transcode block fields, Align Marker Payload @  PCS Layer
    • Insertion of Correctible/In-correctible RS Symbols errors  @  PCS Layer
    • In-range/out-of-range skew insertion @ PMA layer
  • Exhaustive list of protocol checks to trigger a protocol violation Error message if any protocol violation is detected at any layer.
  • Native Integration with Verdi Protocol Analyzer, trace files, debug ports, detailed error message. Built in extensive coverage model (with an option for extension to user) and Verification Plans help users to get more confidence on verification completeness.
  • Easy to integrate source code Testsuite covering all major tests to verify 1.6T protocol for faster closure on Verification.

Synopsys Protocol Solution for Software Validation and Network Testing

Synopsys Virtual System Adaptors (VSA) for networking validation solution leverages the power of industry leading 3rd party virtual test platforms to provide an efficient and flexible way to shift left post-silicon network validation to pre-silicon. By combining Synopsys ZeBu® emulator, Synopsys ZeBu® 1.6T Ethernet Transactor, and third-party network traffic generators and analyzers such as Spirent TestCenter or Keysight IxVerify, our solution enables customers to perform comprehensive pre-silicon validation in a virtual environment.

Pre-silicon virtual environment

In this solution, networking devices from the design under test (DUT) are connected to ZeBu® transactors that are serviced by virtual ports from third-party testers through Virtual Ethernet.

Benefits of Synopsys Virtual Ethernet

Faster time-to-market: Virtual test platforms enable customers to perform testing and validation in parallel with other development activities rather than waiting for physical prototypes to be manufactured.

Flexibility and Lower costs: Traditional pre-silicon validation methods can be very expensive because of the need for physical prototypes and specialized testing equipment. However, Synopsys solution uses virtual test platforms that are cost-effective and be easily scaled to meet the needs of any project.

Reduced re-spin risk and higher debuggability: By performing comprehensive pre-silicon validation using Synopsys ZeBu® Virtual Ethernet solution, customers can identify and fix issues earlier in the development process before silicon. Monitors and analyzers provided in the setup helps debug corner case scenarios more effectively and with higher level of abstraction.


Fast evolution of specifications and increase of software content on the channel pose new challenges to IP verification and system level validation. Synopsys end-to-end protocol verification solutions for High Speed Ethernet (HSE), Automotive Time sensitive networking (TSN), Base T, FlexE and USXGMII enables users to achieve accelerated verification closure of Ethernet based designs.

Synopsys VIP is natively integrated with the Synopsys Verdi® Protocol Analyzer debug solution as well as Synopsys Verdi® Performance Analyzer.

Running system-level payload on SoCs requires a faster hardware-based pre-silicon solution. Synopsys transactors, memory models, hybrid and virtual solutions based on Synopsys IP enable various verification and validation use-cases on the industry’s fastest verification hardware, Synopsys ZeBu® emulation and Synopsys HAPS® prototyping systems.

Synopsys is collaborating with early customers and silicon partners to extend the standard architecture for their next-generation designs with new features available now with latest specifications.

To learn more about Synopsys Ethernet VIP and Test Suites please visit

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