Fadi Daou, CEO and founder
For more than a decade, MultiLane has been offering high-speed test and measurement equipment for the data communications industry. Based out of the humble village of Houmal in Lebanon, the company is the global leader in data center interconnect and high-speed IO test solutions, encompassing IC and transceiver characterization, host platform testing, and link testing. Staying abreast of the industry’s technological advancements, MultiLane provides first-to-market test solutions for the latest and next-generation opto-electrical communication technologies. As the industry evolves from 100 Gigabit Ethernet to 400 and 800 Gigabit Ethernet, the company remains flexible and agile, proactively listening to customers’ diverse needs and developing best-in-class first-to-market solutions. “We have unique capabilities and an integrated tool suite with complete test solutions that simplify the lives of test engineers who use our products,” says Fadi Daou, CEO and founder of MultiLane.
MultiLane provides transceiver test solutions for both manufacturers and developers of pluggable modules. MultiLane’s bit-error-rate-testers (BERTs) can be found all over the world as an integral part of high-volume manufacturing lines and characterization setups. MultiLane’s loopback modules are used extensively to test data center systems of many leading systems companies. Their Interconnect products, such as module compliance boards (MCBs) or host compliance boards (HCBs), are present in just about every high-speed interconnect development lab. The company also offers a complete solution suite for cable testing, including s-parameter testing on direct attach copper cables (DACs). In addition, MultiLane offers comprehensive solutions for thermal validation of transceivers with precise temperature control. These complete solution suites ensure that clients save time and money instead of integrating costlier alternatives from different vendors.
Another unique capability of MultiLane to be highlighted is that they are the first to offer 112 Gbps testing in the Automatic Test Equipment (ATE) form-factor. In partnership with Advantest, a leading manufacturer of ATE for the semiconductor industry, the company has developed a comprehensive and elaborate de-embedding scheme that can analyze signals even in the presence of high channel loss and reflections.
To streamline the time-consuming and complex process of optical transceiver testing, MultiLane offers the automated ML7007 software platform. It can perform transceiver characterization, performance and failure analysis, and incoming inspection, which is typically done by highly qualified optical engineers at a high cost. With the ML7007 software, even technicians can run the test and generate a detailed test report with the press of a button. “We are bringing this test to technician level, enabling productivity enhancement and cost savings for our clients,” comments Daou.
The cornerstone of MultiLane’s continued success is its customer-centric approach, enabling the introduction of innovative solutions to the market. This has helped the company maintain its leadership in time-to-market and enjoysteady growth with around a 30 percent compounded annual growth rate in the past ten years. “We are very passionate about what we do and strive to ensure customer satisfaction. We put great focus on listening to them and if they ask for something unique, we go ahead and build it,” remarks Daou.
Whether it’s to help vendors and manufacturers reassure the performance of their products before shipping or to boost the confidence of data center operators that are deploying error-free systems, MultiLane assists clients with an unwavering commitment to quality. The company is a de facto qualifying body for transceiver compliance testing at client centers. For instance, when a transceiver is deployed at leading-edge data centers, MultiLane performs full compliance testing and interoperability testing between transceivers and switches. Similarly, the company’s host testing solutions debug and characterize switch host ports. MultiLane’s loopback modules are considered to be the most versatile port testing solutions available in the industry today with high fault coverage and equip system OEMs to certify designs from R&D to deployment. “We ship 4000 units of these diagnostic loopback modules every single week,” affirms Daou.
Illustrating MultiLane’s test solutions’ efficiency, Daou cites an instance wherein the company developed a specific solution for one of its clients who struggled with testing large volumes of transceivers. The fully automated solution allowed transceivers to be plugged in and generated a detailed test report indicating whether it passed or failed the specification, enabling the client to qualify transceivers within a few minutes. Instead of waiting for a high-end resource to test the equipment, the technicians could easily generate a test report. Impressed by the quality and productivity the solution brings to the table, the client is now using it to qualify all their optics in the system environment.
At the core of these exceptional services is MultiLane’s expert team that shares the vision of innovation for the next generation. Also unique to the company is its focus on elevating the Lebanese community. MultiLane offers free education to its employees and weekly training courses for young graduates. Almost 60 percent of the employee population comes from the local community. The company is headquartered in Houmal Technology Park (HTP), a technology hub built by Daou to create an ecosystem to support the Lebanese high-tech sector. MultiLane is also funding the non-profit organization HTP Academy that offers applied training and education in high-tech opportunities for young people.
Moving ahead, MultiLane plans to continue with research in next-generation technologies beyond 2025 and further enhancements of products in terms of performance and quality. The company aims to offer a comprehensive product lineup to accelerate cloud computing and other bandwidth-hungry technologies. MultiLane also looks forward to expanding business in adjacent markets such as consumer cables and automotive testing.