March 14, 2018 // 11 a.m.
The Ethernet Alliance has announced an update to its public roadmap, charting the route through which it hopes to offer 1.6 terabit per second Ethernet (1.6TbE) connectivity in the future.
Launched in 2005 as a non-profit industry consortium for the promotion of the Ethernet networking standards, itself dating back to the mid 1970s and its development at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre (PARC) by engineer Robert Metcalfe and colleagues, the Ethernet Alliance is now promising a future in which current state-of-the-art connectivity is viewed in much the same way as we see 10-Base-T these days.
'When you ask yourself, "What is Ethernet’s roadmap?," you have to consider which road it is you're taking. A rising number of increasingly diverse technologies and applications are driving the growth and expansion of the family of Ethernet solutions, so we're beyond the days of just a single Ethernet roadmap,' explains John D'Ambrosia, chairman of the Ethernet Alliance and senior principal engineer at networking and mobile giant Huawei. 'As the leading industry voice for Ethernet, we’re ready to fulfil our mission of supporting Ethernet as new application spaces and markets begin capitalising on the advantages it offers, both today and into tomorrow’s terabit-enabled future.'
That terabit-future, the Alliance claims, will include 1.6TbE, a standard offering a considerable improvement on the IEEE Standards Association's latest release, IEEE 802.3bs-2017—Standard Amendment for Media Access Control (MAC) Parameters, Physical Layers and Management Parameters for 200Gb/s and 400Gb/s Operation. 'When you consider the notable move to 25-50Gb/s Ethernet for servers and 100Gb/s Ethernet for networks, it has become clear through proactive engagement with industry that 200Gb/s and 400Gb/s Ethernet is needed to meet growing capacity demand for high-bandwidth services today and for the future,' adds D’Ambrosia. 'The publication of IEEE 802.3bs represents a nearly five-year endeavour to ensure Ethernet's continuing support of the accelerating curve for higher bandwidth that can support ongoing robust industry growth and expansion.'
The revised public roadmap is available now on the Ethernet Alliance website.