Ethernet still the leading technology after 45 years

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After 45 years of disruptive innovation, Ethernet – the world’s most popular networking technology – remains poised to break new ground again, particularly in the rapidly diversifying application space.

Commenting on the milestone, John D’Ambrosia, Chairman of Ethernet Alliance said: “We’re almost five decades in, and Ethernet is still the technology to beat – a claim not many other technologies can make. The expanding application horizon, including building automation, data centre, enterprise and automotive, is the catalyst driving Ethernet’s development across the full rate of operation spectrum.”

The Ethernet community is currently addressing a variety of projects in areas including multiple physical layer specifications for Ethernet speeds ranging from 10 Mbs to 400 Gbs; Power over Ethernet (PoE) advancements; YANG data models for efficient Ethernet network management; the next generation of Ethernet Passive Optical Network (EPON) Physical Layer (PHY); emerging application spaces like in-vehicle networking and industrial automation: and new efforts to define bi-directional 10 Gbs and 25 Gbs optical access links.

Notably, two new task forces were recently launched by IEEE:

·         IEEE P802.3ck – 100 Gbs, 200 Gbs, and 400 Gbs Electrical Interfaces Task Force – specifying electrical interfaces based on 100 Gb/s  signalling; and

·         IEEE P802.3cm – 400 Gbs over Multimode Fibre Task Force – defining lower-cost higher data rate and density optical solutions.