New IEEE 802.3 Amendments Serve Growing Ethernet Deployments

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The utilisation of Ethernet is expanding due to demands for increased broadband services and speeds, as well as improved connectivity for new applications that serve expanding markets.

The latest projects under the auspices of the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee have further extended the application of IEEE 802.3 standards. To meet industry requirements for achieving new applications and deployments, two Ethernet standard amendments have been added:

  • IEEE 802.3cn — Amendment 4: Physical Layers and Management Parameters for 50Gbps, 200Gbps and 400Gbps Operation over Single-Mode Fibre; and
  • IEEE 802.3cg — Amendment 5: Physical Layer Specifications and Management Parameters for 10 Mbps Operation and Associated Power Delivery over a Single Balanced Pair of Conductors.

The IEEE 802.3cn standard addresses the need for expanded high-speed broadband services, driven by the tremendous growth in mobile video delivery. This need for expanded broadband has been further emphasised by COVID-19, which has resulted in hundreds of millions of employees working from home, as well as a significant increase in telemedicine appointments.

The significant growth of video on demand (VoD) has set the tone for continual development of higher speed interconnect solutions that networks need for video delivery. While the rate of growth may vary on a geographical basis, overall there is a continued push forward with Ethernet advancements worldwide as a wide range of industries are finding new and innovative ways to deploy the technology.

The IEEE 802.3cg standard builds upon existing Ethernet automotive and industrial standards and additionally provides an effective solution for a range of industrial and building automation applications.

For example, the standard helps to enable industrial applications where Ethernet equipment must operate effectively under harsh, unsheltered factory conditions to provide network stability and maintain the smooth, synchronised operation of automated tools. This is critical, as nearly any product or component manufactured today includes some level of automation.

For building automation, the standard defines networking parameters for the interconnection of remote sensors in order to centrally control a building’s HVAC, lighting, security and other systems.

Today, manufacturers in both the industrial and the automotive world are looking to integrate IEEE 802.3cg into their products and this standard opens the door for effective solutions and will help drive innovation in the development of new applications.

These new amendments incorporate innovative new features into the IEEE 802.3 base standard to serve growing uses across diverse industry adoptions and new applications. For example, autonomous vehicles will require much more robust connectivity and Ethernet is a key focus for in-vehicle networks due to its flexibility and scalability. Automotive Ethernet has already been widely deployed for systems monitoring and infotainment within vehicles, with many new applications emerging in the technology push for ‘fully-connected’ driverless vehicles.

From wireless, through twisted-pair cabling, to fibre-optic cabling solutions, IEEE 802 continues to grow beyond these two new amendments in developing projects and impact the world by making technology better, safer and more sustainable for the future.