The Ethernet Alliance has announced that the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) 802.3 working group has formed the Higher Speed Study Group (HSSG) to evaluate the requirements for the next generation of Ethernet technology.
"This is an exciting time for the Ethernet industry as there are a number of activities helping to drive the volume adoption of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE)," comments Brad Booth, president of the Ethernet Alliance and director of advanced products for Quake Technologies.
The IEEE 802.3an standard, also known as 10GBASE-T, was ratified June 8, 2006. The standard is designed to enables a low-cost, easy-to-use, copper cabling platform for the 10 GbE transmissions. Additionally, the SFF-8431 standard, specifying 10-GbE SFP+ [small form factor pluggable] optics, offers lower cost and reduced power consumption for such transmissions. SFF-8431 is expected to be ratified by the end of 2006.
"The growing deployment of 10-GbE standards-compliant equipment is generating demand for a higher speed of Ethernet technology," continues Booth. "The formation of the HSSG is a critical step in ensuring that the standards community is ready to meet that demand."
According to the Ethernet Alliance, the demand for Ethernet bandwidth is growing in every market segment, including consumers and enterprises as well as service and content providers. The group notes that the current generation of 10-GbE Ethernet technology is being widely deployed in Internet exchanges to provide capacity for accommodating bandwidth-intensive applications such as IPTV and personalized content.
The group points out that, while early use of 10-GbE technology traditionally occurred in the switch-to-switch interconnect market, the industry is now seeing microprocessors driving higher bandwidth requirements in servers, with 10-GbE technology meeting that demand. The group contends that, with 10 GbE taking its place within the network ecosystem, the industry is now turning its attention to what will follow to aggregate 10-GbE pipes.
"By forming this study group, the industry is focusing its resources and talents on developing a higher speed of Ethernet that can accommodate what are already rapidly growing bandwidth demands," comments Jim McGregor, principal analyst at the research firm In-Stat. "With the support of the industry behind this effort, the HSSG can begin to explore the technical requirements and develop a higher speed solution that is compatible with existing Ethernet technologies and will ensure the continued growth of the Internet and the networked world."
"IEEE 802.3 has a tradition of bringing industry resources together to develop standards projects. With 10 GbE being deployed in national labs across the country, it is good to see that IEEE 802.3 is stepping up to ensure that our networks can continue to grow and deploy Ethernet technology," concludes Mike Bennett, senior network engineer at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.