Ethernet Alliance launches 10G EPON, 10GBase-T subcommittees; expands membership

May 23, 2006 -- The subcommittees were chartered to support the ongoing IEEE 802.3 standards development process. The organization also also announced the addition of eight new members.

The Ethernet Alliance has announced the formation of subcommittees chartered to support the IEEE 802.3 standards development process. The 10G EPON (10 Gigabit Ethernet passive optical network) subcommittee will support the organization's recently formed 10G EPON study group. The 10GBase-T (10 Gigabit Ethernet over twisted-pair cabling) subcommittee will support interoperability demonstrations as the organization's 10GBase-T standards effort comes to completion.

A 10G EPON study group was formed within the IEEE 802.3 working group on March 9, 2006, following an industry discussion regarding "the next speed jump" for Ethernet PONs. The Ethernet Alliance notes that increasing the speed of EPONs from the current 1 Gbit/sec to 10 Gbit/sec will support the delivery of advanced video services, Gigabit-capable home networks, backhauls for fourth generation mobile communication networks, and high-bandwidth connections to multi-tenant and multi-dwelling residential units. The organizations says its formation of a 10G EPON subcommittee provides an opportunity to support the development of technical proposals for the creation of a draft standard.

"It's amazing how Ethernet has proliferated and evolved over the last 33 years," comments Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe. "And there's no sign of any slowing down, with a quarter billion Ethernet switch ports shipped last year. Ethernet has evolved from the LAN to the WAN and now to providing network access, which is getting quite a boost from the Metro Ethernet Forum's promotion of 'Carrier Ethernet' standards."

"Higher speed EPON is a logical next step for Ethernet in the access network," adds Adam Healey, chair of the Ethernet Alliance technical committee. "The Ethernet Alliance is pleased to offer a forum to facilitate the development of an industry standard for 10G EPON and the tools that support it."

The Ethernet Alliance says the 10GBase-T standard remains on track for a June ratification. The organization says that development of the standard will extend the benefits of copper cabling to high bandwidth platforms, beginning in data centers. The Ethernet Alliance 10GBASE-T subcommittee will support the development of interoperability and conformance test suites, technology whitepapers, and facilitate technology demonstrations.

"The 10GBase-T standard development has been a four-year project. As the end comes into sight, the members of the Ethernet Alliance and the 10GBase-T community are stepping up to demonstrate the technology," remarks Brad Booth, chair of the 10GBase-T task force and president of the Ethernet Alliance.

The Ethernet Alliance also announced the addition of eight new members including CebaTech, Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA), Ixia, KDDI R&D Labs, Siemon, Spirent Communications, Toshiba, and the University of South Florida. Since its formation in January, the Ethernet Alliance has tripled its membership to over 50 companies.

"The Ethernet Alliance has quickly gained the support of many of the Ethernet industry's movers and shakers, and the breadth of companies who have joined is expansive," concludes Ethernet Alliance president Booth. "There has even been an influx of companies historically not thought of as 'Ethernet-oriented', which makes the range of our members truly 'from carrier to consumer'. All of our members offer distinct value with regards to their participation in the Ethernet market, and the Ethernet Alliance looks forward to the unique value each company brings."


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