At OFC 2015 (March 24-26) in Los Angeles, the Ethernet Alliance released its 2015 Ethernet Roadmap. The first-ever publicly available industry roadmap from the technology consortium is illustrated, outlining the ongoing development and evolution of Ethernet through the end of the decade, and bears a companion white paper.
The consortium notes that Ethernet, the world’s most widely adopted networking technology, saw a period of rapid change and diversification in 2014. Four new speeds – 2.5 Gigabit per second (Gb/s); 5 Gb/s; 25 Gb/s; and 400 Gb/s Ethernet – are currently in development by the IEEE, while the industry is also considering 50Gb/s and 200 Gb/s Ethernet. While seemingly chaotic, this emerging diversification is leading to a new, different, and exciting future for Ethernet, contends the industry group. The Ethernet Alliance says it developed the 2015 Ethernet Roadmap to bring clarity to this mix of speeds, application spaces, and market drivers in the near-term, as well as explore speeds beyond 2020 which could be 800 Gb/s; 1 Terabyte per second (Tb/s); 1.6 Tb/s; 6.4 Tb/s; and 10 Tb/s Ethernet.
“Ethernet is constantly evolving and diversifying into new markets and application spaces. Such expansion is successful when there is greater visibility about a technology’s future. The 2015 Ethernet Roadmap will allow the industry to peer into Ethernet’s future,” says Scott Kipp, president, Ethernet Alliance and principal technologist at Brocade.
Kipp adds,“The roadmap, developed by our members, will help users understand where Ethernet is going. Such insight will heighten confidence to the market that Ethernet has a clear path forward and help further drive adoption of Ethernet solutions.”
The Ethernet Alliance says its 2015 Ethernet Roadmap provides practical guidance to the development of Ethernet, and offers an in-depth look at Ethernet’s accelerating evolution and expansion in four key areas: consumer and residential; enterprise and campus; hyperscale data centers; and service providers. The roadmap provides visibility into the underlying technologies, including electrical and optical infrastructures. It further highlights the different area’s rate progressions, while emphasizing the changing dynamics and challenges within the Ethernet ecosystem, which includes support for wireless technologies such as 802.11ac.
“Today’s Ethernet landscape is vastly different than in years past. Ethernet’s growing diversification is happening from within as people seek to bring the benefits of Ethernet to a multitude of different market spaces. It’s no longer being driven by speed increases in just factors of 10,” contends John D’Ambrosia, chairman, Ethernet Alliance, and chief Ethernet technologist at Dell. “We’re now at an inflection point where charting a clear course for Ethernet’s future has become an imperative. This roadmap will help impart needed clarity by detailing the coming wave of future Ethernet speeds and broadening range of application spaces, while illustrating how standards innovation continues to address emerging market demands.”
The Ethernet roadmap (PDF here) and white paper will be released on Tuesday, March 24 during an in-booth social at the Ethernet Alliance exhibit on the OFC 2015 expo floor, in the group's booth number 2531. Printed copies of the folded map will be available at the Ethernet Alliance OFC booth, and are available digitally at www.ethernetalliance.org/roadmap.