Thursday, June 17, 2010

IEEE Ratifies 802.3ba 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps Ethernet

The IEEE officially ratified the 802.3ba 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps Ethernet standard. This is the first IEEE standard to simultaneously specify two new Ethernet speeds, paving the way for the next generation of high-rate server connectivity and core switching.

The IEEE expects the new standard will further expand the 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet family of technologies by driving new development efforts, as well as providing new aggregation speeds that will enable 10 Gbps Ethernet network deployments. Work on this standard initially began in 2005.

An important note -- during the development of this standard the IEEE P802.3ba task force collaborated with the International Telecommunication Union's Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) Study Group 15 to ensures these new Ethernet rates are transportable over optical transport networks. This should help simplify the border between the LAN and the WAN, as well as support the rollout of better OTN solutions.

"Ubiquitous adoption of bandwidth-intensive technologies and applications, such as converged network services, video-on-demand, and social networking, is producing rapidly increasing demand for higher-rate throughput. As mass-market access to these technologies continues accelerating, coupled with today's progressively more powerful server architectures, data centers, network providers and end-users alike are finding themselves confronted by pressing bandwidth bottlenecks," said John D'Ambrosia, Chair, IEEE P802.3ba Task Force, and Director, Ethernet-based Standards, CTO Office, Force10 Networks.

In addition to providing an increased bandwidth pipeline, IEEE 802.3ba remains compatible with existing IEEE 802.3 installations, thereby preserving significant industry investment in the technology. The new standard is also expected to generate concrete benefits, such as lowered operating expense costs and improved energy efficiencies, by simplifying complex link aggregation schema commonly used in today's network architectures.

  • In March 2010, the IEEE has begun work on a new amendment to the 802.3 Ethernet standard to enhance the 40 Gbps Ethernet physical layer (PHY) capabilities already under development in the IEEE P802.3ba 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps Ethernet project. The project, which is known as IEEE P802.3bg, aims to provide multiple system operators and telecommunications operators with an IEEE 802.3 Ethernet 40 Gbps serial PHY that provides optical compatibility with existing carrier 40 Gbps client interfaces. It is sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society's Local and Metropolitan Area Networks Committee and will be developed by the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group.