Ready For 100-Gigabit Ethernet?

networking IEEE

The IEEE's 802.3 Higher Speed Study Group (HSSG) recently voted to set 100 Gbps as the next Ethernet speed, setting up a 10x increase in speed compared to the current top-speed standard for 10-Gigabit Ethernet networking.

Brad Booth, president of the Ethernet Alliance, which has supported the development of a 100-Gigabit Ethernet standard, called the decision "a major milestone."

"This is an important first step, and the Ethernet Alliance fully supports the work of the HSSG," Booth said in a statement.

Supporters of the standard say the increasing demand for high-bandwidth applications such as video will drive the need for 100-Gigabit Ethernet technology, particularly for service providers.

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The move comes as 10-Gigabit Ethernet is beginning to gain traction in enterprise data centers.

Vendors including Finisar, Infinera, Internet2 and Level 3 Communications teamed with the University of California at Santa Cruz last month to demonstrate the viability of the technology by transmitting a 100-Gigabit signal through a live production network.

Some industry observers had expected the IEEE to sanction 40 Gbps as the next Ethernet speed in order to keep pace with the latest SONET Optical Carrier level, OC-768, for fiber networks.

A 100-Gigabit Ethernet standard is not expected to become finalized until 2010.