What's beyond 10G Ethernet?

40/100G Ethernet seen as 2012 phenomena at earliest; is 400G coming before Terabit Ethernet?

So 10G Ethernet is now taking off - 10G accounts for roughly 25% of the overall $18 billion Ethernet switching market and the growth trajectory is only up from there.

Also read: Ethernet everywhere!

Which begs the question: What's next?

Even though 10G has hardly reached maturity or saturation, its uptake will undoubtedly usher in the next wave of Ethernet switching. And that will be 40G/100G and eventually Terabit Ethernet, though there may be intermediate steps in between.

Indeed, the 40/100G Ethernet standard was recently ratified and products are now emerging on the market. Extreme Networks, Force10 Networks and BLADE Network Technologies have all announced switches support 40G Ethernet ports for data center, applications - such as aggregating all those growing 10G ports.

And Cisco, Juniper, Brocade and Alcatel-Lucent have all announced or begun shipping 100G Ethernet interfaces on their service provider routers. Verizon and the Internet2 research network are using Juniper's while AT&T is evaluating Cisco's.

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