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100 Gigabit Ethernet is coming - then what?

By Jeff Caruso, Network World
July 08, 2009 10:42 PM ET

The Ethernet Alliance can see the light at the end of the standards tunnel for 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet, or IEEE 802.3ba, which are expected to be ratified in June 2010. But the work doesn't end there, and the alliance is looking for your input on where to go next.

The group is composed primarily of equipment vendors and seeks to promote the use of Ethernet in just about every nook and cranny of networking. It has decided to hold a one-day event called the Technology Exploration Forum to air ideas about what needs to happen next to get 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet deployed.

The alliance says it will bring in Ethernet industry experts and will open the event to non-members, to pretty much anyone who is interested in the future of Ethernet.

Here are some of the topics the group suggests: carrier needs for 40G/100G, data center needs, serial 40 Gigabit Ethernet over single-mode fiber for carrier networks, 40 Gigabit over duplex multimode fiber for data centers, 40G and 100G over twisted-pair copper wiring, 100 Gigabit over backplane, 100 Gigabit over twin-axial cabling, and Energy Efficient Ethernet with regard to 40 Gigabit servers, aggregation and optics. The group has naturally also suggested as a topic the next speed increase - aggregating 40G and 100G links and moving to Terabit Ethernet.

The Ethernet Alliance is looking for proposal submissions by July 21. The event will take place Sept 15 in Santa Clara, Calif. Tell them, where do we go from here?

Read more about lans & wans in Network World's LANs & WANs section.

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