Suppliers have formed the Ethernet Alliance to educate the market about new Ethernet technologies, but so far without the involvement of Cisco.
While the alliance is supported by the likes of 3Com (which invented Ethernet), Agere Systems, Broadcom, Foundry Networks, Intel, Samsung and Sun Microsystems, the world's biggest supplier of Ethernet switching products, Cisco, is noticeable by its absence.
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Cisco is also a leading player in many of the new Ethernet technologies that the Ethernet Alliance seeks to promote.
Blaine Kohl, vice-president of marketing for the Ethernet Alliance, was unable to explain Cisco’s absence from the starting line-up, but did say that other companies would be joining in the future.
The alliance will work closely with the IEEE standards body but will steer clear of trying to set standards of its own. It will concentrate on promoting new Ethernet solutions such as metro and carrier Ethernet, power over Ethernet (POE), 10Gigabit Ethernet over copper, and higher basic Ethernet speeds.