IEEE forms 400GB Ethernet study group

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) confirms it is looking into the capabilities and future of 400GB Ethernet

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) today confirmed it was looking into the capabilities and future of 400GB Ethernet.

It has set up the IEEE 802.3 Standard for Ethernet study group and invited members to meet in May to discuss the technology and whether it can help deal with the explosion of data travelling over the world’s networks.

"Traffic is growing everywhere — more internet users; more ways to access the internet more quickly; higher-bandwidth content; and new applications enabled — and it's critical that we move now to create a plan for the Ethernet ecosystem to evolve beyond today's capabilities, in order to accommodate the burgeoning bandwidth tsunami," said John D'Ambrosia, chair of the newly-formed collective and chief Ethernet evangelist in the CTO office at Dell.

He claimed the research is building on two years of efforts from the IEEE to bring those involved in the Ethernet industry together and discover ways the standard can help with the hungrier applications used by consumers and corporations alike.

D’Ambrosia added: "The launch of this study group is the next critical step in evolving the IEEE 802.3 standard to stay ahead of industry’s needs.”

A previous report from the IEEE – The IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Bandwidth Assessment report -  launched in August last year predicted the pressure on networks would grow by 58% on a compound annual growth rate basis. If this rise continued, it would lead to networks needing to support capacity of 1TBps in 2015 and 10TBps terabit per second by 2020.

Alan Weckel, vice-president enterprise and datacentre market research at the Dell'Oro Group, said: "Global bandwidth requirements are continuing to grow exponentially and that makes it so important that the IEEE 802.3 standards community take proactive steps such as assessing needs and launching this study group.

“Standards-based solutions are integral to maintaining business growth across the Ethernet ecosystem."

Anyone wanting to contribute to the study group is invited to meet with the IEEE during its meeting in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, over 14-17 May 2013. More details can be found here.

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