Carl's Corner - Tips & Tricks for Networks
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Site updated Wednesday, October 21, 2009

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Next generation Ethernet products will be available by 2010

40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet products are now expected in 2010 to mark the planned ratification of a new IEEE standard.

Early deployment for higher speed Ethernet is anticipated in metropolitan core networks, Internet exchanges, high performance computing, data centres and enterprise backbones.

One of the main drivers for higher speed is anticipated to be IP rich media applications, primarily video. IEEE802.3ba will define operation over singlemode fibre to at least 10km and multimode fibre to 100m.

Screened copper cable will support links up to 10m, and a 40 Gigabit Ethernet copper backplane will also be included.

Technical approaches have been adopted for all implementations. Singlemode solutions will use WDM technologies; 100 Gigabit Ethernet will have four densely spaced lanes at 25 gigabits per lane, and 40 Gigabit Ethernet will have four widely spaced lanes at 10 gigabit per lane. Multimode and copper cable solutions will use parallel lanes with 10 gigabit per lane which, for full duplex operation, will require an eight lane cable for 40 Gigabit Ethernet and a 20 lane cable for 100 Gigabit Ethernet.

Parallel cable assemblies are expected to be used in the data centre and multi-way connectors will also be specified for these links.

When asked to comment on the impact of this latest IEEE initiative, Alan Flatman of LAN Technologies, said, 'Next generation Ethernet products will arrive a lot sooner than many people think. Cabling requirements will be very different to the majority of existing installations, notably in the data centre, and consequently decision makers will need to give some careful thought to media choices for the future.'

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