Ethernet Alliance flexes progress in 100 Gbps as 400 Gbps takes form

The Ethernet Alliance said web-scale data centres and varied service providers, among other users, stand to be benefit most from a range of simultaneous advances for the global high-speed Ethernet community.

The  global consortium that is dedicated to the continued success and advancement of Ethernet technologies said this following a review of the progress of recent standards activities.

For one, IEEE 802.3cu, 100 Gbps and 400 Gbps Operation over Single-Mode Fiber at 100 Gbps per Wavelength standard, has been published. 

This is designed to support a cost-effective, more power-efficient single-mode fiber interfaces for 100 Gigabit per second and 400 Gbps Ethernet networking using 100 Gbps optical technology to reduce cost and increase density.

Second, the IEEE P802.3ck, 100 Gbps, 200 Gbps, and 400 Gbps Electrical Interfaces Based on 100 Gbps Signaling standard has progressed to the stage of working-group ballot. 

When completed, this standard is intended to enable 100 Gbps electrical interfaces and support development of higher-density or lower-cost electrical interfaces for 100, 200 or 400 Gbps Ethernet.

Third, the IEEE P802.3ct, 100 Gbps Operation over DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing) systems standard is complete and in final review before publication. 

This standard is significant as being the first Ethernet specification of coherent DWDM technology supporting 100 Gb/s connectivity over lengths of at least 80 kilometers.

Meanwhile, the IEEE P802.3cw, 400 Gbps Operation over DWDM systems standard, the crafting of which is still in progress, extends the Ethernet specification for coherent DWDM technology to 400 Gbps.

Finally, work of the IEEE 802.3 Beyond 400 Gbps Ethernet Study Group is underway, exploring objectives for initiating a new IEEE project to standardize capabilities exceeding today’s maximum Ethernet data rate of 400 Gbps. The study group is considering market potential and both economic and technical feasibility, among other concerns.

“It is gratifying to see so many of the innovations that were discussed and explored in the Technology Exploration Forum (TEF) 2021 and other Ethernet Alliance collaborative events now coming to fruition in concrete standards activities,” said Peter Jones, chair man of the Ethernet Alliance and distinguished engineer at Cisco Systems. 

“Ethernet’s 100 Gbps building blocks are being extended, and, at the same time, we are starting to look at higher speeds beyond 400 Gbps and putting into place the new technology building blocks,” said Jones.