Ethernet progresses on several fronts at July IEEE 802.3 plenary meeting

Aug. 4, 2015
IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group members managed to avoid being too distracted by the sights around Waikoloa, HI, to get a few things done during their July plenary meeting. The Ethernet Alliance reports progress of a variety of fronts, including 400 Gigabit Ethernet (400GbE) and 25 Gigabit Ethernet (25GbE).

IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group members managed to avoid being too distracted by the sights around Waikoloa, HI, to get a few things done during their July plenary meeting. The Ethernet Alliance reports progress of a variety of fronts, including 400 Gigabit Ethernet (400GbE) and 25 Gigabit Ethernet (25GbE).

The IEEE P802.3bs 400GbE Task Force established PAM4 has the modulation format for all electrical and optical signaling at 50 Gbps or greater. This follows the adoption of serial 100-Gbps for some applications at the Task Force's previous meeting (see "IEEE P802.3bs Task Force adopts serial 100G for 400 Gigabit Ethernet"). In Hawaii, the task force also adopted all of its baseline proposals, which means it can now begin work on the first draft of the 400GbE specifications, according to the Ethernet Alliance.

Meanwhile, IEEE P802.3by, the proposed standard for 25 Gigabit Ethernet, advanced to Working Group ballot.

Several other projects advanced during the meeting. A sampling includes:

  • The NG-EPON Call for Interest led to the formation of a study group (see "IEEE ponders WDM-PON, 25G PON for next generation EPON").
  • 2.5 and 5 Gigabit Ethernet for object storage applications, which will now be the subjects of a new IEEE 802 study group
    IEEE P802.3bn, EPON Protocol over Coax (EPoC) PHY, moved closer to initial Working Group ballot after the Task Force reviewed Draft 1.5; it will move to Working Group ballot with Draft 2.0., according to a source that attended the meeting.
  • IEEE P802.3bv, Gigabit Ethernet over Plastic Optical Fiber, is in Task Force review. Draft 1.1 received 474 comments, according to the source. A new timeline adopted and work on Draft 1.2 was authorized.

"Ethernet is in a very dynamic period; there's an exceptional level of energy and excitement driving this technology forward into a diversifying range of rates, applications, and market spaces," said John D'Ambrosia, chairman, Ethernet Alliance, and chief Ethernet evangelist, Dell. "Our largest plugfest ever – representing a meeting of 23 different ecosystem partners – perfectly illustrates the expanding breadth of industry interest in the tangible benefits offered by Ethernet's ever-widening family of speeds, such as 40G/100G."

The next IEEE plenary meeting will take place November 8-13, 2015 in Dallas.

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