The IEEE says it will investigate requirements for the next generation of EPON through an IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Industry Connections activity. The initiative will attempt to measure the need to support data rates beyond the current top speed of 10 Gbps.
The IEEE 802.3av 10G EPON specification was ratified in 2009 (see “IEEE task force ratifies 10G EPON standard”). It contains provisions for both symmetric and asymmetric (10 Gbps downstream and 1 Gbps upstream) operation. However, despite the maturity of the specification and the availability of 10G EPON systems, deployments of the technology haven’t yet taken off.
Nevertheless, the IEEE has decided to test the waters regarding the next set of EPON specifications, as “equipment vendors and network operators, particularly in Asia and North and South America, are interested in exploring the technologies available for the next generation of EPON,” according to an IEEE press release.
Those interested in the IEEE 802.3 Industry Connections NG-EPON Ad Hoc can find out more at http://www.ieee802.org/3/ad_hoc/ngepon/index.html.
The IEEE announced the NG-EPON Ad Hoc effort along with three other new standards initiatives. They include:
- IEEE P802.3br “Draft Standard for Ethernet Amendment Specification and Management Parameters for Interspersing Express Traffic,” which targets Ethernet application areas such as audio/video, automotive, industrial automation, and transportation to cost-effectively converge low-latency and best-effort traffic streams on the same physical connections.
- IEEE P802.3bt “Draft Standard for Ethernet Amendment: Physical Layer and Management Parameters for DTE Power via MDI over 4-Pair,” aimed at the market need for more robust and efficient Power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities.
- IEEE P802.3bu “Draft Standard for Ethernet Amendment: Physical Layer and Management Parameters for 1-Pair Power over Data Lines,” which will seek to extend PoE to data terminal equipment (DTE) via a single twisted pair IEEE 802.3 Ethernet connection.
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