January 10, 2006 Mountain View, CA -- The Ethernet Alliance, an industry group dedicated to the continued success and expansion of Ethernet technology, today announced its formation. According to a press release, with a scope that includes all IEEE 802 Ethernet standards, the group will serve as an industry resource, helping member companies increase acceptance and reduce time-to-market of Ethernet products by supporting the advancement of existing and emerging Ethernet technologies.
Founding members of the Ethernet Alliance include 3Com, ADC, Agere Systems, AMCC, Aquantia, Broadcom, Force10 Networks, Foundry Networks, Intel, Lawrence Berkeley Labs, Pioneer Corporation, Quake Technologies, Samsung, Sun Microsystems, Tehuti Networks, Tyco Electronics, The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), and Xilinx.
"Although Ethernet has existed for more than 25 years, it does not have an industry voice that represents the spectrum of IEEE 802 Ethernet standards developments and serves the IEEE 802 Ethernet industry as a whole," comments Brad Booth, president of the Ethernet Alliance. "With the strong support of our founding members, the Ethernet Alliance will be that voice, and we will move aggressively to accelerate the growth and expansion of IEEE 802 Ethernet technologies."
"The Ethernet Alliance will play a critical supporting role in the 802 Ethernet industry. As the 'voice' for the industry, the Ethernet Alliance can become the one place to go to support Ethernet standards developments and advancements," adds Cindy Borovick, program director for research firm IDC's Datacenter Networks program.
According to the group, historically, companies that manufacture, support, or design systems based upon Ethernet technologies have formed short-term industry alliances targeted specifically for the launch of individual technologies or particular market segments. However, the group contends that the scope of these projects has sometimes been too narrow, and that often such alliances do not exist long enough to fulfill the project's true mission. In addition, the group says that creating alliances for individual projects is not always feasible, since companies often lack the budget and resources for multiple groups.
The Ethernet Alliance claims to changes this paradigm. According to the release, unlike past alliances that support single IEEE 802 Ethernet projects, the Ethernet Alliance will exist for as long as it remains relevant to IEEE 802 Ethernet technology, and will support IEEE 802 Ethernet projects by cultivating efforts to define and develop new Ethernet technologies, and by educating Ethernet users on their choices and implementations for various applications. Moreover, the group expects its existence to remove the barrier of start-up and organizational issues that surround individually dedicated efforts.
According to the release, the group's activities for 2006 will focus on three key areas: Ethernet technology incubation, interoperability demonstrations, and education. To promote these areas, the Ethernet Alliance says it has started an "incubation process" for 100-Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), has initiated efforts to demonstrate 10GBASE-T, 10GBASE-LRM and backplane Ethernet interoperability, and is planning to show consumer electronic applications.
In addition, the Ethernet Alliance says it has lined up speakers on key industry panels "to help communicate the vision and benefits of Ethernet technology." Some such events include DesignCon, Interop, and the Server Blade Summit.