The IEEE 802.3 Working Group has decided to investigate the needs of emerging applications for 50, 200, and 400 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) at distances beyond 10 km. The new IEEE 802.3 Beyond 10 km Optical PHYs Study Group to define industry requirements, identify technical challenges, and make recommendations related to point-to-point optical Ethernet links at these transmission rates for applications, such as mobile networks, that require reaches greater than hyperscale data centers.
"Ethernet has a long history of supporting reaches beyond 10 km, with more than a million units shipped annually since 2010, mostly Gigabit Ethernet and 10GbE," said Dale Murray, principal analyst with LightCounting Market Research, via an Ethernet Alliance press release congratulating IEEE on the study group's launch. "As the Ethernet ecosystem expands into new spaces, especially mobile backhaul, it will do so in a world of rapidly advancing bandwidth demands. It's encouraging to see IEEE's quick action with support from the Ethernet Alliance to ensure tomorrow's Ethernet landscape supports industry growth and expansion around the world."
The study group's work likely will leverage current efforts to set specifications for 50, 200, and 400 Gigabit Ethernet. While the 50 Gigabit Ethernet and 200 Gigabit Ethernet specification inititatives began last year (see "IEEE approves standards initiatives for 25 Gigabit Ethernet, 50, Gigabit Ethernet, 200 Gigabit Ethernet"), work on 400 Gigabit Ethernet began in 2014 and is expected to be completed soon (see "The journey to 400 Gigabit Ethernet" and "IEEE P802.3bs Task Force adopts serial 100G for 400 Gigabit Ethernet").
"The launch of the IEEE 802.3 Beyond 10km Optical PHYs Study Group exemplifies how all elements of the Ethernet ecosystem need be viewed as a whole and considered appropriately as we work to advance Ethernet technologies globally," said John D'Ambrosia, chairman of the Ethernet Alliance, senior principal engineer at Huawei, and acting chair of the new study group. "The Ethernet Alliance is committed to its mission to support the expansion of Ethernet throughout the industry, and we're pleased to have played an elemental role that has led us to where we are in today's next Ethernet era. We look forward to continuing in our efforts to build out a roadmap that will allow us to meet tomorrow's Ethernet challenges, as well."
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