25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium renames to Ethernet Technology Consortium, launches 800GBASE-R 800GbE specification

April 6, 2020
The Ethernet Technology Consortium says the specification leverages two sets of existing 400 Gigabit Ethernet logic from IEEE 802.3bs, with what the group terms “a few modifications.”

The 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium has rebranded itself as the Ethernet Technology Consortium, with an eye toward continuing to drive high-speed Ethernet. To underscore its intentions, the industry group has unveiled the 800GBASE-R specification for 800 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) transmission.

The consortium launched in 2014 at the behest of hyperscale data center operators who believed the IEEE was acting too slowly to meet their needs for an intermediate speed between 10 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (see 25 Gigabit Ethernet, 50 Gigabit Ethernet targets of industry consortium). The group subsequently issued specifications for 25GbE, 50GbE, and higher (see, for example, 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium releases low-latency FEC specification for 50GbE, 100GbE, and 200GbE applications). While the IEEE eventually caught up, and then took a step ahead with its IEEE 802.3bs 400 Gigabit Ethernet specifications, the newly rechristened Ethernet Technology Consortium believes it can still play a role in advancing Ethernet technology development.

“Ethernet is evolving very quickly and as a group, we felt that having 25G in the name was too constraining for the scope of the consortium,” said Brad Booth, chair of the Ethernet Technology Consortium. “We wanted to open that up so that the industry could have an organization that could enhance Ethernet specifications for new and developing markets.”

Along these lines, the consortium has made available its latest work, 800GBASE-R. The specification includes a new media access control (MAC) and Physical Coding Sublayer (PCS). The Ethernet Technology Consortium says the specification leverages two sets of existing 400 Gigabit Ethernet logic from IEEE 802.3bs, with what the group terms “a few modifications” to distribute data across eight 106-Gbps physical lanes. The 800GBASE-R reuses the PCS, which enables use of the standard RS(544, 514) forward error correction for compatibility with existing physical layer specifications.

“The intent with this work was to repurpose the standard 400GbE logic as much as possible to create an 800GbE MAC and PCS specification with minimal overhead cost to users implementing multi-rate Ethernet ports.” said Rob Stone, technical working group chair of the Ethernet Technology Consortium. “The 800GbE specification is an exciting first announcement under the consortium’s new name, reflecting the true capability of the organization. We are proud of the hard work of our member companies in completing this specification.”

Additional information is available at https://ethernettechnologyconsortium.org.

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