The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) has launched a pair of projects to expand the application of Flex Ethernet (FlexE). The group also announced it will hold a workshop on FlexE January 20, 2017 in San Jose.
The new projects build on the FlexE 1.0 implementation agreement completed this past March (see "OIF finishes Flex Ethernet Implementation Agreement"). The FlexE 2.0 project will add the ability to create FlexE groups of 200 Gbps and 400 Gbps Ethernet PHYs to the 100-Gbps ability specified in FlexE 1.0. It also will consider other feature additions. These include:
- More detail on use of FlexE management channels
- Coarser calendar granularity to reduce gate count for high bandwidth devices
- Management of skew for specific applications
- Transport of frequency or time by the FlexE group.
"The data center and communications industries are demanding a solution for flexible deployment and provisioning of Ethernet bandwidth," said Scott Irwin of MoSys and the OIF's Physical and Link Layer (PLL) Working Group protocol vice chair. "Building on its first generation of FlexE, the OIF has started a new project to support the next generation of Ethernet PHY rates currently under development within the IEEE 802.3 Working Group."
The second project, FlexE Neighbor Discovery, recognizes the fact that FlexE capabilities discovery is still required to facilitate the setup of FlexE groups and clients. The project will introduce some OIF organizational specific FlexE Extensions to LLDP for FlexE capabilities discovery.
Finally, in January, the OIF will host "FlexE Today and Tomorrow" at the Hilton San Jose from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM. The workshop, which will be open to the public, will summarize completed and current FlexE projects and address the future direction of FlexE.
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