Standards under way for faster Ethernet: 10G-bit

Standards under way for faster Ethernet: 10G-bit

An alliance formed by seven major network vendors, the 10 Gigabit Ethernet Alliance, has formally been announced in California. The group said its mission will be to promote this future and faster version of the Ethernet scheme for use in LANs, WANs and metropolitan-area networks (MANs).

Transporting data at 10Gbps is a tenfold jump in speed over the Gigabit Ethernet that's just now going mainstream, according to the new alliance. But it's not just the additional bandwidth that's impressive, said Clark Averill, an American network support analyst.

Ethernet is a global standard, and "it's easier to implement something you already know", commented Averill. It's also cheaper than other network technologies like Asynchronous Transfer Mode, he added.

Averill said he's pleased that

vendors are getting together to set standards, because interoperability was important.

A spokesman from 3Com, one of the founders of the alliance, said it would be a couple years before thestandards will be ironed out and10G-bit Ethernet hardware becomes available.

And, unlike Gigabit Ethernet that can now run over copper wires, 10G-bit connections will have to be made over fiber-optic cables.

In addition to 3Com, the alliance's founding members are: Cisco Systems; Extreme Networks; Intel; Sun Microsystems; Nortel Networks and World Wide Packets.

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