& cplSiteName &

Timing the Terabit Standard

Craig Matsumoto
2/24/2012
50%
50%

5:25 PM -- Here's something I hadn't thought about. Who's going to work on the Terabit Ethernet standard?

John D'Ambrosia of Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL) made that point earlier this week at the Ethernet Technology Summit, during a session I was chairing. Companies are getting 1Tbit/s to work in the labs, and research on Terabit Ethernet is well underway. But a lot of people who would work on any kind of 1Tbit/s standard are still wrapped up with 100Gbit/s.

That creates a timing issue. The bandwidth growth curves D'Ambrosia has been using suggest that 1Tbit/s transport will be in serious demand somewhere around 2015. But Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) standards can take five years: one or two years to define the standard's goals, then a fixed three-year process toward ratification.

D'Ambrosia's title is something like Ethernet technical evangelist, but I know him more as the high-speed Ethernet guy at the IEEE. He's involved with 100Gbit/s from a lot of angles, which he listed on a slide:

  • Chairing IEEE 802.3bj, the 100Gbit/s backplane task force
  • Chairing an IEEE Ethernet Bandwidth Assessment committee, which is analyzing future network demand, to create a foundation for things like a terabit standard
  • Chairing The Ethernet Alliance 's board of directors


Not everybody is as busy as D'Ambrosia, but his point was that the 100Gbit/s cycle will tie up a lot of high-speed Ethernet experts for the next few years -- into the period when they really should start work on terabit standards.

So, that's something to think about, D'Ambrosia says. Certainly people can work on more than one thing at once, but 100Gbit/s will be a major focus for the foreseeable future.

Obviously, the industry will cope. There's always a workaround, and those high-end customers -- the ones that will want 1Tbit/s first -- are employing some of networking's smartest minds themselves. If D'Ambrosia's hunch is right, those customers will just start using Terabit Ethernet without a completed standard.

Even 100Gbit/s -- which has gone quite smoothly, from a standards perspective -- hit some user dissent that led to the 10x10 multisource agreement, an ad hoc, get-it-done-now project. Early terabit systems might develop along the same lines.

It might be messy, but with the focus 1Tbit/s is getting already, it shouldn't be as messy as the 40Gbit/s generation was. I'm willing to be optimistic here.

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
More Blogs from Craig's A-List
If there isn't a master plan behind Google's creation of Kubernetes, maybe there ought to be.
Already replaced as CEO, John Chambers is fully detaching as he plans to step down as Cisco chairman, truly ending his time as the face and voice of the company.
The network must be automated. And Light Reading must write about it.
Comcast joins Google in asking for a flexible-rate optical standard, rather than 400G or terabit, but that's easier said than done
Cisco, Juniper and other more traditional Interop speakers might get overshadowed by the forces of virtualization
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Muni Policies Stymie Edge Computing
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/17/2017
Is US Lurching Back to Monopoly Status?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
'Brutal' Automation & the Looming Workforce Cull
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/18/2017
Pai's FCC Raises Alarms at Competitive Carriers
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Worried About Bandwidth for 4K? Here Comes 8K!
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 10/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Selfie Game Strong Click Here
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives