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Metcalfe Pitches Terabit Ethernet

An LRTV preview of the Father of Ethernet's OFC/NFOEC keynote shows he's willing to throw out old standards

Craig Matsumoto

February 21, 2008

2 Min Read
Metcalfe Pitches Terabit Ethernet

Bob Metcalfe thinks 1 Tbit/s Ethernet is inevitable, and he also believes the industry will have to tear down some standards to get there.

The "Father of Ethernet," as he's often called, will be delivering one of the keynotes at next week's OFC/NFOEC show in San Diego, sketching what he believes will be the path to get to 1 Tbit/s speeds.

And in an exclusive LRTV interview, Metcalfe points out that the path might leave behind the equipment and even the fiber that's been in the network for years.

"There comes a time when standards have to be overthrown," he says. "We're going down into sort of a dead end. I think that dead end is deep enough that we'll get to 100 Gbit/s. The evidence is, to get to terabit Ethernet, we'll have to break out of that dead end."

Metcalfe, of course, has no problem with that kind of thinking.

"There's now room to break loose of the stranglehold of standards and now move into some really fun new technologies," he says.

But would anyone even need terabit Ethernet? It's a question Metcalfe dismisses with his usual candor:

"We build it; they will come, I'm sure. It's happened every time for 35 years."

You can see the whole interview here.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Craig Matsumoto

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Yes, THAT Craig Matsumoto – who used to be at Light Reading from 2002 until 2013 and then went away and did other stuff and now HE'S BACK! As Editor-in-Chief. Go Craig!!

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