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Bob Metcalfe is thinking big (again)

Phil Harvey

February 1, 2008

1 Min Read
Terabit Ethernet

2:17 PM -- While doing some conference planning, I noticed that Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe is going to be talking at OFC/NFOEC on the subject of Terabit Ethernet.

Yeah. Terabit. With a "T".

His speaker abstract gives a pretty effective tease: "I want to talk not just about how we got to 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE), but also about how we are going to get to 40-, 100-, and, yes, even 1,000-Gbit/s Ethernet, which I hereby call Terabit Ethernet (TbE)."

So, I have questions for Mr. Metcalfe (and I hope to spring these on him in person):

  1. Warming up: Do you feel there's a market forming for Terabit Ethernet (TbE)?

  2. What will make that market? How will we know it's time to build those products?

  3. Who's going to buy TbE? Seriously.

  4. What's the traffic driver? (Maybe that's obvious, but is video really enough to make this a market in the next decade?)

  5. What kind of infrastructure is going to be needed to support TbE? We're running 100-Gbit/s Ethernet over the same stuff that 10-Gbit/s Ethernet was built on, in many cases. How is that going to change?

  6. How will the Ethernet standard itself have to change to adjust for the packet sizes required for Terabit Ethernet? What's going to happen to Sonet if Terabit Ethernet really is around the corner?

That's a start. If I get my shot at Bob, what would YOU like to know?

— Phil Harvey, The Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Phil Harvey

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, Light Reading

Phil Harvey is the Editor-in-Chief of Light Reading. He (barely) manages editorial operations and news coverage for the Light Reading network's digital properties, including Light Reading, The 5G Exchange, Connecting Africa, Telecoms.com and Broadband World News.

Phil rejoined Light Reading in 2018; he's been a member of the LR editorial staff for a combined 15 years. In between stints at Light Reading, he was the news editor at CRN and, before that, the communications director at Metaswitch Networks. During the late 90s, Phil covered networking and telecom in Silicon Valley as a staff writer at Upside (R.I.P.) and (the original) Red Herring magazine.

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