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100-Gig Ethernet Gets Official Nod

Not that it's a huge surprise to anyone, but the next standard speed for Ethernet will be 100 Gbit/s.

That's the vote from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) 802.3 Higher Speed Study Group (HSSG), taken during last week's meetings in Dallas.

It's a formality, but a necessary one, as a few other options had been mentioned since the HSSG started. (See 100-Gig Ethernet Takes First Step.) "Now we can move foward" with the work of trying to build a standard, says John D'Ambrosia, the Force10 Networks Inc. representative who's chairing the HSSG effort.

Many discussions pitted the 100-Gbit/s option against the possibility of 40-Gbit/s Ethernet, a speed in step with the OC768 of Sonet/SDH. But that fight didn't turn out to be serious; rather, a suggestion of 120 Gbit/s was the only realistic competitor, according to D'Ambrosia.

"There was a lot of consensus around the fact that 40 Gbit/s wasn't the speed to choose, and there was the same amount of consensus around 80 Gbit/s," he says.

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