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FUDBusters: SolarFlare's 10 Gigabit Transmissions


Well, it's hard to argue with results. Over the past year, the IEEE had backed away from attempting to settle on a 10 Gig over twisted pair standard that will run 100 meters on Cat 5e cable. Recent IEEE meetings indicated that support for 10 Gigabit Ethernet over Cat 5e was unlikely, or that the standard would support a distance of less than 100 meters. But that stance may now require rethinking.

Because most organizations have Cat 5e installed, SolarFlare's "proof of concept" represents a huge change in outlook for 10 Gigabit Ethernet. If the IEEE concurs, enterprises might be able to implement the faster Ethernet technology without ripping out existing cable and replacing it with Cat 6 or Cat 7.

A draft of the 10 Gig Ethernet standard is expected by the end of this year. By then, SolarFlare says it hopes to have a version of its chip that could be upgraded to comply with the final standard, which is expected to be ratified in 2006. The SolarFlare technology could make it possible to provide cheaper 10 Gigabit Ethernet for data centers, and easier to aggregate the current base of Gigabit Ethernet switches.