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Ethernet Alliance plots 1.6 terabit-per-second future

In 2025 you'll run 100 Gbps on the server, 400 Gbps on the switch and 1 Tbps on the router

By Richard Chirgwin, 1 Apr 2015

Think 100 Gbps Ethernet is The Coming Thing? You ain't seen nothing yet: one of the venerable standard's custodians wants it going a hundred times faster by the end of another decade.

No, this isn't El Reg April Foolery: that's what the Ethernet Alliance's 2015 roadmap expects to be able to deliver.

Of course, the screaming speeds at the far end of the rainbow won't be using your venerable blue cable: getting to 1 Tbps will first need 100 Gbps to settle down. That way, ten 100 Gbps lanes – or even sixteen – will yield up to 1.6 Tbps Ethernet connections.

President of the Ethernet Alliance Scott Kipp told The Platform's Timothy Prickett-Morgan that advance on Ethernet is expected around 2020, when a low-cost 100 Gbps lane that fits onto SPF+ ports should hit the market.

Between now and 2020, the group expects to have ratified the 25 Gbps speed proposed last year by the 25G Ethernet Consortium, along with 50 Gbps, 200 Gbps and 400 Gbps documents.

As The Platform notes, a reasonable expectation by 2025 will be for most deployments to be running “100 Gbps on the server, 400 Gbps on the switch, and 1 Tbps on the router”.

The roadmap shows that the Alliance wants to have multi-mode fibre ports carrying 25, 50, 200 and 400 Gbps lanes (distances up to 100 metres), the single mode fibres will run distances out to as much as 10 km (for the proposed 400 GBASE-LRn standard).

The 25 and 40 Gbps twisted pair connections will require Cat8 cable, the roadmap says. ®

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