8 Reasons Ethernet Has Endured For 50 Years 649ae8812b76b

8 reasons Ethernet has endured for 50 years

June 27, 2023
Ethernet Alliance discusses the flexibility, adaptability and power of Ethernet

This year Ethernet reaches its 50th anniversary. Designed to be adaptable and flexible, this has allowed Ethernet to mature and transform for decades. For more on how the Ethernet Alliance is celebrating Ethernet’s beginning and the evolution of its global reach, read this article. The list below is a quick roundup of why Ethernet continues to endure.

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1. Ethernet is the technology that underpins the Internet.

“Ethernet has succeeded by building a comprehensive, open community that provides the technology that underpins the Internet. It doesn’t attempt to be perfect. It specifies just enough to satisfy the customer need, maintains an intense focus on interoperability and adapts to changing needs and technologies as they arise,” says Peter Jones, Ethernet Alliance chair and engineer at the Cisco Networking hardware team.

2. Ethernet is constantly evolving.

“The key to Ethernet’s success has been its commitment to openness and interoperability, as well as its adaptability. Ethernet constantly evolves to address new use cases—moving data from the cloud to the edge to serve an increasingly smart and connected world,” says Sam Johnson, Ethernet Alliance, Higher-Speed Networking subcommittee co-chair and manager of the link applications engineering team at Intel’s cloud networking group.

3. Ethernet adaptability is not by accident.

“Ethernet’s resilience is a testament to its adaptability across multiple interconnect and options and applications. Ethernet is not constrained by cable or connection—hence, its use over myriad copper or fiber cables, in homes and offices, across factory floors, in automobile, and as the backbone of cellular phone networks. This adaptability is not by accident; rather, it’s a product of the combined efforts of engineers across the world who come together to maintain and innovate the underlying standards. Due to its adaptability and engineering community oversight, Ethernet is and continues to be the backbone of our connected world,” says David J. Rodgers, Ethernet Alliance events and conferences chair and business development manager at Exfo.

4. The transformative nature of Ethernet networking has brought about change at a global level.

“Ethernet and IEEE 802.3 in general constitute some of the world’s best engineers and international organizational principals in work collaboration and development. Its contributions in bringing the world together a little bit tighter than it was 50 years back with efficient and scalable networking technology has brought about change at a global level. The transformative nature of networking technology now impacts us and our communities for the better in countless ways,” says John Calvin, Ethernet Alliance board member and strategic planner and DataCom technology lead at Keysight Technologies.

5. Ethernet will seamlessly power the next generation of networking for AI/ML.

“It is truly remarkable to see how Ethernet, born 50 years ago, is still going strong. With its ability to scale and evolve with new standards, Ethernet continues to keep up with every changing need of the marketplace and meet the challenges of today’s applications, such as enterprise, data center, service provider, industrial and automotive. As the data being generated in our digital life continues to grow, Ethernet technology will be the networking technology of choice for a seamless digital experience powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning,” says Kishore Racherla, Ethernet Alliance board member and product manager at Broadcom.

6. Time-sensitive networking will fundamentally change industrial manufacturing.

“The Ethernet innovation that I am most excited about is time-sensitive networking. It is my opinion that this emerging use case will fundamentally change transportation and industrial manufacturing by enabling unprecedented component synchronization and coordination. This could not be possible without the recent enhancements built upon Ethernet over the past few years,” says Carl Wilson, Ethernet Alliance secretary and Ethernet silicon and technology planner at Intel’s Ethernet products group.

7. Ethernet is the fabric of connectedness between humans.

“We can solve large problems and get answers to questions through the virtue of being connected one to another—you to me, both of us to others and all of us to computers and storage. Ethernet is a key part to our interconnectedness. We are much more powerful and capable due to our interconnectedness, as well as more inclusive than ever before. Thank you, Ethernet, for being the fabric of the connectedness between humans. Let us use the power of this fabric for good, for better and more prosperous lives, creating larger knowledge for all by connecting all,” says Pavel Zivny, Ethernet Alliance, Higher-Speed Networking subcommittee co-chair and high-speed serial data domain expert at Tektronix’s wide band oscilloscopes group.

8. Ethernet helps leverage the transparency and availability of information.

“The next 10 years with Ethernet hold great promise as we are poised to fully utilize its capabilities. Ethernet will not only monitor/communicate/control connected assets but also will provide power delivery, augmenting applications like smart buildings and smart factories. As we approach a complete Ethernet footprint from cloud to edge, enabled by technologies like single-pair Ethernet, we’ll further leverage the transparency and availability of information from all facets of the enterprise,” says Bob Voss, Single-Pair Ethernet subcommittee chair, Ethernet Alliance and engineer at Panduit Corporate Research and Development.

About the Author

Anna Townshend | Managing Editor

Anna Townshend has been a writer and journalist for 20 years. Previously, she was the editor of Marina Dock Age and International Dredging Review, until she joined Endeavor Business Media in June 2020. She is the managing editor of Control Design and Plant Services.

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