25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium rebrands to Ethernet Technology Consortium

April 6, 2020
It also has announced a 800 GbE specification, which it has developed to meet increasing performance demands of data center networks

The 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium, originally established to develop 25, 50 and 100 Gbps Ethernet specifications, announced it has changed its name to the Ethernet Technology Consortium (ETC) in order to highlight a shift to a focus on higher-speed Ethernet technologies.

The goal of the consortium is to enhance the Ethernet specification to operate at new speeds by using specifications that are developed or in development. The ETC has more than 45 members with members that include Arista, Broadcom, Cisco, Dell, Google, Mellanox and Microsoft.

"Ethernet is evolving very quickly and as a group, we felt that having 25G in the name was too constraining for the scope of the consortium,” said Brad Booth, chair of the ETC. "We wanted to open that up so that the industry could have an organization that could enhance Ethernet specifications for new and developing markets."

One of the first specifications to be championed by the newly named organization is the 800GBASE-R specification for 800 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE).

The 800 GbE specification introduces a new media access control (MAC) and Physical Coding Sublayer (PCS). It re-purposes two sets of the existing 400GbE logic from the IEEE 802.3bs standard with a few modifications in order to distribute the data across eight 106 Gb/s physical lanes. As the PCS is reused, the standard RS(544, 514) forward error correction is retained, for simple compatibility with existing physical layer specifications.

“The intent with this work was to repurpose the standard 400GbE logic as much as possible to create an 800 GbE MAC and PCS specification with minimal overhead cost to users implementing multi-rate Ethernet ports," said Rob Stone, technical working group chair of ETC. "The 800 GbE specification is an exciting first announcement under the consortium’s new name, reflecting the true capability of the organization. We are proud of the hard work of our member companies in completing this specification."

The 800 GbE specification is now available.