Study group accelerates 100 Gig Ethernet

March 16, 2007
The decision by the IEEE 802.3 study group continues to validate the industry’s belief in Ethernet’s long tradition of increasing speed in increments of 10x.

The Ethernet Alliance, an industry group promoting the success and expansion of Ethernet technology, announced that the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) 802.3 Higher-Speed Study Group (HSSG) voted to support 100 Gb/s as the next speed for Ethernet. In addition, the IEEE 802.3 HSSG also agreed to support reaches of at least 100 m on OM3 MMF (multimode fiber) and at least 10 km on SMF (single-mode fiber).

“While 100G Ethernet has been touted in the press, the HSSG took the time to hear presentations and discuss the next speed jump,” said Lucinda Borovick, director, Datacenter Networks, IDC. “Ultimately, it was perceived that the ROI requirements would be balanced by the investment in the 10x increase in speed. The decision by the group continues to validate the industry’s belief in Ethernet’s long tradition of increasing speed in increments of 10x.”

The alliance also announced that the IEEE 802.3 working group recently voted to support the formation of an Energy-Efficient Ethernet (EEE) Study Group. It is estimated that Energy-Efficient Ethernet could save a total of $450 million every year just in the U.S., with even more significant savings worldwide.

"Energy efficiency has become a critical issue for the Information Technology industry," said Andrew Fanara, Environmental Protection Agency. “I am excited the network community has embraced power management for Ethernet. I'm looking forward to incorporating the resulting technologies into our efficiency programs."

"The ability to change speeds for power reduction is already present in the EU Code of Conduct on Broadband Equipment for DSL," said Paolo Bertoldi, European Commission Directorate-General Joint Research Centre. “Extending this to Ethernet is a logical and important next step.”

Mike Bennett of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab adds, “We're going to look at ways to reduce power consumption by switching to lower speeds during periods of low link-utilization. Considering that Ethernet is the network technology of choice worldwide with an ever-increasing market presence, it is clear that we have an opportunity to reduce energy use significantly, while minimizing the impact on the industry. 

Individuals interested in participating in the EEE should contact Mike Bennett, EEE Chair.

The alliance also welcomed six new member companies: Anixter, Cortina Systems, EMCORE, IBM, Scintera and University of Tokyo. To learn more about the Ethernet Alliance, visit