Ethernet Alliance forms new subcommittees to support IEE 802.3 standards


May 22, 2006

Ethernet AllianceThe Ethernet Alliance, an industry group dedicated to the expansion of Ethernet technology, has announced the formation of subcommittees chartered to support the IEEE 802.3 standards development process. The 10G EPON (10 Gigabit Ethernet Passive Optical Network) subcommittee will support the recently formed 10G EPON study group. The 10GBASE-T (10 Gigabit Ethernet over twisted-pair cabling) subcommittee will support interoperability demonstrations as the 10GBASE-T standards effort comes to completion.
A 10G EPON study group was formed within the IEEE 802.3 working group on March 9, 2006, following an industry discussion regarding the next speed jump for Ethernet PONs. Increasing the speed of EPONs from the current 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps will support the delivery of advanced video services, gigabit-capable home networks, backhauls for 4th generation mobile communication networks, and high-bandwidth connections to multi-tenant and multi-dwelling residential units. The formation of a 10G EPON subcommittee in the Ethernet Alliance provides an opportunity to support the development of technical proposals for the creation of a draft standard.
Ethernet inventor, Bob Metcalfe, said, "It's amazing how Ethernet has proliferated and evolved over the last 33 years. And there's no sign of any slowing down, with a quarter billion Ethernet switch ports shipped last year. Ethernet has evolved from the local-area network (LAN) to the wide-area network (WAN) and now to providing network access, which is getting quite a boost from the Metro Ethernet Forum's promotion of 'Carrier Ethernet' standards.”
"Higher speed EPON is a logical next step for Ethernet in the access network,” said Adam Healey, chair, Ethernet Alliance technical committee. “The Ethernet Alliance is pleased to offer a forum to facilitate the development of an industry standard for 10G EPON and the tools that support it, such as conformance and interoperability test suites."
The 10GBASE-T standard remains on track for a June ratification. Development of 10GBASE-T will extend the benefits of copper cabling to high bandwidth platforms, beginning in the data center. Data centers have traditionally adopted twisted-pair cabling, based upon its ease of use and cost-effectiveness. As 10GBASE-T moves out of the lab and into wide deployment, the Ethernet Alliance will serve as a source of information for vendors and end users. The Ethernet Alliance 10GBASE-T subcommittee will support the development of interoperability and conformance test suites, technology whitepapers, and facilitate technology demonstrations.
“The 10GBASE-T standard development has been a four-year project. As the end comes into sight, the members of the Ethernet Alliance and the 10GBASE-T community are stepping up to demonstrate the technology,” said Brad Booth, chair of the 10GBASE-T task force and president of the Ethernet Alliance.
Ethernet Alliance Triples Its Membership
The Ethernet Alliance also announced the addition of eight new members: CebaTech, Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA), IXIA, KDDI R&D Labs, Siemon, Spirent Communications, Toshiba, and the University of South Florida. Since its formation in January, the Ethernet Alliance has tripled its membership to more than 50 companies.
“The Ethernet Alliance has quickly gained the support of many of the Ethernet industry’s movers and shakers, and the breadth of companies who have joined is expansive,” said Brad Booth. There has even been an influx of companies historically not thought of as ‘Ethernet-oriented’, which makes the range of our members truly ‘from carrier to consumer.’ All of our members offer distinct value with regards to their participation in the Ethernet market, and the Ethernet Alliance looks forward to the unique value each company brings.”
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