Ethernet development leads to 100GigE as next logical step
December 1, 2007
The communications market is continuously evolving to provide better and cheaper services. These changes have led to the movement away from the traditional voice-switched networks to more datacentric packet networks. Providers are implementing new applications, such as voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and IPTV, across the network. Carrier companies are changing the cost structure and the billing models. Several methods exist to transmit data over a network and the convergence of technologies is emerging to route and transport data. The traditional carrier network evolved around the plain old telephone system (POTS). With the crossover from voice traffic to mostly data traffic, the question has arisen whether Ethernet will become the dominant network of choice for clients and consumers.
This collision of the carrier and enterprise worlds has influenced the development of Ethernet. Carriers require service level agreements and favor determinism. This has forced the movement to carrier-class Ethernet and new control functions. The next development in Ethernet is the step-up to the next data rate. Traditionally, Ethernet has increased its data rate in 10X increments, compared to the 4X increments observed in SONET systems. The Ethernet community and systems vendors are looking toward 100GigE as the next logical step.
System considerations and practicalities drive the move in this direction. With this, the industry must address several new technology issues to enable development and deployment. System vendors today view Ethernet as the lowest-cost solution for the network, but the case is subject to debate as system capability moves to higher data rates.
In August 2006, the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA) held two one-day forums. The first forum addressed the topic of 100GigE networks. The second forum covered micropackaging with an emphasis on high-speed components. The micropackaging forum was very relevant to the 100GigE topics because it affects the next generation of optical components for the networks.
As a result of these forums, Research and Markets has added “100 Gb Ethernet: The Next Challenge for Communications Systems” to its offerings. In this report, the research firm reviews the output from the forum workshops.
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