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Is your Ethernet fast enough? Four new speeds are in the works

Stephen Lawson | Oct. 20, 2014
Ethernet's future is now about much more than the next top speed: The engineers charting a path for the ubiquitous networking protocol are looking at several new versions to serve a variety of applications.

Aquantia is already producing silicon for Ethernet gear that can run at 2.5Gbps or 5Gbps. The process of setting a 2.5Gbps Ethernet standard, which might also involve 5Gbps capability, is expected to begin at an IEEE meeting next month.

4. 400-Gigabit

Ethernet's backers haven't given up on reaching a new top speed, either. An IEEE task group is already working on a 400-Gigabit Ethernet standard, which is currently projected for completion in March 2017. The fast links might use multiple lanes of either 50Gbps or 100Gbps. Once finished, the superfast technology would be destined for the cores of service-provider networks.


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