Ethernet At 100Gb/s, 200Gb/s, And 400Gb/s
If there was an ethernet standard which could provide speeds matching fiber or fiber that was capable of maintaining speeds over distances of at least 80 kilometres (50 miles), would you be interested in laying new runs? That is what the Ethernet Alliance has been up to at the 2021 Technology Exploration Forum, along with updates to fiberoptic specs as well.
One of the new standards being working on is the 802.3cu standard, which will deliver 100Gb/s and 400Gb/s over single-mode fiber, at 100Gb/s per wavelength. This won’t increase the speed fiber can be capable of overall, but does for single-mode fiber which is less power hungry and frankly less expensive to deploy. That could lead to new customers for fiber runs, or increases in the density of runs for existing customers.
Fans of copper will be more interested in the work being done on IEEE P802.3ck which addresses the development of higher-density or lower-cost electrical interfaces for 100, 200 or 400Gb/s ethernet over copper. In addition comes IEEE P802.3ct, which will apply dense wavelength division multiplexing to extend the range of 100Gb/s to 80 kilometres and more.
That acceleration is in the future, however, once a newly formed study group figures out what technologies need to be built to make it possible — and whether anyone will buy even faster Ethernet.