Ethernet engineers have complicated work. Upgrading equipment, meeting budgets and deadlines, and ensuring maximum uptime all land in their wheelhouse. But if you could summarize the primary problem (and solution) in one word, it would be speed. There’s no question that since 1985, there’s been a lot of progress made when it comes to network speed. This year, 400GB ethernet is set to be ratified. And this is on a platform that many considered to be past its prime. In reality of course, ethernet as a technology is still on the rise, its growth being fueled by developers in some surprising industries. But first, let’s take a look at some of the latest developments. Then we’ll get to those exciting new uses of ethernet technology.
New Standards Are on the WayLast March, the IEEE Standards Association announced the approval of New Ethernet Applications, an IEEE-SA Industry Connections (IC) Program activity. Their goal is to quickly identify and address standards development requirements to support the growing list of broader uses of IEEE 802.3. As more industries get involved the calls for standards-based Ethernet solutions get more insistent. The chair of the New Industry Applications IEEE-SA IC project, John D’Ambrosia, is currently collaborating on the 802.3cg standards. This meeting-of-the-minds will address the need for a clear and focused roadmap for the near-term future. With so many technologies leveraging Ethernet and benefitting from recent improvements, additional considerations are necessary. In short, since there are a wider range of products relying on Ethernet, the need for new standards is growing. Look no further than the standardization related to 2.5 Gb/s, 5Gb/s, and 25 Gb/s Ethernet. The following are among the key goals of the 802.3cg collaboration:
- Assess emerging requirements for the development of Ethernet standards
- Identify gaps not currently addressed by IEEE 802.3 standards
- Facilitate building industry consensus towards proposals to initiate new standards development efforts
What’s Fueling the Growth?Ethernet is a great technology to leverage in order to lower operating costs. It’s one of the many reasons it’s being leveraged across a wider range of industries than ever before. The growing profits in the pockets of ethernet equipment manufacturers, in turn drives further investment in R&D. In manufacturing and design, for example, the LED lighting boom has been substantial. It’s brought about the development of both bulbs and systems that emit a more natural type of light. The benefits of this lighting are many, and can include better:
- Well-being and morale
- Energy cost-savings