The Optical Networking and Communication
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San Diego Convention Center,
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OFC/NFOEC: Real Technology, Real Deployment

By John D’Ambrosia, Chairman and Member, Board of Directors, Ethernet Alliance; Chief Ethernet Evangelist, CTO Office, Dell

On June 13, 2002, IEEE Std 802.3ae-2002TM, otherwise known as the 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) standard, was ratified. Shortly after the ratification of this standard, the industry saw a new generation of networking and the explosion of the Gigabit Ethernet market.  These networking technologies helped fuel the likes of companies such as Google and Facebook, and the mass deployment of Gigabit Ethernet servers arguably set the bar for what the Ethernet industry identifies as a successful standard.

Since that time, multiple standards targeting various 10GbE physical layer specifications like 10GBASE-CX4, 10GBASE-KX4, 10GBASE-KR, 10GBASE-LRM, and 10GBASE-T, have been introduced. Then in June 2010 IEEE Std 802.3ba-2010TM introduced 40GbE and 100GbE to the industry. However, the next wave of networking fueled by wide scale deployment of 10GbE servers has not happened.

The industry is anticipating that in 2012, the wide-scale deployment of servers based on Intel’s Romley server platform with 10G LAN on Motherboard (LOM) is set to drive the next generation of networking. This deployment though, will be dependent upon 40GbE and 100GbE, which will be used to aggregate 10GbE-based servers. The relative newness of 40GbE and 100GbE has the market asking whether 40GbE and 100GbE is set to go. Is the technology real? Is it interoperable?

The introduction of 40GbE and 100GbE has kicked off a rush of innovation not seen in networking for some time, and the role of optics cannot be overstated. From vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) technology driving 40GBASE-SR4 and 100GBASE-SR10, to the wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) solutions of 40GBASE-LR4 and 100GBASE-LR4, the optics industry has been providing the essential components necessary to deploy 40GbE and 100GbE to data centers, clouds, and just about every other part of the ecosystem needing high-speed aggregation solutions.

So this year at OFC/NFOEC, keep an eye on the 40GbE and 100GbE technology and interoperability displays being showcased – the industry has extensively devoted the time, money, and resources needed to advance these critical technologies. And ultimately, they will be the catalyst for achieving fruition of investments made in 10GbE so many years ago.

Posted: 1 March 2012 by John D’Ambrosia, Chairman and Member, Board of Directors, Ethernet Alliance; Chief Ethernet Evangelist, CTO Office, Dell | with 0 comments

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The views expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC)  or its sponsors.

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