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Ethernet won't dominate multi-gigabit nets

Posted: 24 Nov 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Ethernet  multi-gigabit networks  protocols  sub-gigabit 

An upcoming report on 40 and 100 Gbit networks from market watcher Freesky Research suggest that Ethernet will not dominate multi-gigabit networks to the extent it has dominated sub-gigabit ones.

The report comes at a time of rising enthusiasm for emerging 40 and 100 Gbit Ethernet standards for data centre and core network systems. But the technology will have to share those sectors with other protocols including Fibre Channel, Infiniband and Sonet, according to the report.

Ethernet "will not be able to kill off those protocols the way it decimated Token Ring, FDDI, and ATM," in the sub-gigabit world, said David Gross, author of the report.

Ethernet port prices declined at more than twice the rate of ATM and FDDI competitors in the late 1990's. However, at 40 Gbits and faster, technologies are sharing many similar FPGA, serdes and encoding technologies, making it much more difficult for any one protocol to gain a cost advantage through volume production, he added.

"The defining economic characteristic of sub-gigabit networks was framing, while the defining economic characteristic of multi-gigabit networks is clocking," said Gross.

The study will include forecasts for 40 and 100 Gigabit technologies and deployment trends in industries such as financial services, telecommunications and education.

-Rick Merritt
EE Times

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