Networks

Ethernet’s Future: Science-Fiction or Reality?

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Ethernet, a system for connecting multiple computer systems to form a local network, has come a long way since its original 10 megabits per second (Mbps) bandwidth speed. It currently has a standard of 1,000 Mbps- also known as “Gigabit Ethernet.” This type of speed would have been just a fantasy not long ago, however, today, practically everything from laptops to data servers supports it. While this speed is a huge improvement from where Ethernet started off, due to new technologies such as virtualization and cloud-based systems, we will need even faster speeds at a higher capacity. There is currently hardware that can support 40 to 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) which is a huge step forward in being able to keep up with the fast rate of growth of technology. There has been word that 400 Gbe will be the new standard shortly according to the IEEE- the organization in charge of creating global networking specifications. Although that type of speed seems to be outrageously fast, are even higher speeds possible? In 2013, Comcast Business demonstrated a glimpse of future Ethernet speeds by transmitting a 1 Terabit optical transmission over 620 miles. It is safe to say that Ethernet will continue to grow to keep up with the high demands of technologies such as virtual reality and cloud-based systems. I for one, am excited to see what the future holds for Ethernet’s capabilities.
(“The Future of Ethernet” May 13, 2015, Community Editorial Team of Comcast Business.)

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