40/100 Gigabit Ethernet Products Designed for Seamless Upgrades

   
 

Xmultiple's Engineering Department


From Alan Pocrass -CEO - Xmultiple Technologies, Inc.

Higher speed connectivity is a reality with 40/100 Ethernet server network interface cards, switch uplinks and switches now available. The expected June 2010 ratification of the 802.3ba standard is not holding back products from entering the market today with pre-standard products being released. Xmultiple has released products which are available so just call us for samples.

The IEEE started work on the 802.3ba standard in late 2006 and defined two different applications with 40G for server connectivity and 100G for core switching.

Global revenue for 10G Ethernet switches doubled in 2008 and there is a demand for 40G and 100G Ethernet with many companies needed this capacity. 10G Ethernet is now becoming a major part of the access layer of larger networks and is being the first choice for the client side. With the users now using 10G for ther needs this creates the need for 40/100 in the distribution layer and the network core. The 802.3ba is intended to maintain full compatibility with the installed base of Ethernet nodes and uses the optical fiber backplanes and copper cabling which perserves the exising network architecture.

The 802.3ba standare is not expected to be ratified until June 2010 however initial interoperability testing is happen now and companies with the need for these speed will not wait for the standard and are moving with their development of products. The reasons for the driving demand for 40/100G Ethernet are the same factors currently pushing 10G which is data center virtualizaiton and storage and high-definition video conferencing and medical imaging.

Carrier's like AT&T and Verizon are providing 10G Ethernet LAN and Etherrnet Virual Private Line services to custoemr in 100 U.S. metro markets. At 10G and 40/100G Ethernet users have to be aware of the need to ensure precise clocking synchronization between systems and especially between equipment from different vendors. If precise clocking is not achieved this will increase latency and packet loss. This latency issue is a bigger issue than many companies realize and at these speeds the specifications premit only a little variance for clocks. Therefore at 10G, just the smallest difference in the clocks between ports can cause high latency and packet loss issues. At 40G it is even a large issue with the precise clocking requirements. Cabling infrastructure for 40/100G must be the appropriate grade and length of fiber for seamless and smooth networking operation. The physical interfaces (PHY) for 40G Ethernet include a range to cover distances inside th edata center up to 100 meters to connect the wide range of different server form factors. They will require a parallel fiber capabiltiy. The 100G Ethernet rate includes distances and media appropriate for connections for intr-office and inter-office applications. The PHY for 40G Ethernet are 1 meter backplane, 10 meter copper and 100 meter multimode fiber and 100G is 10 kilometer and 40 kilometer single-mode fiber. http://www.ieee802.org/3/ba/


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