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Ethernet Alliance Moves Forward on 25G Technologies

25GToday the Ethernet Alliance shared details of its recent 25Gb/s technical feasibility event in New Hampshire. With 25Gb/s technologies being driven in part by hyperscale data center and cloud services market needs, the productive event drew industry-wide support and participation. The event produced promising results, with a high percentage of tests exceeding expected requirements of the proposed IEEE 25Gb/s standard, and achieving a success rate of greater than 86 percent for all test cases performed.

Work on the IEEE P802.3by 25 Gb/s standard is progressing quickly, but having this data available has been highly beneficial to the development of the 25 Gigabit Ethernet standard,” said Mark Nowell, chairman, IEEE P802.3by 25Gb/s Ethernet Task Force; and senior director of engineering, Cisco Systems. “The positive results generated at the Ethernet Alliance 25Gb/s feasibility event were very encouraging. I would like to thank the Ethernet Alliance for making this event a reality and bringing this data forward.”

Held in June, the Ethernet Alliance’s 25Gb/s technical feasibility event took place during the early stages of the development of the standard, when the commonality of product maturity would not typically be expected. A wide variety of devices and cabling that targeted 25Gb/s performance were used to complete hundreds of test cases, which included link configuration, in link configuration, target Bit Error Ratio (BER) confidence, transmitter output waveform, and channel characterization. In the majority of cases, the pre-standard equipment and cables met or surpassed the projected expectations of IEEE’s forthcoming 25GbE specification, as BER testing yielded an impressive 86 percent success rate.

“Interoperability doesn’t just happen. Ensuring the multi-vendor interoperability everyone is seeking requires investment from the Ethernet Alliance, technology developers, and the industry as a whole. We enable product testing against specifications and between multiple vendors. During our recent 40G/100G plugfest, we were testing equipment developed throughout the last five years, however, 25GbE is still at a nascent stage of the standardization process,” said Scott Kipp, president, Ethernet Alliance; and principal technologist, Brocade. “The array of pre-standard equipment and cables tested during our technical feasibility event showed an unanticipated level of maturity. It’s a strong expression of the Ethernet ecosystem’s continued commitment to interoperability and a sign of the industry’s desire to capitalize on the benefits that 25Gb/s signaling offers.”

Highlighting the Ethernet Alliance’s role as a facilitator of industry collaboration, the event attracted participation from across the Ethernet ecosystem. Among vendors taking part were: Amphenol Corporation; Arista Networks, Inc.; Cisco, Inc.; Dell, Inc.; FCI; Hitachi, Ltd.; Intel Corporation; Ixia; Luxshare-ICT; Marvell Technology Group Ltd.; Mellanox Technologies Ltd.; Molex Incorporated; QLogic Corporation; Spirent Communications Plc.; TE Connectivity Ltd.; and Xilinx, Inc.

The UNH-IOL was pleased to host and be a part of the Ethernet Alliances recent plugfest which yielded such a high success rate for a pre-standard technology,” said Jeff Lapak, associate director, UNH-IOL. “The lab has been testing Ethernet interoperability for over 25 years and this technology demonstration really showcases that the Ethernet industry as a whole has the commitment to, and understands how important Interoperability is to the ecosystem.”

Support for the standardization of 25GbE continues to gain momentum across the industry, as enterprises and data centers seek new avenues for optimizing CAPEX and OPEX without sacrificing performance quality, reliability, or scalability. In addition, successful completion and adoption of the 25GbE standard will pave the way for the arrival of 100GbE.

In this video, John D Ambrosia from Dell desribes the 25GbE standard and what comes next.

With interoperability, product and market diversity, and ongoing Ethernet innovation as key areas of focus, the Ethernet Alliance has released a tech brief addressing its 25GbE feasibility event and 40GbE and 100GbE plugfest. The “Commitment to Ethernet Interoperability” tech brief is available online.

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