IEEE Launches Study Group to Explore 400 Gb/s Ethernet

  IEEE Launches Study Group to Explore 400 Gb/s Ethernet

  New IEEE 802.3™ study group formed to examine ways to efficiently support
     ever-increasing, exponential bandwidth growth for Ethernet networks

Business Wire

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- April 2, 2013

IEEE, the world's largest professional organization advancing technology for
humanity, today announced the launch of an IEEE 802.3™ “Standard for Ethernet”
study group to explore development of a 400 Gb/s Ethernet standard to
efficiently support ever-increasing, exponential network bandwidth growth.

“Traffic is growing everywhere—more Internet users, more ways to access the
Internet more quickly, higher-bandwidth content, new applications enabled,
etc.—and it’s critical that we move now to create a plan for the Ethernet
ecosystem to evolve beyond today’s capabilities, in order to accommodate the
burgeoning bandwidth tsunami,” said John D’Ambrosia, chair of the new IEEE
802.3 400 Gb/s Ethernet Study Group and chief Ethernet evangelist, CTO office,
Dell. “The launch of this study group is the next critical step in evolving
the IEEE 802.3 standard to stay ahead of industry’s needs. It builds on two
years of open efforts around inviting Ethernet’s vast array of stakeholders
into the work of assessing and tackling the market’s emerging application

The IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Bandwidth Assessment report, which precipitated the
launch of the IEEE 802.3 Industry Connections Higher Speed Ethernet Consensus
group in August 2012, forecasted that networks will need to support 58 percent
compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) on average. Driven by simultaneous
increases in users, access methodologies, access rates and services (such as
video on demand and social media), the report said, networks would need to
support capacity requirements of 1 terabit per second in 2015 and 10 terabit
per second by 2020 if current trends continue. These open Industry Connections
efforts helped build consensus on the need for an Ethernet solution beyond 100
Gb/s and to launch a “call for interest” within IEEE for a study group to
explore development of a 400 Gb/s Ethernet standard.

“Ethernet is an arena of constant innovation, driven by the market demand for
support of new ever-increasing bandwidth speeds, as well as new protocols,
applications and media types,” said Alan Weckel, vice president enterprise and
data center market researchatDell'OroGroup. “Global bandwidth requirements
are continuing to grow exponentially, and that makes it so important that the
IEEE 802.3 standards community take proactive steps such as assessing needs
and launching this study group. Standards-based solutions are integral to
maintaining business growth across the Ethernet ecosystem.”

Individuals interested in the future of IEEE 802.3 Ethernet wireline standards
are invited to contribute to the IEEE 802.3 400 Gb/s Ethernet Study Group,
which is scheduled to meet during the IEEE 802.1™/802.3 May 2013 Joint
Interim, scheduled for 14-17 May 2013 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
For more information about the meeting, please visit

“An IEEE 802.3 study group is formed when there is interest in developing a
request to initiate an IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standards-development project,”
said David Law, chair of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group and
distinguished engineer with HP Networking. “The IEEE 802.3 400 Gb/s Ethernet
Study Group will provide an opportunity for expertise from across application
spaces and geographic regions worldwide to collaborate on a proposal for
development of a 400 Gb/s Ethernet standard, and I look forward to its work in
further galvanizing the Ethernet ecosystem around next steps and accelerating
potential future standards-development activities.”

Ethernet is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Deployment of
technology defined by the IEEE 802.3 standard is already globally pervasive,
driven by the ever-growing needs of local area, access and metropolitan area
networks around the world. Beyond traditional networks, new application areas
such as networking for industrial, automotive and other industries are looking
to expand their reliance on Ethernet in their networks. To better address the
needs of all of these areas, the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standard is constantly
evolving and expanding. The success of the standard—from its inception through
today—has been its open and transparent development process, which is an
example of the "OpenStand" principles ( These
principles encapsulate a modern paradigm for global, open standards that can
be extended broadly to other technology spaces.

For more information about the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group, please visit For more information about
the IEEE 802.3 400 Gb/s Ethernet Study Group, please visit

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Supporting Quotes

Greg Bell, director, ESnet:

“Having just rolled out our 100G national network to accommodate the
ever-increasing scientific data sets generated by light sources, accelerators
and supercomputer simulations, ESnet welcomes this effort to formulate 400G
standards. Not only is scientific discovery more and more reliant on big data,
but it is also increasingly collaborative, so we’re very supportive of
initiating this standards work. With the exponential growth we’re seeing in
data flows, it’s critical that we stay ahead of the curve, rather than
scrambling to keep up.”

Axel Clauberg, vice president aggregation, transport, IP (CTO-ATI) and
fixedaccess (CTO-FIA),Deutsche Telekom AG:

“The development and standardization of 400 Gb/s Ethernetinterfaces form an
essential part in next-generation communication networks. Itsupports both
higher-speed data center and networkinfrastructures, which areneeded for a
closer joint architecture in order to cope cost-effectivelywiththe expected
data-traffic growth. Deutsche Telekom as an innovative companysupports
theadvanced 400Gb/s Ethernet standardization project.”

Bijal Sanghani, head of secretariat, Euro-IX

“The IEEE 802.3 Bandwidth Assessment report forecasted that the exponential
growth of bandwidth consumption will continue throughout the rest of this
decade. Internet exchanges are fully aware of this fact, as they face the
never-ending challenge of staying in front of industry bandwidth demands. We
are happy to see the formation of the IEEE 802.3 400 Gb/s Ethernet Study
Group, as this makes the statement to the industry that Ethernet will continue
to evolve to meet the needs of the industry.”


Shuang Yu, 732-981-3424
Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing
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