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Force10’s chief scientist calls for improved integration between standards groups, system-level design models

The smooth transition from 10 Gigabit to 100 Gigabit Ethernet demands tight integration between standards groups an...

February 6, 2006  

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The smooth transition from 10 Gigabit to 100 Gigabit Ethernet demands tight integration between standards groups and system level design advances, Joel Goergen, vice president of technology and chief scientist for Force10 Networks, said today at the ESCC/Internet2 Joint Techs workshop.

“As system level density continues to increase, the effectiveness of 10 Gigabit Ethernet for upstream connectivity decreases, creating the potential for network bottlenecks,” said Goergen, one of the drafters of the 10 Gigabit Ethernet standard and a key driver of the 100 Gigabit LAN/WAN movement in the IEEE and the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF).

“Instead, the industry will need to move to 100 Gigabit speeds to eliminate network congestion and ensure predictable performance.”

At 100 Gigabit speeds, new advanced approaches are required to ensure predictable transmission of data across the system backplane.

The single most important step in outlining a high performance backplane is defining channels that will ensure line-rate processing and support high system-level density.

Backplane channels defined for 100 Gigabit speeds will also create greater capacity for increased Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet densities, providing a seamlessly scalable platform to accommodate future network growth, said Georgen.

“The transition to 100 Gig requires advances at every level of the system from optics to traces on the backplane as well as tight integration between standards bodies and the industry,” he added.

“While 10 Gig is just now reaching more widespread deployment, the system design work and standards process demand that we begin to look at the requirements for 100 Gig now.”

The standards process typically requires five years from the call for interest to final standardization.

With 10 Gigabit Ethernet adoption well under way, it’s time to begin exploring the transition to 100 Gigabit Ethernet to ensure that the early demand for the next generation of technology coincides with the availability of product, said Georgen.

Standards bodies such as the IEEE and the OIF are exploring various technical issues involved in moving to 100 Gigabit Ethernet.

As they have for previous generations of LAN/WAN technology, these two groups will lead the effort over the next several years to define standards that govern the transmission of traffic across the backplane as well as 100 Gigabit over fiber and copper.

The ESCC/Internet2 Joint Techs workshop is taking place this week in Albuquerque, N.M.