IEEE begins developing Tbps Ethernet standard

IEEE on Monday announced it has formed the IEEE 802.3 Industry Connections Higher Speed Ethernet Consensus group with the goal of building a new Terabit Ethernet standard.

The formation of this group comes on the heels of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Bandwidth Assessment report, which found that networks will need to support Tbps speeds by 2015 if current global bandwidth requirements continue to climb. By 2020, the group forecasts that networks will have support 10 Tbps.

"The information gathered by the Bandwidth Assessment Ad Hoc demonstrates the ongoing, exponential bandwidth growth that is happening in varying application spaces on a global nature," said John D'Ambrosia, chair of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Bandwidth Assessment Ad Hoc and IEEE 802.3 Industry Connections Higher Speed Ethernet Consensus group and chief Ethernet evangelist, CTO office, Dell, in a release announcing the group. "The launch of the IEEE 802.3 Industry Connections Higher Speed Ethernet Consensus group will facilitate an open forum to explore the start beyond 100Gb/s Ethernet."

To develop the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Bandwidth Assessment report, the standards group gathered information from a number of sources, including service providers, financial, and the scientific community and various regions.

IEEE said that bandwidth requirements of network-aggregation nodes are growing at an even faster rate than end-station applications. Two of the biggest consumers of high bandwidth applications were, not surprisingly, the financial sector and science sectors, which had compounded annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 95 percent and 70 percent, respectively.

IEEE traffic increase by sector, 2010-2015

IEEE global IP traffic by local access technology

One application that's been driving service providers to upgrade their networks to support Gigabit speeds has been streaming media services such as Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), which the study found had more than doubled from the period between January 2010 and January 2011.

As of 2011, 21 percent of all links at Internet Exchange Providers (IXP) were running at 100 Mbps Ethernet, while only 8 percent were using 100 Gbps. However, in 2013 the report forecasts that 100G Ethernet will make up 21 percent of the market and 100 Mbps will decline to less than what 100G is in 2012.

In response to the growing demand for higher consumer and business bandwidth applications, a growing base of domestic U.S. and international service providers including the likes of Verizon (NYSE: VZ), XO and TeliaSonera have upgraded either parts or all of their long-haul and metro backbone networks to 100G optical.

For more:
- see the release
- here's the IEEE report (pdf)

On the Hot Seat: Verizon's Ihab Tarazi on driving 100G, control plane technology into the metro network

In Detail: Following the Packet Optical Transport Systems (P-OTS) evolution

Related articles:
XO Communications goes live with nationwide 100G network
Infonetics: OTN poised for growth, while P-OTS vendors battle for top spot
Japan-U.S. Cable Network selects Ciena's 100G equipment for upgrade
Eurofiber serves up 100 GigE services