IEEE forms NG-EPON, storage working standards groups

IEEE has formed two new study groups to better understand the future of Passive Optical Network and network storage: the IEEE 802.3 Next Generation Ethernet Passive Optical Network (NG-EPON) study group and the IEEE 802.3 2.5 Gb/s and 5 Gb/s Ethernet over Backplane and Copper Cable study group.

The NG-EPON Study Group will explore market drivers, existing and projected technologies, and consolidate the industry around the objectives for next-generation Ethernet Passive Optical Network architecture to address the future needs of network operators.

Some of the key questions that the IEEE will address with the EPON Study Group are how to build a standard that will enable service providers to support higher speeds while enabling a converged access platform capable of delivering simultaneously services to residential, business, and cell tower backhaul customers.

"The NG-EPON Study Group will explore market drivers, existing and projected technologies, and consolidate the industry around the objectives for the next generation Ethernet Passive Optical Network architecture to address the future needs of network operators," said Dr. Curtis Knittle, chairperson of the IEEE 802.3 NG-EPON study group and director of Network Technologies at CableLabs, in a release.

The use of EPON, particularly 10G EPON, has been embraced by cable operators. Cable operators have been deploying 10G EPON to address their growing business and wireless backhaul service needs.

"We're seeing that amongst cable operators so the numbers are still small," said Julie Kunstler, principal analysts of components, for Ovum in an interview with FierceTelecom. "It's definitely shipping at the optitcal equipment level and the component vendors said they are seeing pre-orders for 10G EPON and it's primarily for 10/10 Gbps, meaning that it's probably for business type services including mobile backhaul and not just MDU."   

Meanwhile, the IEEE 802.3 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps Ethernet over Backplane and Copper Cable Study Group will look at hard disk drive (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD), how they have evolved to use native Ethernet interfaces and how cloud storage is served by low-cost, high-capacity HDD devices where scaling capacity is simply a matter of expanding network capacity.

While current Ethernet standards address 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps and higher rate operation on Backplanes and Copper Cable, the IEEE said that 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps represent the long-term mainstream rate to serve sustained HDD rates and this gap will be considered by the working group.

For more:
- see the release

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