A group studying the need for a next generation of Ethernet beyond 100-Gigabit is also making progress, according to D'Ambrosia. The IEEE 802.3 Industry Connections Ethernet Bandwidth Assessment Ad Hoc will receive input from the financial industry later this month and from Comcast and other big users of Ethernet later in the year, said D'Ambrosia, who also chairs that group.
The bandwidth assessment group was formed to help shorten the long process of standards development, said D'Ambrosia. He said both consensus-building and raw technological problem-solving combine to slow new advances in Ethernet. During the development of the 802.3ba standard, which defines both 40-Gigabit and 100-Gigabit Ethernet, several months were lost to a debate over which speed the group should be aiming for, he said. The new ad hoc group aims to answer that question ahead of time for whatever future body is formed to set a standard for the next generation of Ethernet.