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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.
Gigabit Ethernet is a 1-gigabit/sec (1,000-Mbit/sec) extension of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet networking standard. Its primary niches are corporate LANs, campus networks, and service provider networks where it can be used to tie together existing 10-Mbit/sec and 100-Mbit/sec Ethernet networks. Gigabit Ethernet can replace 100-Mbit/sec FDDI (Fiber Distributed Data Interface) and Fast Ethernet backbones, and it competes with ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) as a core networking technology. Many ISPs use Gigabit Ethernet in their data centers.
Gigabit Ethernet provides an ideal upgrade path for existing Ethernet-based networks. It can be installed as a backbone network while retaining the existing investment in Ethernet hubs, switches, and wiring plants. In addition, management tools can be retained, although network analyzers will require updates to handle the higher speed.
Gigabit Ethernet provides an alternative to ATM as a high-speed networking technology. While ATM has built-in QoS (quality of service) to support real-time network traffic, Gigabit Ethernet may be able to provide a high level of service quality by providing more bandwidth than is needed.
This topic continues in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications" with a discussion of the following:
As if 1 Gbits/sec wasn't enough, the IEEE is working to define 10-Gigabit Ethernet (sometimes called "10 GE"). The new standard is being developed by the IEEE 802.3ae Working Group. Service providers will be the first to take advantage of this standard. It is being deployed in emerging metro-Ethernet networks. See "MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)" and "Network Access Services."
As with 1-Gigabit Ethernet, 10-Gigabit Ethernet will preserve the 802.3 Ethernet frame format, as well as minimum and maximum frame sizes. It will support full-duplex operation only. The topology is star-wired LANs that use point-to-point links, and structured cabling topologies. 802.3ad link aggregation will also be supported.
The new standard will support new multimedia applications, distributed processing, imaging, medical, CAD/CAM, and a variety of other applications-many that cannot even be perceived today. Most certainly it will be used in service provider data centers and as part of metropolitan area networks. The technology will also be useful in the SAN (Storage Area Network) environment. Refer to the following Web sites for more information.
Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.