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Cole, Chris Finisar Corporation, Sunnyvale, California.
- 100-Gb/s SMF technologies
- 100-Gb/s MMF technologies
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Optical Ethernet is the physical layer of the Local Area Network (LAN) communications protocol for sending data over fiber-optic cable. It is used for connecting Internet servers and switches inside equipment racks, within data centers, and between metropolitan data centers. Today the most widely used LAN data rate is 1 Gb/s, with increasing adoption of 10 Gb/s. These rates are insufficient to support core networking requirements, such as switching, routing, and aggregation in large data centers, Internet exchanges, and service provider peering points; and high-bandwidth applications, such as video on demand and high-performance computing environments. (A peering point is a central office where multiple service providers have assigned facilities, which then allows them to easily interconnect with one another.) To support these applications, the IEEE 802.3ba Task Force is in the process of standardizing a 100-Gb/s LAN data rate, which is the subject of this article. Formal adoption is expected in 2010, although most of the optical and electrical interface specifications are now complete and available on the Task Force Web site. For distances up to 100 m (330 ft), multimode fiber (MMF) cables are specified. For distances up to 10 km (6.2 mi), or up to 40 km (25 mi), single-mode fiber (SMF) cables are specified. The Task Force is also specifying higher LAN protocol layers and a 40-Gb/s LAN data rate as an interim step between 10- and 100-Gb/s. These, however, will not be discussed here. Table 1 lists and spells out the acronyms used in this article.
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