Currently, the fast-speed wired connection used by data centers and enterprises is of 100 Gbps, but researchers from IEEE want to make sure a better alternative is on standby for when this is no longer enough.
IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, is a consortium or experts responsible with developing and implementing new technological standards across the worldwide industry.
Most recently, the standards body announced the 802.11 patent pool exploratory forum
, for easier discussion and licensing of Wi-Fi-related technologies.
As Wi-Fi becomes faster though (1 Gbps is in sight), it becomes necessary to push wired connections even further.
Everything would probably go faster if IEEE wasn't divided on one matter: the maximum target speed of the new connection.
Some believe that 400 Gbps would be enough for an upper limit, but others think they should jump all the way to 1 Tbps
We have no doubt that, since 1 Tbps is actually possible, everyone would be ready to embrace it, but there are a couple of problems.
For one, a dual-channel 1 Tbps connection would need to have 80 cables, since there is only so much data any one wire can carry at a time. The physical size of such a joining is a headache all on its own, but cost is the other.
Not only would each cable need its own components, but copper would be too thick and heavy, not to mention slow for a gargantuan project like this, making fiber optics the only choice.
“Within three to six years we predict the need for a minimum of 400 Gbps connectivity to meet data mobility needs of experiments in fusion, astrophysics, genomics, climate research and other fields,” says
Gregory Bell, director, Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), and director, Scientific Networking Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
There is no clue on when, exactly, the 802.3 Ethernet specification, as it is known, will be finalized, but all evidence suggests that the IEEE is trying to figure things out as quickly as possible.