Work on ultra-fast 400G Ethernet underway

Fibre optics
Impossibly fast and incredibly ambitious

An internet study group is in the process of requesting approval for documentation that could lead to a global 400 Gbit per second Ethernet standard.

The project has been in development for almost a year, according to a blog post by chair of the IEEE 400G Ethernet Group, John D'Ambrosia. It aims to define an architecture that would be used for inevitable future 400G Ethernet projects.

The new 400G standard will aim for high-bandwidth interconnection between internet exchanges, cloud data centres, wireless infrastructure and video distribution infrastructure. Unfortunately, that means it is unlikely to be ramping up your wireless broadband speeds any time soon.

Speed and efficiency

Aiming to define physical limitations, the project now hopes to address specifications relating to supporting the speeds over fibre. At this time, over singlemode fibre, IEEE hopes that links can be made up to at least 10 kilometres, with connections of up to 100 metres possible over multimode.

Energy efficiency is also a concern for IEEE, the group aiming to employ link aggregation that will allow 400G Ethernet to travel far further than its current 10km goal.

Even business that may make use of the tech may have to wait until 2016, that year having been earmarked as the earliest that a possible 400Gbps product will appear on the horizon.