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100GbE Ethernet Goes Live In World's First Public Demo

Earlier today at the Cisco Live event in London, three network companies, CommScope, Ixia and Reflex Photonics, teamed up to perform the world's first public demonstration of a 100Gb Ethernet using OM4 Fiber over a range of 340m (or 1000 feet).

The demonstration was carried out live, using off-the-shelf 340-meter multi-mode fibre optic cabling with 7 MPO connections. The 100GbE standard was only approved in June 2010 by the IEEE committee, although only for transmissions of up to 150m.

CommScope provided the cabling, Ixia the 100 Gigabit Ethernet test interfaces, while Reflex photonics added the fiber optic transceivers.

The ethernet's practical applications are limited to data center environments for the time being.

The technology, as a physical network infrastructure, is already available for customers interested in deploying it.

A 100 Gigabit Ethernet is the current maximum speed for data transmission, with a 400 Gigabit Ethernet thought to be the next step, although this speed has yet to be formally ratified by the Ethernet Task Force.

Xilinx has already announced that it will deliver a 28nm CMOS Virtex-7 FPGA family that will support 400 Gigabit Ethernet on a single device; the first samples are expected to arrive as early as next year.