100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) is a standard in development that will enable the transfer of Ethernet frames at 100 gigabits per second (gp/s). The 100GbE standard is for core switching; a 40GbE standard in development at the same time is optimized for server connectivity. Both standards are expected to be ratified in 2010.
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The IEEE's Higher Speed Study Group started work toward the 100 GbE standard in November 2007 in response to a perceived need in core networking applications for bandwidth beyond existing capabilities. IEEE P802.3ba Ethernet Task Force is developing the standard. 100GbE was designed to provide a significant increase in bandwidth while maintaining compatibility with the installed base of 802.3 interfaces, investment in R&D, and network operation and management principles.
According to the task force, 100GbE is necessary for:
- Switching, routing and aggregation in data centers.
- Internet exchange points.
- Service provider peering points.
- High bandwidth applications like video on demand and high performance computing (HPC).