Arista Networks, Broadcom, Google, Mellanox Technologies, and Microsoft have started developing a specification that will allow data centre networks to run over a 25 or 50 Gbps Ethernet link protocol.
The 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium was formed to support interoperable Ethernet specifications aimed at boosting performance and cutting interconnect costs cost per Gbps between the server Network Interface Controller (NIC) and Top-of-Rack (ToR) switch. The consortium said the new specification will enable a cost-efficient up scaling of network bandwidth for server and storage endpoints in next-generation cloud infrastructure.
The new technology is available royalty-free by to any data centre ecosystem vendor or consumer who joins. The consortium said it wants to immediately set an industry standard definition of the 25 Gbps and 50 Gbps Ethernet physical layer (PHY) and media access control layer (MAC) behaviour, so that 25 Gbps and 50 Gbps Ethernet compliant implementations can be rolled out swiftly over the next 12 to 18 months.
The specification prescribes a single-lane 25 Gbps Ethernet and dual-lane 50 Gbps Ethernet link protocol, enabling up to 2.5 times higher performance per physical lane or twinax copper wire between the rack endpoint and switch compared to current 10 Gbps and 40 Gbps Ethernet links.
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