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IEEE 802.3ae defines a version of Ethernet with a nominal data rate of 10 Gbit/s, ten times faster than gigabit Ethernet.
The new 10-gigabit Ethernet standard encompasses seven different media types for LAN, MAN and WAN. It is currently specified by a supplementary standard, IEEE 802.3ae, and will be incorporated into a future revision of the IEEE 802.3 standard.
- 10GBASE-SR ("short range") -- designed to support short distances over deployed multi-mode fiber cabling, it has a range of between 26 m and 82 m depending on cable type. It also supports 300 m operation over a new 2000 MHz·km multi-mode fiber.
- 10GBASE-CX4 -- Copper interface using InfiniBand CX4 cables and InfiniBand 4x connectors for short-reach (15 m maximum) applications (such as aggregation switch to router). This is currently the lowest-cost per port interface at the expense of transmission range.
- 10GBASE-LX4 -- uses wavelength division multiplexing to support ranges of between 240 m and 300 m over deployed multi-mode cabling. Also supports 10 km over single-mode fiber .
- 10GBASE-LR and 10GBASE-ER ("long range" and "extended range")-- these standards support 10 km and 40 km respectively over single-mode fiber. Recently several manufacturers have introduced 80-km-range ER pluggable interfaces.
- 10GBASE-LRM - http://www.ieee802.org/3/aq/, 10 Gbit/s on FDDI-grade 62.5 µm multi-mode cable
- 10GBASE-SW , 10GBASE-LW and 10GBASE-EW . These varieties use the WAN PHY, designed to interoperate with OC-192/STM-64 SONET/SDH equipment. They correspond at the physical layer to 10GBASE-SR, 10GBASE-LR and 10GBASE-ER respecively, and hence use the same types of fiber and support the same distances. (There is no WAN PHY standard corresponding to 10GBASE-LX4.)
Unlike earlier Ethernet systems, 10-gigabit Ethernet (for any nontrivial distance) is so far based entirely on the use of optical fibre connections. However, the IEEE is developing a standard for 10-gigabit Ethernet over twisted pairs (10GBaseT), using Cat-6 or Cat-7 cable and planned for approval in 2006. Additionally, this developing standard is moving away from local area network design, with broadcasting to all nodes, towards a system which includes some elements of wide area routing. It is claimed that this system has high compatibility with earlier Ethernet and IEEE 802 networks.
10-gigabit Ethernet is very new, and it remains to be seen which of the standards will gain commercial acceptance.
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