The Ethernet Alliance today hailed ratification of IEEE 802.3bz, the Standard for Ethernet Amendment: Media Access Control Parameters, Physical Layers and Management Parameters for 2.5 Gb/s and 5 Gb/s Operation. Enabling access layer bandwidth to evolve incrementally beyond 1 Gigabit per second (Gb/s), the new standard will help address emerging connectivity needs in a variety of settings and applications, including the enterprise, wireless networks, and others.

“End user data needs – both wired and wireless – are continuing to grow, especially as more and more users access the network via ever-faster wireless technologies enabled by IEEE 802.11ac. The 1000BASE-T uplink from the wireless to wired network is no longer sufficient, and users need a way to tap into higher data rates without having to overhaul the 70 billion meters of Cat 5e / Cat 6 wiring already sold,” explains David Chalupsky, board of directors, Ethernet Alliance; principal engineer, Intel Corporation; and chair of the IEEE 802.3bz task force. “IEEE 802.3bz is an elegant solution addressing not only the demand for faster access to rapidly rising data volumes, but also capitalizes on previous infrastructure investments, thereby extending their life and maximizing value.”
As described by the Ethernet Alliance, building upon the success of and laying out an upgrade path for 1000BASE-T, IEEE 802.3bz defines 2.5 Gigabit (2.5G) and 5 Gigabit (5G) BASE-T Ethernet. It specifies Ethernet Media Access Control (MAC) parameters, physical layer specifications (PHYs), and management objects for balanced twisted pair transmission media found in structured cabling. Facilitating up to five times the speed without requiring expensive infrastructure changes, IEEE 802.3bz enables cost-effective network bandwidth scaling. This enterprise technology addresses various needs, including scientific and research computing, content production and editing, industrial design and automation, machine vision, and more.


“IEEE 802.3bz is a valuable addition to Ethernet’s expanding family of standards; its deployment will enable the faster wireless connections promised by the next generation of wireless access,” said John D’Ambrosia, chairman, Ethernet Alliance; and senior principal engineer, Huawei. “The Ethernet Alliance is excited by the promise and opportunities presented by IEEE 802.3bz. We are committed to validating the industry’s expectation of the multi-vendor interoperability of this standard as the follow-on to 1000BASE-T, considered the most successful Ethernet project ever.”

For more information about the Ethernet Alliance, visit http://www.ethernetalliance.org.