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Intel and Ethernet: Driving Ethernet Innovation for Nearly 30 Years

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Intel and Ethernet: Driving Ethernet Innovation for Nearly 30 Years

The Technology vision for Ethernet

Ethernet is an industry standard for a packet-based computer networking technology for local area networks (LANs) that has become the foundation for most wired communications technology. Over the last 30 years, it's become the network of choice for wiring homes and enterprises around the world. Today more than 85 percent of all installed network connections and more than 95 percent of all local area networks (LANs) are Ethernet-based¹. Nearly all traffic on the Internet starts or ends on an Ethernet connection.

The term "ether" in "Ethernet" is said to have come from "luminiferous" the medium that 19th century physicists thought responsible for the propagation of light.

The relentless rapid growth in Internet Protocol (IP) traffic and its popularity for carrying sophisticated voice, data and media applications (particularly video) continue to drive the demand for greater network bandwidth. At present, Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), and increasingly 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE), provide the core of data center computing and storage resources.

Today Intel provides a broad portfolio of Ethernet solutions ranging from cost-effective 10/100 Mbps and Gigabit connections for PCs to high performance 10 GbE adapters for servers. The relentless progress of Moore's Law will increasingly move systems toward greater bandwidth as processor performance drives the need for ever more capacity, both for those devices using the processors and the network links aggregating the bandwidth from multiple devices. What's down the road? Even greater Ethernet speeds, cost reductions and power efficiencies through future Intel innovations in process technology and architecture.

The term "Ethernet" commonly refers to products that comply with the IEEE 802.3 networking standard, but is also used to market other technologies compatible with the Ethernet frame format.

Read the full Driving Ethernet Innovation for Nearly 30 Years Paper.