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What is the standard for 10gb Ethernet?
Knowledge Base + 2024.01.12

The standard for 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) is defined by the IEEE 802.3ae standard. This standard specifies the physical layer and media access control (MAC) layer specifications for 10GbE, ensuring interoperability and compatibility among different vendors' equipment.

Key aspects of the 10GbE standard include:

  1. Physical Layer: The standard defines various physical layer options for 10GbE, including fiber optic and copper media. Fiber optic options include both multimode fiber (MMF) and single-mode fiber (SMF), each with its own set of specifications. Copper options include 10GBASE-T for twisted pair cables.

  2. Data Rates: As the name suggests, 10GbE operates at a data rate of 10 gigabits per second (Gbps). It is designed to provide higher bandwidth compared to previous Ethernet standards.

  3. Frame Format: The standard specifies the frame format used for 10GbE, including the size and structure of Ethernet frames.

  4. Auto-Negotiation: 10GbE supports auto-negotiation, allowing network devices to automatically determine and configure the highest common speed and mode of operation.

  5. Backward Compatibility: While the primary focus is on 10GbE, the standard includes provisions for backward compatibility with lower-speed Ethernet standards, allowing for seamless integration into existing networks.

  6. Connectors and Cabling: The standard defines the physical connectors and cabling specifications for different 10GbE implementations, including SFP+ (Small Form-Factor Pluggable Plus) for fiber optics and RJ45 for copper.

The specific variants of 10GbE, such as 10GBASE-SR (Short Range), 10GBASE-LR (Long Range), and 10GBASE-T, cater to different deployment scenarios, distances, and types of media.

It's worth noting that advancements beyond 10GbE, such as 25GbE, 40GbE, 50GbE, and 100GbE, have been introduced to meet the increasing demands for higher bandwidth in modern networks.