Ethernet will shift up to 40 and 100 Gbits/second data rates using 10 Gbit/s and eventually 25 Gbit/s serial channels in as few as three years, said experts at a DesignCon panel here. But the road to those new speed grades has plenty of bumps ahead, they noted.
Engineers will need to make significant stepwise advances in areas ranging from serdes design to memory interfaces and board materials. But if those advances emerge as expected some 40 and 100G Ethernet products could begin to ship as early as 2010, they said.
David Stauffer, a senior technical staff member at IBM Corp., expressed confidence the industry will be able to shift up from today's 10 Gbit/s serial backplanes to 25 Gbits/s ones while maintaining acceptable board yields and costs.