IEEE 802.3ba

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IEEE 802.3ba (also known by its proposed standard name IEEE P802.3ba) is an IEEE standard of the 802.3 family of data link layer standards for Ethernet LAN and WAN applications, whose objective is to support speeds faster than 10 gigabits per second (Gbit/s). The standard supports 40 Gbit/s and 100 Gbit/s transfer rates.

The IEEE 802.3 working group is concerned with the maintenance and extension of the Ethernet data communications standard. Additions to the 802.3 standard are performed by task forces which are designated by one or two letters. For example the 802.3z task force drafted the original gigabit Ethernet standard.

802.3ba is the designation given to the higher speed Ethernet task force which is working on modifications to support speeds higher than 10 Gbit/s.

The chosen speeds are 40 and 100 Gbit/s to support both end-point and link aggregation needs. The Ethernet Alliance web site has information on why these speeds were chosen as does the PAR (Project Authorization Request) sent to the IEEE.

This is the first time two different Ethernet speeds have been specified in a single standard. The decision to include both speeds comes from pressure to support the 40 Gbit/s rate for local server applications and the 100 Gbit/s rate for internet backbones. The standard was announced in July 2007.


In July 2006, the IEEE 802.3 working group formed the High Speed Study Group (HSSG) to...
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