Intel and Ethernet Driving Ethernet innovation for nearly 30 years

Intel and Ethernet 
Driving Ethernet innovation for nearly 30 years

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. A standard is born: the origins of Ethernet Ethernet was invented in 1973 when Robert Metcalfe, a researcher at Xerox, wrote a memo to his superiors about the possibilities of a networking solution he was developing. It wasn't until 1976 though that Metcalfe and David Boggs, Metcalfe's co-worker, published a paper titled, "Ethernet: Distributed Packet-Switching for Local Computer Networks." At the time, Metcalfe envisioned data moving at 1 Mbps. (For perspective, consider that in the same year Intel was releasing its 8080 processor running at 4.77 MHz.) This diagram was hand drawn by Robert M. Metcalfe and photographed by Dave R. Boggs in 1976 to produce a 35mm slide used to present Ethernet to the National Computer Conference in June of that year. On the drawing are the original terms for describing Ethernet Impatient to see Ethernet commercialized, Metcalfe left Xerox in 1978 to consult and promote Ethernet. Recognizing the importance of communications technology and standards in the fledging desktop computer market, Intel joined mini-computer maker DEC and Xerox to lead in developing the Ethernet standard. In 1980 the DIX (DEC, Intel, Xerox) "blue book" Ethernet specification was published. It was the basis for the development of IEEE 802.3, the Ethernet standard published in 1985. Ethernet's rise to dominance The speed of Metcalfe's original Ethernet turned out to be Read the full Intel and Ethernet Driving Ethernet innovation for nearly 30 years.

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