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Great Progress with Ethernet Standards Development

Comments(1)Filed under: Design IP, controller IP, IP, Cadence, PHY, semiconductor IP, Verification IP, Ethernet, 802.3bs, Automotive Ethernet, Ethernet PHYs, IEEE 802.3, Marris, 400Gpbs, 40Gbps, 100Gbps, 802.3bp, 802.3bq, 802.3bt, 802.3bm, 802.3bj, 802.3bu, 802.3br, Power over Ethernet, PoDL, Power over Data Lines
The IEEE 802 local area networking standards committee held its plenary meeting in Dallas recently at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. As a historical side, here is a photograph of the Hyatt from Dealey Plaza, the site of Kennedy’s assassination 50 years ago, and also a photograph of the old Texas school book depository from where the shots were fired:
I attended the 802.3 meetings and there was much progress with developing the next generation of Ethernet standards.
Cadence is committed to supplying silicon and verification intellectual property (IP) to enable its customers to develop solutions to support these emerging Ethernet standards.

Here is a summary of the current work being performed by the IEEE 802.3 working group:

802.3bj (100G backplane) project
This project is standardizing new four-lane 100Gbps PHYs for backplanes and twin-ax copper cable. Three PHYs are being developed, two for backplane and one for twin-ax cable:
  1. 100GBASE-CR4 - NRZ PHY for 5m twin-ax cable
  2. 100GBASE-KR4 - NRZ PHY for new backplanes
  3. 100GBASE-KP4 – uses PAM4 multi-level coding for legacy backplanes
Good progress is being made and 802.3bj is expected to become an official standard in 2014.

802.3bm (next-generation 100G optical PHY) project
This project is standardizing the 100GBASE-SR4 PHY for use with multi-mode optical fiber (four strands in each direction) and CAUI4 as a chip-to-chip and chip-to-module four-lane, re-timed electrical interface. The second draft of the 802.3bm standard is now being reviewed by the 802.3 working group. 802.3bm is expected to become an official standard in 2015.
802.3bp (Gigabit vehicular PHY) project
This task force has now defined a low-cost 15m unshielded twisted pair medium for cars and is now looking for technical proposals to develop a gigabit PHY for this. The main challenge for the PHY developers will be to deal with the harsh electro-magnetic compatabiity environment.
802.3bq (40GBASE-T) project
The purpose of this project is to develop a 40Gbps PHY for use with four-pair, twisted-pair copper cabling. It is at a similar stage to the 802.3bp project, having defined the medium, and is now soliciting base-line proposals for the PHY.
802.3br (pre-emption) project
This project has just started and will standardize a method of pre-emption to allow time-critical traffic to be sent for closed-loop control. This is of interest to manufacturers of industrial control systems and the automotive market.
400G Ethernet study group
This is expected to become the 802.3bs project after the March 2014 plenary meeting. It will have objectives to develop a CDAUI (400G Attachment Unit Interface) chip-to-chip and chip-to-module interface and PHYs for:
  1. At least 100m over MMF (multi-mode fiber)
  2. At least 500m over SMF (single-mode fiber)
  3. At least 2km over SMF
  4. At least 10km over SMF

802.3bt (four-pair Power over Ethernet - 4PPoE) project
This project, which has just been approved, will write a standard to almost double from 25 watts to 49 watts the amount of power that can be supplied over four twisted pairs.
Power over Ethernet projects:
  1. 802.3af (2003): 13W
  2. 802.3at (2009): 25.5W
  3. 802.3bt (In progress): 49W

802.3bu (one-pair Power over Data Lines - PoDL) project
This project, which has just been approved, will write a standard to deliver power and wake-up functionality over the single twisted pair cable that will be used for 802.3bp vehicular Ethernet. The actual power level has not yet been decided.
Arthur Marris - November 2013 


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