JANUARY 10--The Ethernet Alliance (Mountain View, CA; www.ethernetalliance.org), an industry group dedicated to the continued success and expansion of Ethernet technology, has announced its formation. With a scope that includes all IEEE 802 Ethernet standards, the Ethernet Alliance will serve as an industry resource and will help member companies increase acceptance and reduce time-to-market of Ethernet products by supporting the advancement of existing and emerging Ethernet technologies. Founding members of the Ethernet Alliance are 3Com, ADC, Agere Systems, AMCC, Aquantia, Broadcom, Force10 Networks, Foundry Networks, Intel, Lawrence Berkeley Labs, Pioneer Corporation, Quake Technologies, Samsung, Sun Microsystems, Tehuti Networks, Tyco Electronics, The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), and Xilinx.
"Although Ethernet has existed for more than 25 years, it does not have an industry voice that represents the spectrum of IEEE 802 Ethernet standards developments and serves the IEEE 802 Ethernet industry as a whole," said Brad Booth, president of the Ethernet Alliance. "With the strong support of our founding members, the Ethernet Alliance will be that voice, and we will move aggressively to accelerate the growth and expansion of IEEE 802 Ethernet technologies."
Historically, companies that manufacture, support, or design systems based upon Ethernet technologies have formed short-term industry alliances targeted specifically for the launch of individual technologies or particular market segments. However, the scope of these projects has sometimes been too narrow, and often the alliance does not exist long enough to fulfill the project's true mission. In addition, creating alliances for individual projects is not always feasible, since companies often lack the budget and resources for multiple groups. The Ethernet Alliance changes that paradigm. Unlike past alliances that support single IEEE 802 Ethernet projects, the Ethernet Alliance will exist for as long as it remains relevant to IEEE 802 Ethernet technology and will support IEEE 802 Ethernet projects by speeding acceptance and time-to-market for new Ethernet markets and technologies, cultivating efforts to define and develop new Ethernet technologies, and educating Ethernet users on their choices and implementations for various applications.
Activities for 2006 will focus on three key areas: Ethernet technology incubation, interoperability demonstrations, and education. To promote these, the Ethernet Alliance has started the incubation process for 100 Gigabit Ethernet, has initiated efforts to demonstrate 10GBASE-T, 10GBASE-LRM, and backplane Ethernet interoperability and is planning to show Consumer Electronic applications. In addition, the Ethernet Alliance has lined up speakers on key industry panels to help communicate the vision and benefits of Ethernet technology. Some of these events include DesignCon, Interop, and the Server Blade Summit (a complete list of events may be found at www.ethernetallliance.org). The goal is to demonstrate that new Ethernet technologies are ready for deployment and to provide insight into existing and emerging IEEE 802 Ethernet standards.