What Is Ethernet?

It’s known that Ethernet is created by Xerox, and jointly developed into the base LAN standard by Xerox, Intel and DEC. Although Ethernet is the most common communication protocol standard in present LAN, and it seems that there are still many people confused about the issue, what is Ethernet? And now, this article will introduce it for us.

The Definition of  Ethernet

Ethernet belongs to one of LANs with the widest range of applications, built in early of 70s; it’s an common LAN standard, whose transmission rate is 10Mbps. It consists of shared transmission media and cable, concentrator, Network bridge. With respect to its types, it’s made up of Standard Ethernet(10Mbit/s), Fast Ethernet(100Mbit/s), 10G Ethernet(10Gbit/s), adopting the CSMA/CD access control method and confirmed to IEEE802.3. In the Ethernet, all computers are connected into the same coaxial cable, and the CSMA/CD(Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection) method, competition mechanism and bus topology architecture are adopted. In addition, the present Ethernet is available for the four kinds of transmission rates under the supports of fiber and twisted pair:

l  10 Mbps – 10Base-T Ethernet(802.3)

l  100 Mbps – Fast Ethernet(802.3u)

l  1000 Mbps – Gigabit Ethernet(802.3z))

l  10 Gigabit Ethernet – IEEE 802.3ae

Evolution of Ethernet Technology

At the beginning, the Ethernet is only with 10Mbps handling capacity, uses CSMA/CD method. Such kind of Ethernet is called standard Ethernet, able to apply the coarse coaxial cables, thin coaxial cables, UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair), STP(Shielded Twisted Pair) and fiber as the transmission media for connection. In the IEEE 802.3 standard, different physical layer standards are specially made for different transmission medias, in which the front number means transmission speed (unit: Mbps); the last number represents the length of one network cable(unit: 100m); the base means base band and the broad means broad band.

What Is Ethernet?

Then with the development of network, the traditional Ethernet is hard to keep pace with the gradually increasing needs in the flow rate of network data. Before October, 1993, for the LAN applications requiring over 10Mbps, only the Fiber Distributed Data Interface(FDDI) is alternative, but it’s the LAN with high price and based on 100Mpbs fiber cable. Therefore, in October, 1993, the Fast Ethernet came into sight. After that, the Gigabit Ethernet and 10G Ethernet also emerged respectively in the middle and later 1990s, and in 2002.

The Future of Ethernet

When it comes to the development of transmission rate, it’s believed that Ethernet is developed on the rising trend. In the past thirty years, Ethernet has been developed at the rate of  ten times all the time, from 10Mbps-100Mbps-1Gbps-10Gbps. Although the next step of Ethernet haven’t been confirmed whether it’s 40Gbps or 100Gbps, and the leading chip manufacturers in the field have produced the Ethernet chips, each one of which supports 20 ports of 10GE, and is testing the 100Gbps tech. Besides, its final goal is to provide the port-port Ethernet networks and Ethernet services.


Above all is about the Ethernet. What is Ethernet? As for this question, believing its answer is very obvious. By the way, there are various optical components for 10G Ethernet, such as 10G SFP+ AOC, 10G SFP+ AOC/DAC,  SFP+  optical transceiver module and so on. If you have any need for them, Welcome to contact Gigalight.





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