10 Gigabit Ethernet

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The 10 gigabit Ethernet (10GE or 10GbE or 10 GigE) standard was first published in 2002 as IEEE Std 802.3ae-2002. It defines a version of Ethernet with a nominal data rate of 10 Gbit/s, ten times as fast as gigabit Ethernet.

10 gigabit Ethernet supports only full duplex links which can be connected by switches. Half duplex operation and CSMA/CD (carrier sense multiple access with collision detection) are not supported in 10GbE.

The 10 gigabit Ethernet standard encompasses a number of different physical layer (PHY) standards. As of November 2010, 10 gigabit Ethernet is still an emerging technology with only 1 million ports shipped in 2007,[citation needed] and it remains to be seen which of the PHYs will gain widespread commercial acceptance. A networking device may support different PHY types by means of pluggable PHY modules.

At the time the 10 gigabit Ethernet standard was developed there was much interest in 10GbE as a WAN transport and this led to the introduction of the concept of the WAN PHY for 10GbE. This operates at a slightly slower data-rate than the LAN PHY and adds some extra encapsulation. The WAN PHY and LAN PHY are specified to share the same PMDs (physical medium dependent) so 10GBASE-LR and 10GBASE-LW can use the same optics. In terms of number of ports shipped the LAN PHY greatly outsells the WAN PHY.

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