Maria Montero

IEEE Announces 3 Amendments to the IEEE 802.3 Standard for Ethernet

Demand for Ethernet is growing, requiring updates to the IEEE 802.3 standard for using Ethernet.

It is difficult to overstate the importance of the IEEE 802.3 standard for electronic engineers. It is a group of standards that define the physical layer and the data link layers of Ethernet. Any manufacturer that wants to sell products that transfer information or, increasingly, send electrical power over Ethernet must comply with these standards.

Simply put, if IEEE 802.3 doesn’t exactly define Ethernet, it provides a roadmap to the structure that should be followed.

This week, the IEEE announced two new amendments to the standard in response to evolving industry requirements for emerging Ethernet applications. They will provide the governance necessary for designers to implement higher Ethernet speeds, improved backplane applications, and better PoE (Power over Ethernet) delivery.

As David Law, chair of the IEEE 802.3 task force, described it, “These enhancements are essential to keeping Ethernet as the core technology driving advancements in data centers and all network infrastructures everywhere, in addition to using Ethernet. to power the wide variety of sensors. “Actors, cameras and other devices associated with the Internet of Things”.

Below we provide simple descriptions of the modifications as mandated by the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group. By choosing the links provided for each amendment, the corresponding IEEE page will appear, with instructions on how to purchase the full document.

IEEE 802.3: The Base Document

The scope of IEEE 802.3 can be characterized by a few concepts:

  • Selected operating speeds for Ethernet LAN (Local Area Network) are specified from 1 Mb / s to 400 Gb / s with a common specification of MAC (Media Access Control) and MIB (Management Information Base)
  • The MAC CSMA / CD (Collision Detection Carrier Sense Multiple Access) protocol specifications for half and full duplex operation
  • Rate-specific MIIs (media independent interfaces) that allow the use of selected physical layer devices (PHYs) to operate over coaxial, twisted pair or fiber optic cables, or electrical backplanes
  • System considerations for shared access and multi-segment networks describe the use of repeaters that are defined for operational speeds up to 1 Gb / s

A 1976 diagram that was hand-drawn by Robert M. Metcalfe, who is recognized as a co-inventor of Ethernet. Image from “Ethernet: Distributed Packet Switching for Local Computer Networks” by Robert M. Metcalfe and David R. Boggs via IEEE

Of particular interest is the power supply information on the selected twisted pair PHY types.

The Three New IEEE 802.3 Standard Amendments

Amendment 1: IEEE 802.3cb-2018

IEEE 802.3cb-2018 covers the physical layer specifications and management parameters for 2.5 Gb / s and 5 Gb / s operations over electric backplanes.

IEEE 802.3cb-2018 Main Focus:

  • Ethernet MAC parameters
  • Physical layer specifications
  • Management objects for serial transfer of 2.5 Gb / s and 5 Gb / s Ethernet format frames over electrical backplates

Amendment 2: IEEE 802.3bt-2018

IEEE 802.3bt-2018 is related to the physical layer and management parameters for Power over Ethernet more than four pairs. With the advent of the IoT and remote devices that do not have local power, this amendment will be of vital importance for power engineers.

Some important factors covered in IEEE 802.3cb-2018:

  • The four pairs will be used in the transfer of electrical energy.
  • Enhanced power management information for superior power management capabilities

Amendment 3: IEEE 802.3cd-2018

IEEE 802.3cd-2018 covers 50 Gb / s media access control parameters and associated physical layers, as well as management parameters for 50 Gb / s, 100 Gb / s and 200 Gb / s operations.

The main focus areas of IEEE 802.3cd-2018: