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10-Gigabit Ethernet

  • Last Updated : 22 Dec, 2020

Prerequisite – Gigabit Ethernet

802 committee was asked by IEEE to start on 10-Gigabit Ethernet. The work pattern was the same as the previous Ethernet standards. 10 Gbps is a truly great speed, 1000 times faster than the original Ethernet. It could be needed inside data centres and exchanges to connect high-end routers, switches, and servers, as well as in long-distance, high bandwidth trunks between offices that are enabling entire area networks based on Ethernet and fibre. The short-distance connections may use copper or fibre, while the long connections may use optical fibre.

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10-gigabit Ethernet supports the only full-duplex operation. They concentrate on the details of physical layers that can run at very high speed. CSMA/CD is no more a part of 10-gigabit Ethernet. Compatibility still matters, though, so 10-gigabit Ethernet interfaces auto-negotiate and fall back to the highest speed supported by both ends of the line.



The main kinds of 10-gigabit Ethernet are listed in the table below. Multimode fibre with the 0.85µ (short) wavelength is used for medium distances, and single-mode fiber at 1.3µ (long) and 1.5µ (extended) is used for long distances. To make it suitable for wide-area applications, one can use 10GBase-ER which can run for distances of 40 km. All the versions of 10-gigabit Ethernet send a serial stream of information that is produced by scrambling the data bits, then encoding them with a 64B/66B code.

Table : 10-Gigabit Ethernet Cabling

NameCableMax. segmentAdvantages
10GBase-SRFiber OpticsUp to 300 mMultimode fiber (0.85µ)
10GBase-LRFiber Optics10 kmSingle-mode fiber (1.3µ)
10GBase-ERFiber Optics40 kmSingle-mode fiber (1.5µ)
10GBase-CX44 pairs of twinax15 mTwinaxial copper
10GBase-T4 pairs of UTP100 mCategory 6a UTP

10GBase-CX4 was the first copper version defined. It uses a cable with four pairs of twin axial copper wiring. It runs at 3.125 Gsymbols/second to reach 10 Gbps. This version of copper is cheaper than fibre but whether it will beat out in the long run by 10-gigabit Ethernet over more garden variety twisted pair wiring.

UTP cables were used in 10GBase-T. Not surprisingly, the physical layer is quite involved o reach 10 Gbps over twisted pair. To send 2500 Mbps in both directions each of the four twisted pairs is used. This speed can be reached using a signalling rate of 800 Msymbols/sec with symbols that use 16 voltage levels. To standardize Ethernet operating at 40Gbps and 100 Gbps IEEE created a group. Proprietary products are already available but the standard is not yet complete.

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