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The Evolution to Multi-Gigabit Ethernet is Long Overdue


February 10, 2017

Device processing power has come an extraordinarily long way in a mere few decades. For instance, an Apple iPhone 5 has 2.7 times the processing power of the 1985 Cray-2 supercomputer. The same cannot be said of the wired Ethernet ports on those devices, and it’s an issue that is holding back networking and development potential at large.


Phil Delansay, co-founder and SR VP business development at Aquantia Corporation, a manufacturer of high-speed transceivers, discussed the state of Ethernet in a recent article for Network World. He said that while PCs and processing power have evolved by leaps and bounds, Gigabit Ethernet has basically been the de facto standard for wired ports since 1999. And while wireless Ethernet has undergone steady bandwidth increases over the last decade, the same is not true for wired Ethernet.

“Nearly all large enterprises now produce sleek videos for marketing purposes, and they require high-powered machines running video editing applications that produce very large files,” wrote Delansay. “Image rendering is a similar story. Whether it’s CAD-CAM software for engineering designs or image stitching tools to create lifelike panoramic images, lots of industries rely on various sorts of imaging applications that again produce massive files.”

Additional applications like simulation software and electromagnetic tools can also eat up massive amounts of bandwidth, regardless of whether they are premise or cloud-based. New and innovative applications are increasingly requiring faster network connections, which means updates to wired Ethernet are long overdue and the time for multi-gigabit Ethernet has arrived.

Aquantia is working on technology for increasing network speeds to 2.5G and 5G bps over Cat 5e/Cat 6 twisted pair cable. The company also offers its AQtion line of multi-Gigabit Ethernet BASE-T controllers, which work at 2.5G, 5G and 10G bps. The controllers are geared toward enterprise workstations, PCs and laptops along with gaming PCs and even SMB applications. In other news, Aquantia’s AQtion chips are in production and gaming PC OEM ASRock is rolling out a new line of gaming motherboards based on the AQtion controllers.

The evolution to multi-gigabit Ethernet for businesses and consumers alike is a necessity if wired devices are to keep pace with the speed of new applications and technology at large. As part of the larger digital transformation, networked devices require fast and efficient connectivity, and Gigabit Ethernet simply can’t keep up with demand.




Edited by Alicia Young

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