Within the next few years we'll start seeing 100Gbps Ethernet, InfoWorld reports:
A special study group of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) last Thursday agreed on a target for the next generation of the ubiquitous data networking technology. The 100G-bps version of Ethernet will be 10 times faster than the current fastest type, 10-Gigabit Ethernet. But vendors as well as users represented in the group, including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories and cable operator Comcast Corp., see a need for that kind of speed down the road, said John D'Ambrosia, chair of the group. It will serve the needs of both enterprises and carriers, he said.
Ethernet was introduced more than 30 years ago and became popular as a 10M-bps system for enterprise LANs. Along the way, Fast Ethernet (100M bps), Gigabit Ethernet and 10-Gigabit Ethernet have been added. Because each was standardized, many vendors have been able to compete and prices have been driven down. New Ethernet versions began life aggregating streams of packets from lower-speed connections and, in turn, were later aggregated into fatter pipes that used the latest high speed.