10 Gigabit Ethernet (known as 10GbE, 10GE, or 10GigE) refers to the use of Gigabit wireless technology with regard to computing and storage devices. Most Internet users are familiar with “megabit Internet,” abbreviated as “Mbps” or “megabits per second.”
The average Internet speed is 4.5Mbps; Gigabits per second (Gbps) is a wireless speed measurement that companies such as Apple are trying to implement in consumer technology — laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones. This technology was once luxurious and used for only expensive devices such as the QNAP TS-879 Pro and the Synology DS3612xs (which costs $2,200 and $3,500 respectively).
Gigabits per second is a greater measurement of wireless speeds than megabits per second, and is one reason why Apple is trying to implement this technology in its recent MacBook Pros. Currently, the average Internet speed stands at the current level (4.5Mbps) because various electronics overlap on various wireless channels.
Simply put, your microwave, smartphone, tablet, computer (and even Satellite signals if you pay for the service) overlap, leading to a distortion of the wireless channel and disconnections throughout the day.
Channel overload is the reason why webpages stop loading (or don’t load at all), and cellular signals die out and drop calls.
The current 802.11a/b/g/n wireless standard allows every tech gadget to collide with every other tech gadget. 802.11ac, however, will help usher in Gigabit Ethernet and prevent your other electronic gadgets to collide with your computer’s or smartphone’s network.
With less overload on your smartphone’s wireless channel, you will experience faster Internet at the touch of the screen.
With 10 Gigabit Ethernet, however, 802.3ae, 802.ak, and 802.an are the wireless standards for this super Internet technology. If Gigabit Ethernet is fast, then imagine the speed of 10 Gigabit Ethernet: 10GbE is ten times faster than GbE.
There are three types of 10 GbE standards: 1) LAN-PHY, 2) WAN-PHY, and 3) 10GbE over copper (10GBASE).
“LAN-PHY stands for “local area network,” the “PHY” referring to a physical fiber standard. Local networks refer to a wireless capability over a short distance, such as within a building or set of buildings — usually on the same property or territory.
LANs are popular in schools, homes, computer labs, and company buildings (manufacturing plants, for example).
Within LANs, there are two popular wireless mediums: Ethernet cables and WiFi. Ethernet cables are used with regard to small businesses and universities and colleges, while WiFi (short for “wireless fidelity”) is the LAN medium for grade schools and small colleges.
Wide Area Networks, or “WANs,” are networks that occur across city, state, or regional lines. The Internet can be considered as a kind of wide area network, seeing that it stretches beyond the local setting and geographic location.
3. 10GBase Networks
10GBase networks are Internet connection layouts that provide backwards compatibility with 100MB or 1GB servers. 10GBase networks are also more power efficient, reducing the watt output of energy. While early 10GBase networks output 4W of energy, new 10GBase networks will dissipate as little as 2.5W per port.
Reducing energy output is vital to 10GBase networks, especially because they often come with multiple ports (2 or more, as high as 24 in some cases).
10GBase-T transmits 10Gbps (gigabits per second) over twisted pair cables. 10GBase works with both types of twisted pair cables: shielded and unshielded.
Twisted cables use two conductors but create the risk of electrical interference. Shielded cables have a shield to prevent them from producing electric shock when twisted, whereas unshielded cables have no shield and lead to a risk of electric shock when twisted.
10GBase-T networks included distances of 100 meters (maximum) and uses four pairs of twisted cables to create a platform for users.
10 Gigabit Ethernet in the News
10 Gigabit Ethernet has become such an important wireless standard because of the interference of gadgets on the same wireless channels as well as the ever-growing data traffic on the World Wide Web.
In the same way that overcrowded streets demand more streets, increasing Internet data traffic demands more information highways and channels than ever before.
According to CNET, 10 gigabit ethernet (10GbE) has been in effect for a few years now. Back in 2006, NetXen, then a new start-up in Silicon Valley, entered into agreements with both Hewlett-Packard (HP) and IBM. Dell, though not a customer at the time, was interested in NetXen’s approach. NetXen provides the same technology as other companies in the market (10 gigabits of data per second), NetXen provides a more affordable alternative than most other companies.
NetGear’s 10GbE Switches
One of the problems in 2006 regarding 10GbE is that it required the use of fiber optics, but the hope was that companies would be able to supply 10GbE by way of copper cables in the future.
Today, this has been made possible with companies such as NetGear, who, in April of this year (2013), announced three new copper-cabled 10GbE switches:
- ProSAFE Plus XS708E
- XSM7224 enterprise switch
- ProSAFE Plus XS712T.
The ProSAFE Plus XS708E is an entry-level, 8-port switch that is priced at around 675 pounds, or $1,025.
It has a single combo port (SFP+) that can incorporate a 10GbE fibre module. The XSM7224 is a 24-port switch for businesses and provides a maximum consumption of 200 Watts (W).
The 24-port switch addresses a problem that has been discovered with 10GBase-T devices: that is, they consume power as fast as fibre-optic switches.
The XS712T is a smart switch with a choice of either 12 ports ($2,000) or 24 ports ($6,000). Each of these three types of Netgear switches can be used for businesses of all sizes.
Sonnet Technologies and PCI Express Cards
This seems to be acceptable for those who want some additional hardware to their computer setup.
However, what is a business to do if it wants to keep its current computers while still accessing fast data speeds? To overthrow its current computer lineup in favor of more 10GbE-capable computers would incur an additional financial cost to the business budget, not to mention the rest of the company’s annual budget.
Sonnet Technologies announced its own Presto 10GbE network adapter cards on March 7, 2013. The cards provide 1 and 2-port switches and are OS X (Mac), Windows, and Thunderbolt-compatible, meaning that businesses could use Sonnet’s 10GbE cards on their current computer structure without spending thousands to replace their computers in favor of 10GbE-compatible ones.
Sonnet’s Presto cards will also allow businesses to maintain their favorite computer model of choice, such as the MacBook Pro. These adapter cards plug into computer slots by way of either a fiber-optic cable or copper cable (cables are sold separately).
Sonnet’s Presto adapter cards not only provide for computer preference and cable preference, but also distance preference (whether short-range or long-range).
The 2-port switch is necessary at times where one port fails. 10GbE cards are also known for HD video editing, a capability that many tech writers need when it comes to video graphics and video creation.
Tehuti Networks Introduces Smallest 10GbE Adapter
Today there are an excellent number of 10GbE adapters to choose from, but many are large and heavy to handle.
Zehuti Networks, a Herzelia, Israel semiconductor company, announced the creation of the smallest 10GbE adapter to date on March 25, 2013.
Called the TN9210 Network adapter, Tehuti’s adapter uses Tehuti’s TN4010 controller, a device that is paired with individual computers. According to Tehuti CEO Moshe Shahaf,
“Industry analysts forecast ubiquitous 10 Gigabit Ethernet deployments across enterprises driven by the latest 10GbE controller and 10GBase-T PHY-based solutions, which provide significant power and cost efficiencies in addition to a seamless 10-fold performance enhancement.
We are pleased to offer the TN9210 as a critical enabler for this important industry transformation” (“Tehuti Introduces Industry’s Smallest 10 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter with 10GBase-T Support,” Business Wire).