The IEEE 802 executive committee approved forwarding the draft of the next higher speed Ethernet standard for sponsor balloting, the final of two stages of balloting.

"Once the sponsor ballot has been completed, the draft standard will be submitted for approval by the IEEE-SA standards board as an IEEE standard," said John D’Ambrosia, chair of the IEEE P802.3ba task force in a statement.
 
IEEE P802.3ba will be known by its full name of "IEEE Standard for Information Technology – Telecommunications and Information Exchange Between Systems – Local and Metropolitan Area Networks – Specific Requirements Part 3: Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) Access Method and Physical Layer Specifications – Amendment: Media Access Control Parameters, Physical Layers and Management Parameters for 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps Operation."

The project aims to extend the existing IEEE 802.3 Ethernet protocol to operating speeds of 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps in order to provide a significant increase in bandwidth while maintaining maximum compatibility with the installed base of IEEE 802.3 interfaces, previous investment in research and development, and principles of network operation and management.

In addition, a related standard, the International Telecommunication Union’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) Recommendation G.709, "Interfaces for the optical transport network (OTN)," is being revised to support transport of 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps Ethernet over the OTN and is on track for approval by the end of 2009.

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