Enterprise Networking Planet reports a major advancement that could make Ethernet 50 percent more power efficient. The IEEE has ratified the 802.3az standard for Ethernet power efficiency as Broadcom rolls out new silicon to support deployment efforts.
Ethernet is becoming a whole lot more power efficient, thanks to a new standard from the IEEE.
The EEE effort dates back to at least 2008, with the overall goal of reducing Ethernet power consumption by at least 50 percent by introducing a new low power state for idle periods and low utilization. If I think of a system as having two states, one when it is active and then a state when it is in lower-power mode, then the total amount of energy is the amount of power multiplied by the amount of time it spends in each state, Wael Diab, vice-chair of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group and a technical director with Broadcom, told InternetNews.com.
Power utilization states were not entirely unknown in the existing 802.3 Ethernet standards for physical layer devices (PHYs). Diab noted that current PHYs are either sending data or sending what is known as an active idle.
"What we did in 802.3az is put in an additional state called low-power idle that the PHYs can go into, Diab said. When you go in and out of that state, [it's] outside of the scope of the standard and it depends on the actual traffic profile that is flowing.
Diab added that it's also desirable to spend more time in the lower-power state than the full-power active state without compromising performance. That's where the concept of having a control policy to maximize power savings come into play, which is what Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM) is delivering as part of its EEE implementation across multiple products in its portfolio.
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