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RE: [10GBASE-T] latency

One question that comes to mind is how much extra latency is being

One of the possible uses of 10GBase-T could be to carry Ethernet based
RDMA protocols.  Some RDMA applications are very sensitive to latency
and are currently done using infiniband/quadrics type networks.  If the
10Gbase-T MAC latency is much larger than that of infiniband's, then we
would see a decrease in the competitiveness of Ethernet based RDMA
solutions relative to infiniband (at least for latency sensitive


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Stoltz,
Sent: Friday, February 20, 2004 5:48 AM
To: Stephen Bates; Booth, Bradley;
Subject: RE: [10GBASE-T] latency

Hi Stephen,

The latency requirements in the standard are based on clause 44.3 (which
refers to clause 31 and annex 31B). Underlying reason for specifying
delay budgets is "Predictable operation of the MAC Control PAUSE
operation" as the standard puts it.

In the 802.3ae days, there was a minor discussion in 2001 around the
latency budgets summed up in table 44.2 "Round-trip delay constraints".
Back then, I commented against the latency numbers of draft 3.0 (which
are now in the standard). My argument back then was based on two points:
a) the fact that the individual delay numbers in table 44.2 seemed to be
built assuming different semiconductor technologies, and b) the fact
that cabling delay is several orders of magnitude above sublayer delay
anyway if we look at the distance objectives of the optical PHYs. For
the sake of economic feasibility, I proposed relaxing the numbers, but
without success.

The current situation seems as if the delay budget threatens to inhibit
technically attractive solutions. What we are probably missing (today as
well as back then) is some data on the MAC control PAUSE operation and
how it is really used in the field. That could tell us how reasonable it
may be to add some slack to the current numbers.

Some data, anyone?

Best regards,

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Stephen
Sent: Donnerstag, 19. Februar 2004 18:56
To: Booth, Bradley;
Subject: Re: [10GBASE-T] latency

Hi Brad and the 10GBASE-T Group

I used to work for Massana (now part of Agere) but am now an Assistant
Prof at the University of Alberta. I've been talking to some of you
about this latency issue as I think it has a huge bearing on the
viability of 10GBASE-T.

I did some work based on the presentation of Scott Powell and others
that tried to estimate the power consumption of 10GBASE-T components.
Based on present performance criteria and ADCs featuring in ISSCC this
year I concur with his results which show that they are, by far, the
dominant power drain. For this and other reasons I am coming to the
conclusion that the trade off between the SNR target at the decoder
input and coding gain is not appropriate at present (I assuming we are
using the 1000BASE-T code).

Part of my research is involved with coding and decoding in high-speed
systems with ISI. One area of application is obviously 10GBASE-T. I know
Sailesh presented some work on LDPC codes. Another coding option people
have mentioned is a concatenated code. Both of these require that the
latency budget in 10G be relaxed. In the first case because LDPC
requires an iterative decoder and the second since we must interleave
between the two codes.

I have heard the figure of 1us being the limit for MAC to MAC latency in
10G though I've not heard any justification or reasons for this. Even
assuming we can 50% of this in the decoder we still only have about
400-500 baud periods (and hence clock cycles) to play with. This is a
very small figure for both the options above.

I think getting a better idea of what the upper bound on latency needs
to be is very important and I would be interested in hearing people's
opinion on the coding options for 10GBASE-T. I hope to make another of
the study group meetings as soon as my teaching commitments are

If anyone has any questions about this please feel free to contact me.



On Wed, 2004-02-18 at 12:12, Booth, Bradley wrote:
> I remember Sailesh mentioning that if we are willing to make 
> trade-offs against latency, that we can make use of significantly more

> powerful techniques to reduce the complexity.  I know people have been

> looking at this as a possible issue.  What is an acceptable latency 
> trade-off?  Is the current latency requirement for 1000BASE-T creating

> problems for it in latency sensitive applications?
> Any thoughts or comments?
> Cheers,
> Brad
> Bradley Booth
> Chair, IEEE 802.3 10GBASE-T Study Group
> 512-732-3924 (W)
> 512-422-6708 (C)

Dr. Stephen Bates

Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering      Phone: +1 780 492 2691
The University of Alberta                         Fax:   +1 780 492 1811
Canada, T6G 2V4