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IEEE 802.3 And DecaGigaEthernet


    As an active participant in recent 803.3 affairs and study groups
there is one thing I have learned. The IEEE is a conservative
which is extremely bound by rules and traditions, or at least this was
lament which seemed to prevail.

   So some conservative ideas and principles:

   1) IEEE 802.3 is a member group within IEEE 802. The charter of IEEE
is LANs and MANs and NOT WANs. The work of IEEE 802 has been directed,
so far, exclusively to the LAN and MAN arena. The the first conservative
principle I would like to espouse is that 802.3 should NOT attempt to
into WAN Standards. The 802.3 HSSG study group should devote itself
to 10GBit/Sec LAN and MAN Standard development. I believe to do
otherwise would
violate the IEEE charter and principles, not to mention long held and
conservative traditions. WAN standard development should be left to
those who do
it best, the accredited WAN Standards groups.

   2) Now from a technical viewpoint. LAN/MAN standards and the
protocols of
which they are composed differ greatly from those of the WAN. This is
based on the differing operating requirements of the applications
For example LAN/MAN Standards operate over relatively short distances,
with very low bit error rates, in environments where the equipment and
are under private user control. In contrast traditional WAN environments
over relatively long distances, many times with relatively high bit
error rates,
in environments where the equipment and media are under the control of
one or
more public network providers. The IEEE 802 LAN/MAN standards feature
management protocols, and the WAN Standards feature Operations and
Protocols. The bottom line is that these protocols and application
are vastly different and completely incompatible. So the second
principle I would like to espouse is that IEEE 802.3 HSSG should develop
a 10GBit/Sec LAN/MAN standard with sufficient defined interfaces, such
a DecaGMII, so that traditional accredited WAN Standards groups may
compatible PHYs which will support related WAN applications. In fact I
recommend that IEEE 802.3 request this via liaison letter.  

3) Support for the installed base. A third conservative principle,
we MUST support the LAN/MAN traditional installed base this includes
single mode and MULTIMODE fiber. Conservative principles, not to mention
capitalism, demand this. I have heard the lament from some that there is
difficulty supporting multimode fiber. Well over coming difficulties
is the job of the study group, not to mention the reason you are paid
big bucks. Lastly what about copper support? If possible copper should
supported, although I could envision providing dispensations if it turns
out that driving copper at these rates causes local warps in space and

Thomas Dineen