Different Ethernet Standards

Most widely used technology in networking is Ethernet. As we say in the early lesson that Ethernet work both in the data link layer and the physical layer. Ethernet standards define both the Layer 2 protocols and the Layer 1 technologies. For the Layer 2 protocols, as with all 802 IEEE standards, Ethernet relies on the two separate sublayers of the data link layer to operate, the Logical Link Control (LLC) and the MAC sublayers.

Other LAN types include Token Ring, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI), Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and Local Talk. There are different Ethernet standards that support different band of data:-


Ethernet standards

Ethernet is the most popular physical layer LAN technology in use now a day. A standard Ethernet network can broadcast data at a rate up to 10 Mbps. Ethernet is popular as it strikes a good balance between speed, cost and ease of installation.

The Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers developed an Ethernet standard known as IEEE Standard 802.3. This standard also defines rules for configuring an Ethernet network as well as how the elements in an Ethernet network interact with each other. By adhering to the IEEE standard, network equipment and network protocols can communicate efficiently.

Fast Ethernet

The Fast Ethernet standard has been established for Ethernet networks that need higher transmission speeds. The standard defines for fast Ethernet is IEEE 802.3u. This standard extends the Ethernet speed limit from 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps with little changes to the existing structure. It also provides a better result for video, multimedia, graphics, Internet surfing, and stronger error detection and correction. Fast Ethernet has three types:-

  • 100BASE-TX using Cat-5 and Cat-6 UTP Cable.
  • 100BASE-FX using Fiber Optic Cable.
  • 100BASE-T4 using Cat-3 UTP Cable.

Gigabit Ethernet

Gigabit Ethernet is more for faster than Fast Ethernet networks with applications such as multimedia and VoIP. The Gigabit Ethernet speed is 10 times faster than Fast Ethernet. The Gigabit Ethernet is defined in the IEEE 802.3 standard as a backbone. Ethernet and Fast Ethernet can feed into a Gigabit Ethernet to interconnect high-performance switches, routers, and servers.

10 Gigabit Ethernet

This is the fastest as well as recent of the Ethernet standards. IEEE 802.3ae defines a version of Ethernet with a nominal rate of 10 Gbits/s. The  10 Gigabit Ethernet is 10 times faster than Gigabit Ethernet. The difference with other Ethernet is that it is based entirely on the use of optical fibre connections.

Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)

ATM is the abbreviation of Asynchronous Transfer Mode. It is a cell-based fast-packet communication technique that supports data-transfer rates from sub-T1 speeds to 10 Gbps. It can be integrated into an existing network as needed without any further update the existing network. The technology was basically for the high-speed transmission of all forms of media from basic graphics to full-motion video.

Due to the small size of cells, ATM equipment can transmit large amounts of data over a single connection. It also allows ISPs to assign limited bandwidth to each customer. While this may seem like a downside for the customer, it actually improves the efficiency of the ISP’s Internet connection, causing the overall speed of the connection to be faster for everybody.

Power over Ethernet (PoE)

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a solution in which an electrical current is run to networking hardware over the Ethernet Category 5 or Category 6 cable. This minimizes the amount of cable needed as well as eliminates the difficulties and cost of installing extra outlets for input AC or DC power to the equipment.