John D'Ambrosia muses about the IEEE 802.3bj 100 Gb/s Backplane and Copper Cable Task Force he chairs.
Time travel! Forecasts! Different markets—different applications! The laws of physics being pushed to current known limits! (Funny how that "hope/change" mumbo jumbo doesn't apply here!).
OK, what the heck am i talking about?
Well to most this might sound like i am going off the deep end, but I swear i haven't! I am currently contemplating the IEEE 802.3bj 100 Gb/s Backplane and Copper Cable Task Force that I chair.
Alright! Flash back to the first paragraph and you are probably going "Huh?"
This project is really wrapped up in that first paragraph.
Switching and routing needs 100G now for their backplanes. Blade servers? Well probably not until 2017, but the backplanes that will need to be upgraded? Well they probably start shipping in 2014.
So what is the right choice?
Hey these things aren't easy but this is why we supposedly get paid the big bucks, right? Yeah right! Just let me call upon "The Force!"
Some are arguing that NRZ signaling will be the right solution, but others are arguing for the development of NRZ and PAM-4 solutions. It all comes down to the channel, THE statement of work! And that is the problem. The costs of today are not the costs of tomorrow. And no one has a crystal ball (cause if they did they would probably be off making a fortune in the stock market!).
In my former life I used to say "The application and its economics will dictate the right solution!" I would suggest that all those involved in this project take a step back and consider each other's perspective.
John D'Ambrosia is chief Ethernet evangelist, CTO office, at Dell.