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IEEE Celebrates Ethernet's 40th Anniversary and Life-Changing Technologies That IEEE 802.3™ Standards Help Enable
[May 22, 2013]

IEEE Celebrates Ethernet's 40th Anniversary and Life-Changing Technologies That IEEE 802.3™ Standards Help Enable

PISCATAWAY, N.J. --(Business Wire)--

IEEE (News - Alert), the world's largest professional organization advancing technology for humanity, today celebrates Ethernet's 40th anniversary. IEEE 802.3™ "Standard for Ethernet" and the varied technologies, applications and networks that the family of standards helps enable have changed the world as we knew it, and multi-dimensional innovation never stops.

Frontiers of IEEE 802.3 Ethernet innovation include ever-increasing speeds and new applications for the technology. For example, in April 2013, IEEE announced the launch of an IEEE 802.3 study group to explore development of a 400 Gb/s Ethernet standard to efficiently support ever-increasing, exponential network bandwidth growth. Fast-growing IEEE 802.3 Ethernet application areas include energy efficiency, the globally emerging smart grid, data centers and supercomputing, access networks, mobile-communications infrastructure, healthcare and medical-device communications, entertainment and networking for automotive and other industries. Furthermore, in both developed and developing areas of the world, IEEE 802.3 Ethernet is being deployed with infrastructure buildouts to support the exploding array of applications that users rely on in their every-day lives.

"IEEE 802.3 Ethernet is everywhere; its uses are constantly expanding, and Ethernet works so well and seamlessly that we are almost unaware that it's there," said Michael Howard, co-founder and principal analyst with Infonetics (News - Alert) Research. "In fact, it is a sign of Ethernet's maturity that, as the world grows increasingly dependent on the technology-in new markets, new applications and new industries-Ethernet's presence goes almost unnoticed. IEEE 802.3 Ethernet today connects people and touches lives in so many diverse ways in every corner of the world, yet it's so easy to overlook the underlying enabling infrastructure. That's the mark of a fundamentally good technology."

Initially developed in order to standardize connectivity among computers, printers, servers and other devices inside a local area network (LAN), IEEE 802.3-first published as a draft in 1983 and as a standard in 1985-steadily has evolved to deliver increased capacities and connect more devices, users, media and protocols across more types of networks.

IEEE 802.3 defines the standards that provide the fundamental basis of networking. Over the last three decades, industry has invested heavily in IEEE 802.3 and other networking infrastructure standards, and the result of the investment has been the creation of a vast global market and a transformation in the way people access, consume and use information.

"No matter where you are in the world, connecting a device to the Internet is simple and universal," said David Law, chair of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group and distinguished engineer with HP Networking. "In large part because of the consistent interoperability and innovation enabled by IEEE 802.3, the Internet has spawnednovel approaches to the ways we work and play, such as border-crossing e-commerce, information sharing and community operations. New business models have been invented; a powerful, new engine for global economic opportunity has been created, and the lives of billions of people in markets around the world have been improved."

"This anniversary is an opportunity to acknowledge and congratulate the thousands of engineers that contributed to the development of the IEEE 802.3 suite of standards over the past three decades," said Paul Nikolich, chair of the IEEE 802® LAN/MAN Standards Committee and IEEE fellow. "Its success is rooted in these individuals' dedication to working in an open, transparent consensus process to produce standards of the highest quality, which resulted in an ubiquitous, low-cost, error-free datacom infrastructure. And their work continues in response to market needs. Well done, IEEE 802.3 participants. Well done."

Added Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director of the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA): "IEEE 802.3 and other IEEE standards are created within a rigorous process that is rooted in consensus, due process, openness, right of appeal and balance. In these ways, the IEEE 802.3 development process is emblematic of the principles that the 'OpenStand' market-driven paradigm for global, open standards ( is based upon. In the case of IEEE 802.3, it is an empowered marketplace itself that drives development, refinement and adoption of a globally relevant standard, and the resulting benefit to humanity is monumental. The IEEE-SA provides the forum through which the standard thrives."

For more information about the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group, please visit

To learn more about the 40th anniversary of Ethernet, please visit or join the conversation at

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About the IEEE Standards Association

The IEEE Standards Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body within IEEE, develops consensus standards through an open process that engages industry and brings together a broad stakeholder community. IEEE standards set specifications and best practices based on current scientific and technological knowledge. The IEEE-SA has a portfolio of over 900 active standards and more than 500 standards under development. For more information visit

About IEEE

IEEE, a large, global technical professional organization, is dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Learn more at

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