The Ethernet Alliance has announced a "surge" in new members, which it claims shows industry recognition of the need to invest in the "interoperability, testing and marketing of next-generation Ethernet technologies".
Formed of a wide range of organisations and individuals, including system and component vendors, industry experts and professionals, the global consortium works to deliver new Ethernet standards to the marketplace. Its activities range from incubation of new technologies to interoperability testing to demonstrations.
The group also pursues education and advocacy initiatives, as well as consensus-building projects to shorten time-to-market for new Ethernet standards.
Its membership has recently expanded with the addition of companies including cabling firms, networking vendors, and cloud, security and design automation solution providers.
Among the new members are F5 Networks, Anritsu Corporation, Arista Networks, Mentor Graphics and Samtec. It was also announced that Spirent Communications, a provider of testing, analytics and security solutions, had upgraded to principal membership.
The consortium said this recent influx underlines the importance of its mission to accelerate the deployment of Ethernet-based solutions.
David Rodgers, marketing chair at the Ethernet Alliance and senior product marketing manager at Teledyne LeCroy, highlighted some of the unprecedented challenges that are emerging today, such as the addition of diverse new markets and applications.
He said this makes the benefits of membership of the Ethernet Alliance particularly attractive for some businesses.
"With the arrival of the next Ethernet era, test and measurement processes are becoming increasingly complex, and interoperability is a continuing requirement," Mr Rodgers continued.
"The Ethernet Alliance's mission is to ensure our members are equipped with the resources needed to meet these challenges head-on. We're pleased to welcome all of our new and upgraded members, and look forward to achieving great strides with their participation."
Key developments in this space that could give rise to both challenges and opportunities for businesses include Power over Ethernet (PoE). This allows electrical power as well as data to be transmitted via Ethernet cabling, meaning only one cable is required to transport both power and data to devices such as wireless access points and VoIP phones.
The Ethernet Alliance also highlighted the forthcoming 200/400 gigabit Ethernet standard.
Its efforts in these areas include the PoE certification programme and the industry's first PoE certification event at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory in Durham, New Hampshire. There have also been multivendor interoperability 'plugfests'.
One such event took place at the University of New Hampshire in June 2017 and focused on 25GBASE-R and 100GBASE-R high-speed Ethernet technologies.
Speaking at the time, Greg McSorley, board member at the Ethernet Alliance and technical business development manager at Amphenol Corporation, said the ongoing pattern of improvement and evolution is a "fundamental aspect of Ethernet".
Emphasising the importance of 25GBASE-R and 100GBASE-R technologies, Mr McSorley pointed out that the trend towards higher speeds is paving the way for greater innovation in data centres and enterprises.