2021 was a challenging year; I’m feeling good about 2022

By Ethernet Alliance • 6 min read

A note from the chair


I’m still amazed by the changes we’ve all experienced since the start of 2020. For me personally, the way I work has changed a lot. In some ways it’s better (e.g., I don’t commute, and virtual interactions are improving), and in some ways not (e.g., I miss seeing  colleagues in person).

Reflecting on 2021 and  the specific challenges we have seen in the Ethernet industry, a few thoughts spring to mind.

Supply Chain

The big one is the supply chain issues that have impacted our ability to deliver products to our customers to run their businesses more successfully. Aaron Mak said in Slate1  “Instead of fading, the chip problem has become so unmanageable that it’s on track to outlast the lockdowns and closures that triggered the shortage in the first place.”

Gina Raimondo, U.S. Commerce Secretary got it right when she said2 “Semiconductors are like the water of the new economy; you can’t do anything without them.”

Standards Work

Another issue for some of us is that IEEE 802.3 hasn’t met in person since we were in Geneva in January 2020. We have all been working hard to move Ethernet standardization along, but we are really missing the in person contact at meetings that helps build consensus and get work done.

Even so, 2021 has been a great year for Ethernet.

Market Developments

Dell’Oro said3 “… the worldwide Campus Switch market revenue surged in 2Q 2021, growing 15 percent year-over-year … ” and also “…global Data Center Switch revenues were up 7 percent year-over-year in 2Q 2021, marking the second consecutive quarter of revenue growth…”4

Ethernet is the foundation of the Internet that we all rely on every day, and the technology we provide is a major component helping society adapt to the significant challenges that we are going through. As the epicenter of the global Ethernet ecosystem, Ethernet Alliance members will pave the way to solve these challenges in innovative ways.

As I look forward to 2022 and beyond, I’m convinced that Ethernet will continue to occupy its key position in our technology stack. We will see new technologies developed, new standards completed, new products delivered to the market, and new opportunities for Ethernet. It feels a bit like this line from Timbuk 3’s “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”5.

I’m excited to announce we’ll be live at OFC in San Diego, March 2022, and we’ll soon be announcing our schedule of webinars and other online events so we can continue to meet virtually.

See you in the New Year!

Peter Jones

  1. https://slate.com/technology/2021/11/chip-shortage-semiconductors-demand-pandemic.html
  2. https://www.politico.com/news/2021/11/22/raimondo-commerce-war-room-supply-chain-woes-523207
  3. https://www.delloro.com/news/the-campus-switch-market-roars-back-in-2q-2021/
  4. https://www.delloro.com/news/data-center-switch-demand-exceeding-supply-component-shortage-looms/
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Future%27s_So_Bright,_I_Gotta_Wear_Shades

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