Ethernet Alliance Applauds Bob Metcalfe on Receiving Turing Award

By Peter Jones



By Peter Jones

This year we celebrate Ethernet’s 50th anniversary. And what better way to commemorate this major milestone than Bob Metcalfe recently being honored with the A.M. Turing Award. Seeing the inventor of Ethernet join the distinguished ranks of Turing Award winners such as Gordon Bell, Tim Berners-Lee, Vinton G. Cerf, Whitfield “Whit” Diffie, Edsger W. Dijkstra, Robert E. Kahn, Dennis Ritchie, and Niklaus Wirth, is a clear recognition of the enormous impact that Ethernet has had on the world in which we live.

The Turing Award: the Nobel Prize of Computing 

The Turing Award is bestowed annually by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) upon those whose contributions are deemed of lasting and major technical importance to computer science. Recognized as the most important award in Computer Science, it is often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Computing.”

The award’s namesake  is Alan Turing, a polymath who is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. The previous recipients of the Turing Award reads as a “who’s who” of the industry’s leading lights.

Bob Metcalfe’s Enduring  Legacy 

ACM named Bob Metcalfe the recipient of the 2022 Turing Award for his leadership in the invention, standardization, and commercialization of Ethernet. In the Ethernet Alliance’s Voices of Ethernet oral history archive, he shared his thoughts on his role as the “Father of Ethernet”, Ethernet’s continued evolution, and how and why it still plays an important role in society.

Beyond introducing the world to Ethernet, Bob is also known for Metcalfe’s law, which says that a network’s value is proportional to the square of the number of nodes in the network.

Metcalfe’s Law has since been generalized to cover network effects that drive the valuations of technology companies like Facebook, Instagram, and  Uber, and are an essential component of successful digital businesses.

Ethernet is an Innovation Brand

Millions depend on Ethernet every day, and the overall Ethernet market is immense. The Dell’Oro Group forecasts revenues in excess of $200B for data center and campus switches alone.

Bob once said, “Ethernet is an innovation brand.” That has proven to be true throughout its 50-year history and there is no sign that will change any time soon, if ever. Being recognized with the Turing Award acknowledges the profound contributions Bob has made to society. We congratulate Bob Metcalfe on this great honor and we look forward to the next 50 years of Ethernet.

Peter Jones

Distinguished Engineer


Peter is a Distinguished Engineer in Cisco’s Enterprise HW team. He works on system architecture for Cisco’s enterprise switching, routing, wireless and IOT products. While at Cisco, Peter has been a major contributor to the Catalyst switching product line, including the Catalyst 9000 family. He is chair of the Ethernet Alliance Single Pair Ethernet technical subcommittee. He’s been active in IEEE 802.3 for several years, mostly working on BASE-T projects. He was Chair of the NBASE-T Alliance from its inception until its merger with the Ethernet Alliance. He works on evolution of technology to add value to physical infrastructure and make technology consumable.

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