Charting a Bold Future: 2024 Ethernet Roadmap

By Ethernet Alliance



To boldly go where no Ethernet connection has gone before – that has been Ethernet’s 50-year (and counting!) mission. But just as the most intrepid explorers could use a map to guide them, so too does the Ethernet ecosystem and users who depend on the world’s most ubiquitous networking technology.

The Ethernet Alliance is here to help. We’ve just released our 2024 Ethernet Roadmap. The industry’s only publicly available Ethernet guide, it chronicles Ethernet’s past, while charting out a bold course for its present and future.

Mapping the Ethernet Galaxy

Since 2015, the Ethernet Alliance has regularly produced updated versions of its Ethernet Roadmap, providing an easy-to-understand, illustrated means of keeping informed of the latest Ethernet updates and advancements. Packed full of technology insights, the Roadmap is made up of two main sections:

  • Side 1: An illustrated map detailing the various Ethernet speeds and application spaces, including Automotive, Enterprise, Service Providers, Automation, and Cloud Providers. Newly added in the 2024 edition are Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) and the impact it will have on the evolution of Ethernet.

  • Side 2: Visualizing the Ethernet ecosystem and related technologies, it charts the latest interfaces and nomenclature, fatter pipes, and speeds. It further details the path to a single lane chart, signaling methods, optical evolution, and a new section on sustainability.

Emerging Application Areas – AI and Sustainability 

2024 has seen the emergence of a new killer app in the Ethernet industry: AI/ML. This bandwidth-hungry application is propelling Ethernet speeds across the 800G threshold and beyond. To meet AI’s ever increasing bandwidth demands, the architecture within AI-driven data centers is evolving to include a blend of copper and fiber solutions. Ethernet is evolving to meet the market demands for AI/ML services with its continued progression towards higher speed interfaces, the widening variety of interconnect options, and advancements in power efficiency.

Also, new in 2024 is a section on sustainability that addresses Ethernet’s energy appetite. It offers a detailed diagram of the progress made throughout the last 12 years and lays out the challenges Ethernet must overcome in order to improve energy efficiency and continue to evolve with industry sustainability pledges.

Navigating the Challenges and Opportunities That Lie Ahead

As Ethernet continues its mission to deliver reliable “you plug it in and it just works” connectivity, the Ethernet Alliance’s 2024 Ethernet Roadmap provides the guidance needed to navigate through the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, so grab your copy and let’s go.

Complimentary printed copies of the Roadmap will be offered during Ethernet Alliance events and panel sessions throughout the year, starting with OFC 2024 in San Diego. Come see us at OFC booth #1415 to get your free copy.

PDF versions of the Roadmap, as well as the illustrated graphics are available for download.

We encourage you to add the Ethernet Roadmap to your upcoming presentations, webinars, and articles, but do ask that you attribute Ethernet Alliance as the source for all Ethernet Roadmap artwork.

Lastly, a big thank you to the Ethernet Alliance’s Roadmap Subcommittee for all of their hard work in developing this year’s edition.

Warp speed, fellow Ethernet explorers!


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