A standard for Gigabit Ethernet products has finally been ratified, opening the gates for a surge of souped-up Ethernet tools.
The standard was expected to have been ratified in March and the delay has meant vendors such as 3Com and Cisco shipping products based on the latest drafts of specifications, although the vendors have guaranteed their products will support agreed standards.
The IEEE approved the 802.3z standard over two days last week after two and a half years of industry effort.
Bob Grow, vice chair, technical liaison for the Gigabit Ethernet Alliance, said: "Equipment that has been shipping for many months will interoperate with today's standard compliant equipment - a remarkable feat. As evidenced by the number of interoperable second and third generation products available and the number of alliance members, Gigabit Ethernet is well positioned to become a leader in high speed network technologies."
According to industry estimates, the Gigabit Ethernet market will reach $261 million this year, and will increase to $1.5 billion by the end of 2000.
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