As the demand for streaming video and cloud-based gaming grows, the Ethernet Technology Consortium has announced a new 800 gigabit Ethernet standard, and in the process had to rebrand itself.
Up to this point, the standards body had been calling itself the 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium. It was originally established to develop 25, 50, and 100 Gbps Ethernet specifications, and has now changed its name “in order to reflect a new focus on higher-speed Ethernet technologies.” The first of those is 800 GbE.
The new specification is actually rooted in the 400 GbE standard, and essentially re-purposes it with a few modifications to essentially double the speed. It’s sort of like taking an existing highway and doubling the number of lanes to fit twice the traffic.
If you really want to, you can read the details of specification (PDF). Just brace yourself for several pages of technobabble.
As it applies to consumers, this will not have a direct impact on your PC, now or in the near future. Most home PCs are equipped to support 1 GbE LAN, and while 10 GbE is available, it can be costly to implement. So, 800 GbE is way off in the distance.
Indirectly, however, this could lessen the strain on servers and other network infrastructure in the future, and ultimately improve various online services. To what extent remains to be seen, though it is worth noting that the standards body counts Broadcom, Cisco, Google, Microsoft, and dozens of others among its members.