IEEE at 125

The IEEE, of which yours truly is a Senior Member, is celebrating 125 years of success.

In the networking space, the development of the IEEE802.3 Ethernet standard in 1983 has certainly been a key milestone for this worldwide professional organization.

Starting at a lowly 1.25Mbit/s, Ethernet has evolved to 10 Gbit/s in its wired mode and over 100Mbit/s in its wireless incarnation.

I would highlight three attributes of Ethernet:
1) It is a truly global INTEROPERABLE standard. We experience this plug-n-play interoperability everyday, wherever we are on the planet. This is an outstanding example of what all standards need to strive for.
2) But it's not only about networking. The IEEE 802.3af Power over Ethernet standard has created a universal power plug- who hasn't experienced the pain of having to carry a bag of AC adaptors to be able to plug in their AC powered devices.
3) 1522- this is the maximum Ethernet frame size in bytes that is hardwired into the standard. This is arguably the biggest constraint of the Ethernet standard. So far, the industry has lived with it, though some proprietary implementations have supported jumbo frames.

In spite of #3, Ethernet has proved to be highly extensible and now has become the global physical device and backbone interface for wired and wireless, in-building and wide area, and voice and data environments.

Congrats to the IEEE and to the engineers who have dedicated their lives to Ethernet success.

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