IEEE 802.3 Working Group Forms Energy-Efficient Ethernet Study Group

February 05, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

The Ethernet Alliance, an industry group dedicated to the expansion of Ethernet technology, announced that the IEEE 802.3 working group recently voted to support the formation of an Energy-Efficient Ethernet (EEE) Study Group. It is estimated that Energy-Efficient Ethernet could save a total of $450 million every year in just the U.S. alone, with even more significant savings worldwide. The formation of the Energy-Efficient Ethernet Study Group has met with a groundswell of support from industry and government organizations.

"Energy efficiency has become a critical issue for the Information Technology industry. I am excited that the network community has embraced power management for Ethernet, and I’m looking forward to incorporating the resulting technologies into our efficiency programs," said Andrew Fanara of the Environmental Protection Agency.

"The ability to change speeds for power reduction is already present in the EU Code of Conduct on Broadband Equipment for DSL. Extending this to Ethernet is a logical and important next step," said Paolo Bertoldi, European Commission Directorate-General Joint Research Centre.

Mike Bennett from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab commented, "I am extremely happy with the outcome of the Call For Interest to form an Energy-Efficient Ethernet study group. We have an opportunity to maximize synergy between the energy, network, and computer industries. It’s also worth noting that we have support from government and other agencies in Europe and Asia. We’re going to look at ways to reduce power consumption by switching to lower speeds during periods of low link-utilization. Considering that Ethernet is the network technology of choice worldwide with an ever-increasing market presence, it is clear that we have an opportunity to reduce energy use significantly, while minimizing the impact on the industry. This is a win for everyone and wouldn’t have been possible without the help of several members of the Ethernet Alliance."

"IT energy use accounts for a substantial portion of overall energy consumption, and networks are an increasing part of this consumption," said Brad Booth, President, Ethernet Alliance. "The Ethernet Alliance is pleased to support the EEE Study Group. Energy-Efficient Ethernet will play a key role in reducing energy consumption in the largest enterprise networking technology."