Ethernet engineer
How does Ethernet work?
Ethernet Alliance mentions 10GBit Ethernet switch funded by Netidee (28.11.2023)
Förderjahr 2022 / Projekt Call #17 / ProjektID: 6274 / Projekt: fast_open_switch

In a blog article , our engineer Dan describes in detail how our 10GBit Ethernet switch works.

Ethernet was invented 50 years ago and this standard is developed and guarded by the Ethernet Alliance.

The Ethernet Alliance is an industry group dedicated to the continued success and expansion of Ethernet technology. Founded in 2005, this organization is key in advancing Ethernet standards and promoting its adoption across a range of industries. Principal Members include Amphenol, Broadcom, Cisco, EXFO, Finisar, Intel, Juniper Networks, Keysight Technologies, Marvell, Spirent, TE Connectivity, and Teledyne Lecroy.

Over its twitter account, the Ethernet Alliance pointed out that our extensive article is a good description of how an Ethernet switch works under the hood.

Tweet by Ethernet Alliance

We set up a test environment with two PCs and 10Gbit Ethernet cards. Testing was difficult as the FPGA hardware is in Germany, but the testing engineer is in the USA. But as we had integrated a RaspberryPI in the switch hardware as a Test Controller, we could manage the loading of new bitstreams and generation of log files.

testing setup

Testing of our switch showed that a 10 Gbit switch not only increases the thoughput of data transfers, but also reduces the latency of traffic as is shown in this test with an average ping time of 38 micro seconds. When switches are so fast, why is it that video and audio calls on the Internet provide such a bad user experience? Internet providers do not get paid for good experience, but for huge announced thoughput, which they never have to proof and never to deliver, so providing Internet access is a race to the bottom which results in a bad user experience. I hope we get the chance to demonstrate that this is not a must.

Pingf 10Gbit

But testing also showed strange behaviour of the switch we had to figure out what was the reason of buggy behaviour. Luckily this graphics helped to find the source of the probvle. Do you see it?

routing table

With the finishing of the testing and confirmation of the function of the switch, we wrap up the project.

We hope that this project will provide the technical infrastructure for developing for many innovative and advanced functionalities that will improve the expereince and safety of internet users in Austria and worldwide. 

If the guardians of the Ethernet standard in the USA like what we build, hopefully the Austrian and European funding authorities will support us too to build a better Internet .



Edmund Humenberger

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Open Source Aktivist seit 1992, Unternehmer und Berater


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