400Gbps Ethernet specification arrives enabling insanely fast file transfers

Even Goose and Maverick would have to be impressed with the newly approved IEEE 802.3bs standard. The specification lays out the requirements to enable blazing fast connectivity to the tune of 200Gbps and 400Gbps across various interconnects.

To put that into perspective, it takes Tuan around 6 minutes to download the entirety of Grand Theft Auto V on his insane setup that required tearing up the road in front of his house. On a 400Gbps connection, GTA V could be transferred to another PC in less than 2 seconds. That's close to instant.

"IEEE 802.3bs represents a transformational moment in the move to next generation of networks. The delivery of 200G and 400G is arriving just in time to meet growing needs for reliable, high-speed connectivity from a diverse array of applications and markets," said John D’Ambrosia, chairman, Ethernet Alliance; and senior principal engineer, Huawei. “The exceptional effort resulting in the completion of this standard is only the start of the industry’s investment in the networks of tomorrow."

Equally important to the blistering fast speed that IEEE 802.3bs enables is interoperability among different devices. After all, what good is harnessing all that speed if devices can't properly communicate with each other, resulting in incompatibility or lost packets? That is a big part of having an official standard, which the Ethernet Alliance demonstrated last summer. Check it out:

200G and 400G is intended for business, not home users, so you're not going to be flinging games and other big file transfers at breakneck speeds anytime soon. These speeds are also impossible over CAT 5 or CAT 6—IEEE 802.3bs requires optical connections.

Still, it's interesting to see such a leap in performance, and we can dream of the day when this type of performance trickles down into the consumer space.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).