The resources listed here are specific to the 10 Gigabit Ethernet system (10,000 Mbps). This standard was formally ratified by the IEEE on 12 June, 2002.
The 10GBASE Gigabit Ethernet system operates in full-duplex mode only, over fiber optic media. There are seven media types, which are designed for use in either local or wide area networking. This provides the 10 Gigabit Ethernet system with the flexibility needed to operate in local area networks (LAN), metropolitan area networks (MAN), regional area networks (RAN) and wide area networks (WAN).
10 Gigabit Ethernet Standard
The 10 Gigabit specifications are contained in the IEEE 802.3ae supplement to the 802.3 standard. The introduction of the 802.3ae supplement provides a brief outline of the 10 Gigabit standard:
"This supplement to IEEE Std. 802.3 provides support to extend the 802.3 protocol and MAC specification to an operating speed of 10 Gb/s. Several Physical Coding Sublayers known as 10GBASE-X, 10GBASE-R and 10GBASE-W are specified, as well as significant additional supporting material for a 10 Gigabit Media Independent Interface (XGMII), a 10 Gigabit Attachment Unit Interface (XAUI), a 10 Gigabit Sixteen-Bit Interface (XSBI) and management.
The physical layers specified include 10GBASE-S, a 850nm wavelength serial transceiver which uses two multimode fibers; 10GBASE-L4, a 1310nm wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) transceiver which uses two multi-mode or single mode fibers; 10GBASE-L, a 1310nm wavelength serial transceiver which uses two single mode fibers; and 10GBASE-E, a 1550nm wavelength serial transceiver which uses two single mode fibers."
10 Gigabit Ethernet Jargon
The 10 Gigabit media types use a variety of letters to indicate the fiber optic wavelengths they use as well as the type of signal encoding used.
The 10 Gigabit Ethernet signal encoding types include a "WAN interface sublayer" (WIS) which allows 10 Gigabit Ethernet equipment to be compatible with the Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) STS-192c transmission format. SONET equipment is commonly used to carry data communications over long distances, and the STS-192c format provides a payload capacity of 9.58464 Gbps. The WIS subsystem extends the interframe gap as necessary to constrain the effective data throughput of the 10 Gigabit Ethernet system to the payload capacity of SONET STS-192c.
In the 10GBASE-X media types, an "S" stands for the 850 nanometer (nm) wavelength of fiber optic operation, an "L" stands for 1310 nm, and an "E" stands for 1550 nm. The letter "X" denotes 8B/10B signal encoding, while "R" denotes 66B encoding and "W" denotes the WIS interface that encapsulates Ethernet frames for transmission over a SONET STS-192c channel.
10 Gigabit Ethernet Media Types
The 10GBASE-SR and 10GBASE-SW media types are designed for use over short wavelength (850 nm) multimode fiber (MMF). The design goal of these media types is from 2 meters to 300 meters of fiber distance, depending on the type and quality of the multimode fiber. Longer distances are possible depending on the qualities of the fiber optic cable used. The 10GBASE-SR media type is designed for use over dark fiber, meaning a fiber optic cable that is not in use and that is not connected to any other equipment. The 10GBASE-SW media type is designed to connect to SONET equipment, which is typically used to provide long distance data communications.
The 10GBASE-LR and 10GBASE-LW media types are designed for use over long wavelength (1310 nm) single-mode fiber (SMF). The design goal of these media types is from 2 meters to 10 kilometers (32,808 feet) of fiber distance, depending on cable type and quality (longer distances are possible). The 10GBASE-LR media type is designed for use over dark fiber, while the 10GBASE-LW media type is designed to connect to SONET equipment.
The 10GBASE-ER and 10GBASE-EW media types are designed for use over extra long wavelength (1550 nm) single-mode fiber (SMF). The design goal of these media types is from 2 meters up to 40 kilometers (131,233 feet), depending on cable type and quality (longer distances are possible). The 10GBASE-ER media types is designed for use over dark fiber, while the 10GBASE-EW media type is designed to connect to SONET equipment.
Finally, there is a 10GBASE-LX4 media type, which uses wave division multiplexing technology to send signals over four wavelengths of light carried over a single pair of fiber optic cables. The 10GBASE-LX4 system is designed to operate at 1310 nm over multi-mode or single-mode dark fiber. The design goal for this media system is from 2 meters up to 300 meters over multimode fiber or from 2 meters up to 10 kilometers over single-mode fiber, with longer distances possible depending on cable type and quality.
10 Gigabit Ethernet Whitepapers.
A set of whitepapers on 10 Gigabit Ethernet provided by the 10 Gigabit Ethernet Alliance.
Optical Fiber and 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
An excellent whitepaper on optical fiber technologies and issues with 10 Gigabit Ethernet, provided by the 10 Gigabit Ethernet Alliance.
IEEE 10 Gigabit Ethernet Information (802.3ae)
Working documents of the group developing the IEEE 802.3ae 10 Gigabit Ethernet standard. For those who want to see the nitty gritty details of a standard in process.
Wikipedia: 10 Gigabit Ethernet
XENPAK Transceiver Information
The XENPAK transceiver module is not part of the official IEEE 802.3ae 10 Gigabit standard. Instead, the XENPAK standard is the product of a mult-vendor consortium which has defined this specification for building interoperable 10 Gigabit transceiver modules.
XENPAK 10 Gigabit Ethernet transceiver module.
The XENPAK fiber optic transceiver module provides a hot-pluggable module equipped with an SC fiber optic connector for connecting to 10 Gigabit Ethernet media.
Agilent Data Sheet for their XENPAK 10 Gigabit Ethernet transceiver module.
This is a Adobe Acrobat file that provides pictures of the device and a brief description.
X2 Transceiver Information
The X2 transceiver module is a smaller form factor than the original Xenpak, and is a widely adopted transciever type for 10 Gigabit Ethernet. The X2 Multi-Source Agreement site at X2MSA.org has more information.
SFP+ 10 Gigabit Transceiver Information
The SFP+ is an even smaller form factor for 10 Gigabit transceivers that is used where high density port counts or lower cost and smal transceivers are important (such as network interface cards). The MergeOptics site provides a look at a typical SFP+ transceiver.