“One size fits all” doesn’t work for Ethernet, but this proliferation of speed options sounds like trouble without automatic capability negotiation. It’s nice to have options, but the IEEE must remain focused on interoperability and rein in the interests of the various companies proposing next-generation Ethernet technologies.
As I considered the possibilities of the new Apple/Intel interconnect technology known as Light Peak, an odd parallel with 10 Gb Ethernet popped into my head. Much of the confusion around Light Peak revolves around connectors, power conduction, and backward-compatibility. Then, like the Grinch, I thought of something I hadn’t before: Why use optical at all? 10 GBASE-T does just fine over twisted pair, and short interconnect distances would reduce power draw to reasonable levels. What if Light Peak was electrical rather than optical?