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?
Networking may be straightforward, but the world of networking terminology is not. I’ve been steeped in the strange lingo of Ethernet for many years, but I still get confused by some of the terms. What’s the difference between 1000BASE-CX, 1000BASE-SX, and 1000BASE-T? In this post, I’m going to tackle this Ethernet network naming convention.