100 Gigabit Ethernet will become the standard in 2010 and the Terabit Ethernet is being planned for 2015.
Here’s a history of the evolution of the Ethernet:
1973 – Initial thoughts on how to link computers to printers; Ethernet at 3 Mbps over a shared coaxial cable.
1976 – Paper published entitled “Ethernet: Distributed Packet-Switching for local Computer Networks”.
1979 – Bob Metcalfe, the pioneer of Ethernet, founds 3Com and published the standard for 10Mbps Ethernet.
1985 – IEEE becomes the official standard body for Ethernet; open standards help make Ethernet the dominant LAN technology.
1989 – Kalpana, subsequently bought by Cisco, introduces the first Ethernet switch.
1995 – IEEE adopts standard for Ethernet at 100 Mbps – ‘Fast Ethernet’.
2002 – 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch shipped by Force10 Networks
2009 – Force10 Networks introduces ExaScale E-Series switch/router with the industry’s highest total data capacity at the lowest per-port power consumption.
2015 – Terabit Ethernet standard to be approved.