800G & 1.6T Ethernet Brief Overview

NADDOD Claire Optical Module Engineer Dec 20, 2023

1. What is 1.6T Ethernet?

1.6T Ethernet is a high-speed Ethernet technology used for data transmission and communication networks, providing a data transfer rate of 1.6 terabits per second (1.6Tbps). It represents the latest development in the field of networking and is a further upgrade from 800G Ethernet.


1.6t ethernet

1.6T Ethernet offers twice the speed of 800G Ethernet, providing greater bandwidth. It is suitable for handling large-scale data transfers, high-definition video, cloud computing, high-performance computing, and other applications that require extremely high bandwidth.


1.6T Ethernet employs higher-order modulation techniques, typically using PAM4 (four-level pulse amplitude modulation) or even higher-order modulation schemes to transmit data and achieve higher data transfer rates.


1.6T Ethernet finds significant applications in data center networks and network backbones. It can meet the high-speed interconnection requirements between servers within large data centers and also supports higher-rate network backbones to connect different data centers and network nodes.

2. Timetable for 800G Ethernet and 1.6T Networks

The development of 800G Ethernet is built upon the foundation of its predecessor, 400G Ethernet. Over the past few years, standard organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) have established standards for 400G networks, laying the groundwork for the development of 800G Ethernet.


1.6T networks represent the further advancement of 800G Ethernet, showcasing even higher-speed networking technology. Although the development of 1.6T networks is still in its early stages, it has already garnered significant attention.


200G to 1.6t ethernet


  • 2022: Release of the First 51.2T Switch Chips

In 2022, the networking industry reached a significant milestone with the release of the first 51.2T switch chips. These switch chips support 64 ports at 800Gb/s, marking the practical hardware phase of 800G Ethernet development. Additionally, this period witnessed the commencement of verification work for the initial batch of 800G optical modules.


  • 2023: Standard Publications and Development Verification

In 2023, standard organizations made important progress. Firstly, the IEEE published the first version of the IEEE 802.3df standard, which defines the physical layer specifications for 800G Ethernet. Simultaneously, the OIF released a 224 Gb/s standard, providing guidance for building 800G and 1.6T systems with 112 Gb/s and 224 Gb/s channels.


  • Next Two Years: Finalization of Physical Layer Standards

Over the next two years, it is anticipated that standard organizations will continue their efforts to finalize the physical layer standards for 800G Ethernet. This will involve further refinement and testing of the specifications to ensure interoperability and performance of network equipment.


While the timeline for 1.6T networks is not yet clear, they are seen as part of the future development of networking. With the ongoing advancement of the digital era, the demand for higher speeds and greater capacity will continue to grow, and 1.6T networks are poised to meet those requirements.

3. Multiple application of 800G and 1.6T Ethernet

800G & 1.6t ethernet application

Data Centers:

  • Ultra-High-Density Data Storage:

Data centers require large storage capacities and fast data transfer to meet the growing data demands. 800G and 1.6T Ethernet can be used to connect storage servers and enable ultra-high-density data storage. For example, a large social media company can utilize these high-speed Ethernet technologies to support the upload of a significant volume of photos and videos by users.


  • Virtualization and Containerization:

Virtualization and containerization technologies require fast data transfer to enable resource sharing among different virtual machines or containers. 800G and 1.6T Ethernet can be used to provide high-bandwidth virtual machine migration and container communication. For instance, a cloud service provider can use these technologies to support their customers' virtualized workloads.


Cloud Computing:


Cloud Computing

  • Elastic Computing Resources:

Cloud computing offers the ability to provision elastic computing resources, but this requires high-speed network connections. 800G and 1.6T Ethernet can be used to provide fast data transfer between cloud computing users. For example, a research institution can utilize these high-speed network connections to run complex simulations and data analysis tasks in the cloud.


  • Cloud Storage and Backup:

Cloud storage and backup services require high capacity and fast transmission to ensure data security and availability. These high-speed Ethernet technologies can be used to connect cloud storage devices and data backup servers. For instance, an enterprise can use them to back up critical business data.


Large Data:


  • Data Transfer and Analysis:

Large data analytic require significant data transfer and processing capabilities. 800G and 1.6T Ethernet can be used to transfer large-scale datasets from data sources to analytics platforms and accelerate the data processing process. For example, a healthcare institution can use these high-speed networks to analyze vast amounts of patient medical records to improve diagnosis and treatment.


  • Real-Time Data Streaming:

Real-time data streaming processing demands data to be transmitted with extremely low latency in the network. These high-speed Ethernet technologies can support real-time data streaming applications such as financial transaction monitoring and smart city surveillance. For example, a financial institution can use them to monitor and analyze a large volume of transaction data to detect potential fraudulent activities.


High-Performance Computing:



  • Scientific Research:

High-performance computing is used to tackle complex problems in scientific and engineering domains. 800G and 1.6T Ethernet can be used to connect supercomputers and data centers to support scientists in simulations and model calculations. For example, an aerospace company can use these high-speed networks to simulate the performance and safety of aircraft.


  • AI Training:

AI training requires significant data transfer and computing power. These high-speed Ethernet technologies can be used to connect GPU clusters and data storage to support the training of deep learning models.




  • Telemedicine and Remote Monitoring:

In the future, telemedicine and remote monitoring will become major trends. 800G and 1.6T Ethernet technologies will support high-quality remote healthcare services, including remote surgeries and patient monitoring.


  • Genomics and Drug Development:

The healthcare industry requires massive data processing power for genomics research and drug development. High-speed Ethernet will be used to transfer large volumes of genomic and drug data, accelerating medical research.


Autonomous Driving:


Autonomous Driving

  • HD Mapping and Sensor Data:

Autonomous vehicles require high-resolution maps and sensor data for precise localization and environment perception. 800G and 1.6T Ethernet technologies will be used to transmit these massive datasets, enhancing the safety and reliability of autonomous driving.


  • Vehicle Communication:

Communication between vehicles and between vehicles and infrastructure will be crucial for autonomous driving. High-speed Ethernet will support real-time communication between vehicles, helping to avoid collisions and improve traffic efficiency.

4. Summary

The emergence of 800G and 1.6T Ethernet represents a significant technological innovation. They will enable us to handle larger data loads and meet higher performance requirements.


While 400G is currently being widely deployed, there is still a long way to go before reaching the data rate of 800G, and the optimal path for 1.6T is still uncertain. In just a few years, there is no doubt that we will need higher capacity, faster speeds, and significant efficiency improvements. It is necessary to start designing and planning for the expansion of these new technologies from today onwards. With the continuous development of technology, we have reason to believe that these challenges will be gradually overcome.As a professional module manufacturer, NADDOD produces optical modules ranging from 1G to 800G. We welcome everyone to learn about and purchase our products.