What is Gig Ethernet?

Gigabit Ethernet is a term describing various technologies for transmitting Ethernet frames at a rate of a gigabit per second. Half-duplex gigabit links connected through hubs are allowed by the specification but in the marketplace full-duplex with switches are normal.

Gigabit Ethernet, is used in local area networks (LANs). Gigabit Ethernet is defined in the IEEE 802.3 standard and is currently being used as the backbone in many enterprise networks.

Gigabit Ethernet is carried primarily on optical fiber.  Existing Ethernet LANs with 10 and 100 Mbps cards can feed into a Gigabit Ethernet backbone. An alternative technology that competes with Gigabit Ethernet is ATM. A newer standard, 10-Gigabit Ethernet, is also becoming available.

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