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Ethernet may be headed to serial environments

By Max Burkhalter
August 28, 2013

Serial connectivity options offer a specialized form of network that is not easy to align with typical Ethernet architectures. Despite this incompatibility issue, you may soon find yourself in a situation where you end up noticing Ethernet technologies being used to support serial connections.

A recent TV Technology report explained that advances in video technology, particularly the ability to deliver video at 4K and 8K definitions, is leading to major challenges for broadcasters. Current serial standards are not equipped for the bandwidth created by these forms of high definition video, and industry-wide standard upgrades could be on the horizon. As these developments take shape, Ethernet technologies could end up playing a role in serial's development.

Looking at the need for Ethernet in serial settings
According to the news source, broadcasters may soon need high-performance serial setups becauseSMPTE-defined Serial Digital Interface links are only capable of performing within the 0.27, 1.5 and 3G bandwidth specifications. This is inadequate for a high volume of 4K and 8K transmissions, something broadcasters will need to begin getting ready for, as the advanced resolutions are beginning to become more common. But if you want to push more video data through the network, you need to have the infrastructure in place to do that, which is where new standards come into play.

The report explained that industry standards bodies could soon begin working on6G, 12G and 24G SDI links that fit the SMPTE protocol. However, doing this will likely happen only through the use of Ethernet I/O ports. In this configuration, the Ethernet I/O port would provide the high-performance data transmission capabilities necessary for ultra high definition resolutions. However, the actual signal would still operate in serial format, as serial technologies are still much more suitable for the specific operational requirements associated with video deliver.

Bridging the serial and Ethernet gap
Terminal servers are necessary to provide serial to Ethernet interoperability. As a result, resolving this compatibility gap could be necessary when using Ethernet connectors in serial connections in audio/visual settings. As of yet, efforts to use Ethernet I/O ports in serial networks are in such an early stage that it is unclear how they will actually play out from a technological perspective. However, industry trends across a variety of sectors where serial is popular have made one thing clear - organizations depending heavily on serial technologies ma want to seriously think about how they can bridge Ethernet interoperability gaps.

Perle's serial to Ethernet converters connect serial based equipment across an Ethernet network. The Perle IOLAN range of Console Servers, Device Servers and Terminal Servers feature built-in support for IPv6 along with a broad range of authentication methods and encryption technologies.


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