21 May 2013
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It was 1973, the year President Nixon confessed his role in Watergate, gas sold for $.45 per gallon, and more people watched Elvis Presley’s televised concert in Hawaii than did the Apollo moon landings. 1973 also marked the birth of a disruptive new technology – one that would change the world permanently.
Bob Metcalfe, a young Harvard Ph.D. graduate, joined Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where on May 22, 1973, he and fellow inventor David R. Boggs unleashed a technology that would fundamentally alter computing, networking, and telecommunications: Ethernet. An innovative method allowing computers to send packets of information while avoiding collisions with incoming packets, Ethernet has matured into its role as the basis of the IEEE 802.3 standard, which specifies the physical and lower software layers, and is the foundation for today’s world of high-speed communications.
With more than 1.2 billion ports shipped in 2012 alone, Ethernet ranks highly among those technologies that impact day-to-day life on a global basis. Data center networks, PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and now the smart grid, smart meters, personal medical devices, the Internet of Things, connected cars, and more – Ethernet touches them all in one way or another. And as Ethernet turns 40, it is on the cusp of the next generation of technology innovation.
Join Ethernet inventor and IEEE Medal of Honor recipient Bob Metcalfe for an insider’s look at this world-altering technology. In his Ask Me Anything (AMA) on reddit, he’ll provide insight into how Ethernet came to be, important milestones in its 40-year history, and what the next 40 years might bring for this vital technology cornerstone.
IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), this AMA begins on reddit at 12pm EDT / 9am PDT on Tuesday, May 21. Please note that this is an online-only event; a reddt account is required to participate; sign up for a free reddit account today at: www.reddit.com.
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