Will 200GbE be the Real Successor to 100GbE?


The 200GbE vs. 400GbE Debate


Efforts within the IEEE to move beyond 100GbE began with a successful Call-for-Interest for 400GbE in May 2013. No one really questioned this since a 4X jump in speed seemed appropriate at the time.  Anything faster would have brought even more technical challenges.

But now we have 200GbE progressing through the standards, launching in November 2015.  Actually, the 200GbE rate was a byproduct of beginning a standard for 50GbE for server connections.  The success of a 1-lane/4-lane model with 10G/40G and 25G/100G created a “why not?” kind of situation for 50G/200GbE.

But Microsoft and Facebook have said they don’t want 200GbE.  They want 400GbE as soon as possible. Clients tell us they find only one or two datacenter buyers looking for 200GbE.  Nevertheless, LightCounting’s latest Ethernet forecast gives a decided edge to 200GbE from 2018 through 2021. Has LightCounting lost its mind?

LightCounting’s Case for 200GbE

The debate between 200GbE vs. 400GbE involves two schools of thought:

  • Skip 200GbE and go straight to 400GbE for both routers and data centers
  • Use 200GbE as a practical next speed for data centers

Our forecast reflects the second view. Find out why in our complete Research Note.

LightCounting subscribers can access the full version of the research note at:




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