Brocade has joined the 25G Ethernet Consortium in efforts to develop a specification that would allow large-scale data centres to run over a 25 Gbps or 50 Gbps Ethernet link protocol.
The single-lane 25 Gbps and dual-lane 50 Gbps protocol is expected to increase the performance between the rack endpoint and switch 2.5 times the amount of current 10Gbps and 40Gbps Ethernet links.
The Consortium, which is also backed by Microsoft, Google and Arista Networks, said the specification will be made available royalty-free to vendors that join the consortium
"This is a natural progression with relatively minimal incremental cost and an excellent re-use of existing infrastructure," said Martin Skagen, chief architect at Brocade.
"Our support of this consortium and the standard it has created reflects the strong commitment we have to the industry and our customer."
The specification covers physical and MAC layer behaviours, including virtual lane alignment, autonegotiation and forward error correction characteristics, according to the group.
The announcement comes as the amount of data being created and moved over networks increases rapidly due to increased demand for cloud computing, big data and mobility.
IDC said the market for Ethernet switches hit $5.2bn in the first quarter this year - a decline of 12.3% compared to the same period last year, as revenues for routers dropped 12.5%.