New Chips Promise To Minimize Ethernet Latency

A network’s latency is the time it takes for a packet of data to reach one point from another. In some systems, it is the time a packet of data takes to return to the sender. In that case, the round trip time is considered as the latency. Ideally, latency should be zero but it is not so.

There are many factors that affect the latency such as the transmission medium (wireless, optical fiber or other), processing by the router and blocks such as bridges and switches. Here is a fun fact. You can increase a network’s bandwidth but you cannot change its latency.

To change the latency, you have to make adjustments to the hardware which should occur at the production stage. Now, a group of embedded developers have created new chips that have reduced the latency of Ethernet systems to single digits.

The idea was actually derived from a technology called Audio Video Bridging, currently used by audio companies. The only impediment to the wider dissemination of this development is that companies who what want to use it will have to adhere to a new standard protocol. But considering the advantages, it seems to be a small price to pay. Another strike for the embedded development world.