Introduction to Fast Ethernet

Introduction to Fast Ethernet

Welcome to our Fast Ethernet information center! Whether you’re building a network from scratch and want exceptional speed, or you’re simply expanding an existing Fast Ethernet network, we have a full line of fast 100Mbps hardware that is perfect for video conferencing, multimedia, graphics, fast data access and other speed-intensive applications.

Have a Need For Speed?

Migrating to Fast Ethernet:


Fast Ethernet is ideal for streaming video, multimedia, and other speed-intensive applications. 100Base-TX networking allows high bandwidth performance to be integrated seamlessly with existing 10BaseT hardware and software where the additional speed is necessary. The following explores the 100Base-TX Fast Ethernet standard and how it can be implemented as a stand-alone network, or alongside existing 10BaseT components.

Benefits of 100Base-TX Fast Ethernet

Despite the fact that computer CPU speeds are increasing at rates of 50% or more each year, the available bandwidth for data transmission across an Ethernet network has remained at only 10Mbps (megabits-per-second) since the 1970’s. As demand for faster 32 and 64-bit applications increases, the 10Mbps standard will be viewed as an unacceptable speed bottleneck, especially in mission-critical enterprise environments.

In 1993, the Intel Corporation formed the Fast Ethernet Alliance in an effort to create a new high performance, low-cost, networking standard that would provide faster through-put while maintaining backward compatibility. This alliance has grown to include over 100+ vendors of network adapters, hubs, bridges, switches, and routers. The alliance developed what has become to be known as the 100BaseT standard, and immediately thereafter surfaced 100Base-TX, 100BaseT4, and 100BaseFX. Although similar in their cabling and other requirements, the 100Base-TX standard has risen far above the other two standards as the most popular Fast Ethernet implementation.

Media Specifications

Cable Type



Category 5

Unshielded Twisted-Pair (UTP)

Full-Duplex Capable

Conforms to Future ATM Standard


Category 3, 4 or 5 Twisted-Pair

Category 3 and 4 are seldom used in new cable installations.


62.5/125 Micron Fiber

Provides connection to high-speed backbone

The 100Base-TX Fast Ethernet standard is an extension of the 10BaseT standard that was developed more than twenty years ago by the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet board. Capable of operating in full-duplex, bi-directional mode, with a maximum throughput of 100Mbps (100Mbps transmitting simultaneously), 100Base-TX outclasses slower 10Mbps Ethernet networking technology by an incredible margin, while at the same time, maintaining downward compatibility with 10Mbps hardware. This makes it the perfect choice for either new networks or as high-performance extensions for existing networks. For example, 100Base-TX retains the familiar CSMA/CD (Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detection) method of negotiating network traffic, which doesn’t require protocol translation.








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