This Day in Information: Ethernet Patent

Today in 1977, Bob Metcalfe, David Boggs, Charles Thacker, and Butler Lampson received a patent for the Ethernet, titled “Multipoint Data Communication System with Collision Detection.” On January 18, 1993, Metcalfe published an InfoWorld column titled “Will there be any LANs in 2013.” He wrote: “Ethernet and IBM Token Ring are going to dominate at the desktop through 2013. First, they will be sped up by a factor of 1o: Etehrnet will climb to 100 megabits per second, and IBM Token Ring will reach 128 megabits per second.”

Today, Token Ring is basically non-existent and Ethernet runs at 10 gigabits per second. To quote Metcalfe again, from Internet Collapses: “it’s relatively easy to predict the future. It’s harder to make precise predictions. And it’s hardest to get the timing right.”

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1 Response to This Day in Information: Ethernet Patent

  1. Pingback: Bob Metcalfe Gave Birth to the Ethernet 40 Years Ago | The Story of Information

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