Ethernet was initially developed in the 1970s, and is now the most widespread network technology in the world. As a result of the standardization of Gigabit Ethernet in June 1998, the scalability of Ethernet was again significantly improved. With a bandwidth of 1000 Mbit/s (1 Gbit/s), Gigabit Ethernet is one hundred times faster than the original Ethernet. As Gigabit Ethernet uses the same packet format and, in half-duplex mode (shared media), also the CSMA/CD network access method, the standard is compatible with Ethernet and Fast Ethernet. From today's perspective, Gigabit Ethernet will be used as the back-bone technology in corporate networks. The technology is further primarily suited to increasing the data transfer rate between clients and server farms, and to connecting Fast Ethernet switches.
One other area of application is linking workstations and servers with very high bandwidth requirements, as in image editing or CAD. It is to be assumed that Gigabit Ethernet will be used predominant in the more powerful full-duplex mode.