Imagine if the world ran out of home addresses. New homes would be built without addresses, making it difficult for packages to be delivered or friends to stop by for a visit. This is the sort of problem that the Internet is facing today. Like homes, devices such as PCs, smartphones and tablets each hold individual IP addresses that are used to route data.
The World Wide Web currently operates on Internet Protocol Version 4, or IPv4, using a system of addresses with four sets of digits – e.g. 985.635.3.4 or 958.625.471.1. The problem is that there are only so many four-number combinations to go around. With the adoption of mobile devices and demand for Internet services continuing to rise, the Internet is starting to run out of IP addresses.
Enter IPv6. On June 6, the Internet Society and numerous companies such as Google, Cisco and Facebook participated in World IPv6 Day – the official launch of IPv6. The new protocol will allow many more devices to be connected to the Internet by greatly increasing the number of possible addresses. Without IPv6, new devices wouldn’t be able to connect to the Internet – leaving countless people, particularly in emerging markets – without Internet access.
According to a recent study, there were nearly 2.3 billion Internet users worldwide last year, with China and the U.S. topping the list with 513 million users and 245 million users, respectively. Yet, only about a third of the world’s population has access to the Internet.
While IPv6 solves the IP address challenge, it requires the installation of new IPv6 compatible hardware and software. Since IPv6 was standardized in 1999, Broadcom has been laser focused on developing IPv6-ready products. Today, the full portfolio of Broadcom’s enterprise-class StrataXGS® switches support IPv6.
The majority of the world’s infrastructure hardware runs on Broadcom technology, with 99.98% of all internet traffic crossing a Broadcom chip at one point or another. By incorporating IPv6 functionality into its products, Broadcom has made it easier to seamlessly and cost effectively migrate existing infrastructure equipment to IPv6
With IPv6, the Internet is ready for the next wave of growth – of both users and devices.
- CNET: Internet co-creator Vint Cerf welcomes IPv6 elbow room (Q&A)
- CNET: What IPv6 Means for You – FAQ
- Tech Target: World Launch Day: IPv4 to IPv6 conversion proves ‘business as usual’
- TechCentral: IPv6 is Ready for Business