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We are looking at deploying some low power embedded nodes as part of a sensor trial, these devices use a fairly dated Ethernet chip that only supports 10 Mbit speed.

Is it true that (some) newer switches dropped support for 10 Mbit links?

If we do run into an issue where the port provided for our sensor does not support 10 Mbit speeds, could we introduce another switch as a workaround? So, instead of (device)--(main switch) could we do (sensor)--(intermediary switch that does support 10 Mbit links)--(main switch that does NOT support 10 Mbit links)?

Thanks.

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    Gigabit Ethernet access switches (copper) will support 10/100/1000Mbps clients. Jun 6 at 1:24

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10 Mbit/s isn't deprecated officially at all (by IEEE). 10BASE-T even got a lower-power variant 10BASE-Te in 2010 and new single-pair variants in 2019.

10BASE-T is still in common use for Wake-on-LAN links as well, although 100BASE-TX is also popular for that today.

Is it true that (some) newer switches dropped support for 10 Mbit links?

As Ron's already pointed out, access switches should still support 10BASE-T. Higher-performance switches, especially with 10 Gbit/s as primary speed often drop support for 10 Mbit/s (and even 100 Mbit/s).

could we do (sensor)--(intermediary switch that does support 10 Mbit links)

Yes, you can use just about any Ethernet switch to bridge the speed gap, as long as it supports both speeds.

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Is it true that (some) newer switches dropped support for 10 Mbit links?

While the Ethernet standards theoretically permit any combination of speeds, there are de-facto standard combinations of speeds for ports. The typical combinations for twisted-pair ports are (in roughly chronological order).

  • 10 (very old now)
  • 10/100 (pretty old now)
  • 10/100/1000 (the dominant port type for access ports today)
  • 1000/10G (early 10G gear)
  • 100/1000/10G (later 10G gear)
  • 100/1000/2.5G
  • 100/1000/2.5G/5G
  • 100/1000/2.5G/5G/10G (10G gear with "multigigabit" support)

Or to put it more simply, ports that support more than 1Gbps do not support 10Mbps.

Right now, most networks are still being built out with 10/100/1000 ports as the "default" port type. There is a substantial price premium for higher speeds and relatively few end devices can take advantage of them without extra hardware.

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Basically, it is high-end distribution/core switches that do not support 10 Mbps. Most access switches (where you connect end-devices) still support 10 Mbps.

Normally, you will use an access switch to which you connect your end devices (PCs, printers, etc.), and the access switches connect to your distribution/core switches. You may need to configure the necessary access interfaces to 10 Mbps, but usually you can use auto-configuration to set the interface to the correct speed and duplex (depends on the switch and end-device).

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