802.3bu - Power Over Data Lines (PoDL)

October 25, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

In the realm of IEEE standards, 802.3 has some pretty good tricks up its sleeve. There is 802.3bt which expanded the capabilities of Power over Ethernet (PoE), 802.3bv brought you Power over Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) and 802.3bz which delivers 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps speeds data over copper. Now, the IEEE has unveiled 802.3bu – a standard for Power over Data Lines (PoDL).

 

Initially, single-pair Ethernet was created to help meet a demand in the automotive industry for Ethernet connectivity in vehicles. 802.3bu defines the specifications and standards for delivering power over single twisted-pair to connect Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) with IEEE 803.2 interfaces. This standard also extends the wattage range to up to 60 Watts of power, which is more power over a single cable than the PoE standards 802.3af and 803.2bt. With this PoDL standard, the most recent physical layers of single twisted-pair Ethernet are supported, including 100BASE-T1 and 1000BASE-T1, while using unshielded twisted-pair cables. This results in a lower cost and lighter weight solution, which is always good news. It is targeted for use in automotive, industrial automation, air and rail transportation, and other applications that use 100BASE-T1, 1000BASE-T1 or any single-pair data or non-data entity protocol. The IEEE 802.3bu standard also opens itself up for the possibility of additional applications across a variety of industries in need of solutions to adapt to the Internet of Things (IoT) expansion.

 

The goal of the 802.3bu standard is to specify a power distribution technique for use over a single twisted-pair cable that will allow for operation if data is not present. This standard is designed to deliver power that supports multiple voltages and classes of power at each voltage level. Plus, it has the capability of fault protection and detection to identify device signatures and communicate directly with devices to ensure precise and safe power delivery. PoDL supports fast startup operation with predetermined voltage configurations and the option of operation with run-time voltage configuration. It ensures compatibility with the IEEE 802.3bp standard. However, it is not compatible with Ethernet applications that operate over 2 or 4-pairs of twisted-pair cable.

 

With the introduction of 802.3bu PoDL, not only is the wattage delivery increased and intuitive, the possibilities of power delivery are increased as well.

 

802.3bz Provides Congestion Relief – 2.5 Gbps & 5 Gbps Over Copper

May 3, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

Cat5e and Cat6 cables are two of the most widely used cables in the world. Traditionally, for conventional Cat5e and Cat6 twisted-pair copper cabling, Gigabit Ethernet (1 Gbps) is the fastest standard. A wired connection of 1 Gbps is probably enough speed for one PC user, but with the surge of high-speed Wi-Fi devices being used over the last few years, Gigabit Ethernet has become increasingly congested. Thus, the IEEE has developed the 802.3bz standard to ease the pain of 1 Gbps traffic and allow speeds of up to 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps over Cat5e and Cat6 copper cables.

  

To escape the 1 Gbps bottleneck and increase speeds to 10 Gbps, a network cable upgrade to Cat6a or Cat7 is usually required. At an estimated $300 per cable pull, upgrading cable is a costly process and not always feasible, especially for large networks which could also encounter expensive delays and connection disruptions in the process.  Fortunately, the 802.3bz allows users to avoid expensive cable upgrades. This new 2.5G/5GBASE-T standard can provide 2.5 Gbps speeds over 100 meters of Cat5e cable and 5 Gbps speeds over 100 meters of Cat6 cable. These higher speeds are bookended by a switch on one end and either an Ethernet extender or electronic device on the opposite end.

 

The physical layer of 2.5G/5GBASE-T is similar to 10GBASE-T, but uses 200 MHz or 100 MHz spectral bandwidth instead of 400 MHz. This is beneficial because 2.5G/5GBASE-T consumes less than half the bandwidth of 10GBASE-T and doesn’t require a high-quality, mega-shielded cable. The 802.3bz standard also provides additional features such as Power over Ethernet (PoE), which is useful when rolling out Wi-Fi access points.

 

With a growing need for faster connections, 802.3bz provides a sensible way to upgrade networking capabilities without the expense of re-cabling, all while improving user experience and avoiding costly downtime.

 

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