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.

 

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