Motorola, PowerDsine team up to make Power over Ethernet installations easier

July 1, 2003
"This is so easy to implement. It will reduce the installation hassle, and you don't need to make a proprietary solution. You just plug in a Cat 5 cable and that is it."

Motorola Inc.'s ( Semiconductor Products Sector and PowerDsine ( are partnering to create an application-specific integrated circuit for the emerging Power over Ethernet (PoE) market.

The two companies are assembling a team of engineers to design 802.3af-compliant chips based on Motorola's SMARTMOS technology and PowerDsine's power over LAN technology. The first chip will integrate power, analog and logic functions into one device. Its use in Ethernet switches and midspans—an alternative for power sourcing equipment—is designed to let next-generation network devices share power and data over the same cable.

"We see an interesting trend in this market," says Igal Rotem, CEO for PowerDsine Inc., based in Hod Hasharon, Israel. "We have wireless LAN being used by early adopters, and you can see network security cameras, industrial information control systems, security devices, entry control devices—all important for this technology."

Rotem says the strategic partnership agreement with Motorola, based in Schaumburg, IL, is designed to leverage the two companies' strengths to ease Power over Ethernet installations and reduce overall installation costs. He says Motorola's SMARTMOS technology and PowerDsine's foothold in the PoE market enable a level of integration unparalleled in the industry. PowerDsine holds an 85% share of the power over LAN midspan market and a 50% share of the integrated solutions market.

PoE is a technology for wired Ethernet, one of the most widely installed LAN technologies. It allows the electrical power necessary for the operation of each device to be carried by data cables rather than by power cords. PoE is designed to minimize the number of wires that must be strung to install the network, resulting in lower cost, less downtime, easier maintenance and greater installation flexibility."This is so easy to implement," says Rotem. "It will reduce the installation hassle, and you don't need to make a proprietary solution. You just plug in a Cat 5 cable and that is it."

The SMARTMOS technology is the backbone of mixed-signal analog integrated circuits, and acts as the interface between the digital environment of leading-edge microprocessors and analog, real-world interaction, such as sensing, providing power or driving motion. The SMARTMOS process allows power, high-voltage analog and high-density digital logic functions to be manufactured on a single chip in less space than previous generations. This helps simplify system design, lowers costs and improves reliability.

The first product resulting from the Motorola-PowerDsine collaboration will address the needs for 12, 24 and 48-output equipment. Using the circuit, networking equipment manufacturers can expect to be able to directly integrate power-sourcing equipment functionality. Unlike other semiconductors offered for PoE, the chip designed by Motorola and PowerDsine is expected to provide power to 12 Ethernet ports (15 W power per port) through one chip, minimizing the number of external components and reducing overall system costs.

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