Ethernet Alliance Plugfest confirms 100% interoperability of IEEE 802.3 PoE products under stress conditions

Sept. 8, 2016
Multi-vendor interoperability test event comes as Power over Ethernet technology is evolving to play a role in more application spaces, notes the industry consortium.

The Ethernet Alliance, the global consortium dedicated to the continued success and advancement of Ethernet technologies, has shared details of its latest Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) Plugfest at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) in Durham, New Hampshire.

Held March 25-31, 2016, at UNH-IOL’s state-of-the-art lab, the Ethernet Alliance’s interoperability test event attracted a range of equipment and technology vendors. Their devices were tested in accordance with two previously released IEEE 802.3 PoE specifications, IEEE 802.3af 1 and IEEE 802.3at 2, against a variety of scenarios, including increased stress conditions.

“The plugfest showed that there is clearly market enthusiasm for standards-based PoE interoperability,” commented John D’Ambrosia, chair, Ethernet Alliance, and senior principal engineer, Huawei. “As a facilitator of industry collaboration, the Ethernet Alliance was pleased to bring together a wide variety of vendors to test and validate the inherent interoperability designed into IEEE 802.3 PoE specifications. The impressive results from this plugfest are in line with what industry requires and expects from a standards-based solution.”

The event demonstrated IEEE 802.3-based PoE interoperability among devices from Brocade, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Linear Technology, Microsemi, and Texas Instruments. All product combinations were shown to interoperate "over the worst-case Cat 5e cabling," reports the Ethernet Alliance. In addition, all tested devices were shown to pass 99 percent of test cases related to standards conformance.

“PoE has played a key role in supporting wireless access and Internet Protocol telephony, and the technology stands to accelerate a host of emerging application spaces,” said David Tremblay, system architect for Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, and a member of the Ethernet Alliance. “The Ethernet Alliance plugfest offered a valuable, multi-vendor environment in which our members could perform in-depth industry interoperability testing with the goal of boosting end-user confidence around PoE deployment.”

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