IEEE forms 4-pair Power over Ethernet Study Group

Group will consider the capability to provide more than 25.5W of power, energy-efficiency enhancement.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) announced it has formed a new study group to consider initiating a formal project to standardize four-pair Power over Ethernet (PoE). The 4-pair Power over Ethernet Study Group will consider a four-pair solution’s capability to enhance energy efficiency and provide greater than 25.5 Watts of power in improving PoE.

David Law, chair of the IEEE’s 802.3 Ethernet Working Group and a distinguished engineer with HP Networking, commented, “The formation of this study group will allow collaboration on a proposal for the development of a four-pair PoE standard, which would allow support of new PoE applications in the areas of IPTV, industrial Ethernet and more. A four-pair approach would result in increased efficiency, since the use of additional pairs results in lower channel resistance.”

Interested individuals can contribute to the IEEE 802.3 4-pair Power over Ethernet Study Group; the group is scheduled to meet during 802.3’s interim meeting in Victoria, BC Canada May 14-17.

Chad Jones, who chairs the study group, said, “PoE has become the dominant powering method in many Ethernet-based products—access points and IP phones, for example—demonstrating that customers will migrate toward convenience. Enabling applications beyond 25.5 Watts will extend this convenience to other products. An additional benefit is the reduction of power lost in the delivery channel by at least half. This benefit can be extended to existing powered products by moving from a two-pair powering system to a new four-pair powering system.”

Wael William Diab is vice chair of the IEEE 802.3 Working Group and a senior technical director with Broadcom. He added, “A four-pair PoE standard would result in increased power and increased efficiency for Power over Ethernet applications. The group’s main purpose is to continue the success of the PoE family of standards, which started with IEEE P802.3af DTE Power via MDI Task Force, and the IEEE P802.3at DTE Power Enhancements Task Force. Both resulting standards are part of the Ethernet family of interfaces and are part of the recent revision of IEEE 802.3-2012 Standards for Ethernet.”

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