In this space last month I opined about the many places and environments in which cabling infrastructure could, can, and will provide needed connectivity ("The places it will go," June 2017 page 3). That column briefly mentioned single-pair Ethernet applications including 100Base-T1 and 1000Base-T1.
Shortly after I made that observation, the Telecommunications Industry Association's TR-42 Engineering Committee met for a week, as it does three times per year. During its June 12-16 meetings, TR-42 initiated four new projects related to single-pair twisted-pair cabling infrastructure. Among those projects is the effort that ultimately will result in the publication of ANSI/TIA-568.5, specifying single twisted-pair cabling and components. The standard will provide specifications for cables, connectors, cords, links and channels using one-pair connectivity in non-industrial networks, according to a working statement of the standard's scope. The standard will be geared toward what are called "MICE1" environments. MICE is an acronym for mechanical, ingress, climatic, and electromagnetic. The TIA-1005 standard series include MICE tables, which numerically characterize the network environment's severity for each of the four conditions. The higher the number, the more severe the environment. In practical application, a MICE1 environment is a commercial office space.
Aother effort that TR-42 initiated in June is an addendum (Addendum 2) to the ANSI/TIA-568.0-D standard. The addendum will add single balanced twisted-pair use cases, topology and architecture to the standard. "The standard will include installation requirements and additional guidelines for transitioning from 4-pair to 1-pair cabling," says an early-stage scope of the standard.
Also on TR-42's docket, Addendum 2 to the ANSI/TIA-862-B Structured Cabling Infrastructure Standard for Intelligent Building Systems. Like the addendum to the 568.0-D spec, this one will add uses cases, topology, and architecture for single-pair cabling. Additionally, this document will provide single-twisted-pair cabling guidelines for emerging Internet of Things and machine-to-machine (m2M) applications that will require higher density, reduced size, and greater flexibility than can be provided by existing technology.
Finally, Addendum 4 to the ANSI/TIA-1005-A Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Industrial Premises will specify cables, connectors, cords, links and channels using one-pair connectivity in MICE2 and MICE3 environments.
We will track the progress of these standards efforts and report that progress to you in the months ahead.