Ethernet Alliance Welcomes the Next Generation of PoE

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BEAVERTON, OR, OCTOBER 2, 2018 – The Ethernet Alliance, a global consortium dedicated to the continued success and advancement of Ethernet technologies, today hailed the ratification of IEEE 802.3bt™, IEEE Standard for Ethernet - Amendment 2: Power over Ethernet (PoE) over 4 Pairs. Among other additions, the newly ratified specification introduces four new classes and increases maximum power levels supplied by a factor of three. IEEE 802.3bt’s arrival heralds a new era of robust market opportunity for PoE-enabled technologies, and is a firm foundation for the expansion of the Ethernet Alliance’s well-regarded PoE Certification Program.

“Fueled by growing adoption of IEEE 802.11ac™ wireless access points and a diversity of emerging applications encompassing network-attached storage, building automation, security, entertainment, and more, demand for PoE-enabled switch ports is expected to surge to new heights, with 850 million ports expected to ship during the next five years,” said Tam Dell’Oro, founder and CEO, Dell’Oro Group, Inc. “With the increase in its power delivery capacities, combined with its cost-efficiency, flexibility, and scalability, PoE has evolved as a competitive solution for the enterprise and consumers alike.”

Responding to growing market and end user demand, the IEEE 802.3bt standard offers a host of new features and capabilities, such as support for highly efficient 4-pair power delivery, and channel definitions for 2.5 gigabits per second (Gbps), 5 Gbps, and 10 Gbps PoE operations, among others. Ratified in September 2018, the new specification also boosts the maximum power that power sourcing equipment (PSEs) are capable of by a factor of three, expanding it from 30 to 90 watts, and elevates the power level for powered devices (PDs) to 71.3 watts. Additionally, IEEE 802.3bt doubles the number of supported classes from four to eight, addressing Type 3 and 4 devices for both PSEs and PDs between 4 – 90 watts and 3.84 – 71.3 watts respectively.

“The IEEE 802.3bt standard was skillfully crafted to facilitate the swift expansion of an array of PoE use cases. This inherent flexibility will help future-proof networks by enabling them to capitalize on a new generation of advanced PoE technologies,” said John D’Ambrosia, chairman, Ethernet Alliance. “With the increased number of classes and extended range of use cases of the IEEE 802.3bt standard, it’s imperative to have an effective means for easily identifying which PDs and PSEs can be coupled together, and that’s where the Ethernet Alliance Generation 2 PoE Certification Program will come in. By providing a quick, effortless approach for visually identifying compatible products, the program helps promote multivendor interoperability and ensures users reap the full benefits of current and future PoE solutions.”