PoE Standards: Traditional technology, the trend for future technological systems

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The basis of Internet Protocol and Ethernet network standards has resulted in the eventual converging of various devices: from IT to OT, household appliances, and management systems. Thus, the new technological trend, IoT, or Internet of Things is designed and managed in accordance with current industrial standards set by two research and standard-setting organizations for technology: the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), all in order to ensure safe and consistent operation of devices throughout general infrastructure.

Along with Ethernet standard 802.3, PoE standard branch (802.3 af/at/bt) provides sources on the Ethernet, where it has the benefits of mutual infrastructure and continual updates with high efficiency, leading to these protocols being the leading platforms for current systems.

PoE (Power over Ethernet) standards and its advantages

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) introduces Ethernet Standard 802.3 to address technological specifications of the last two layers of the OSI model (physical and data link) for wired Ethernet.

There are various versions to PoE (or Power over Ethernet, which supplies power via the Ethernet), in order are the 802.3 af, at, bt. These also belong to the Ethernet standard branch, which set technological specifications for electric as well as two-way data supplying technology via the Ethernet cable.

PoE standard still hold its ground even in the midst of technological advances, as it is efficient, demand satisfying and updated. Newer versions to the PoE standard have connected with the IoT in its aim to suit current trends, and are now capable of building smart systems for buildings, cities, and even society.

3 popular and practical technological PoE standards include:

  • PoE IEEE 802.3af-2003

This is a Type 1 PoE standard using copper cables to simultaneously transfer data and energy to lower power devices. PoE Type 1 includes a DC power capacity of around 15.4W at PSE (Power Sourcing Equipment), so each PoE portal supplies around 12.95W to PD (Powered Device). This capacity allows support for devices such as VoIP phones, sensors, gauges, wireless connection devices with 2 antennas, and basic static surveillance cameras.

  • PoE +, IEEE 802.3at-2009

This is Type 2 PoE standard, normally written as PoE+ or PoE Plus, and is an upgraded version of Type 1. It can supply a DC capacity up to 30W at PSE for each PoE portal (around 25.5W at PD). The doubled capacity also means that PoE Type 2 can support a larger variety of devices, including moving surveillance cameras, night-vision cams, wireless devices with 6 antennas, as well touch-screen terminal equipment.

  • PoE ++ IEEE 802.3bt, official approved in April 2018, includes two types:
    • PoE ++ (Type 3, utilizes all four pairs in a copper cable, one-way DC capacity up to 60W at PSE for each PoE portal, up to 51W at PD). This Type 3 PoE can support more complex surveillance cameras that can tilt, turn and zoom, video conference systems and building supervision systems.
    • PoE High-Power (Type 4) or 4PPoE, also utilizes cũng sử dụng all four pairs in a copper cable, one-way DC capacity up to 90W (at PSE)/71W (at PD). This leads to its ability to support high power terminal devices including laptops, TVs, smart LED systems, smart management systems (for home, office, building), and even specialized operation systems.

Newly introduced standards, especially PoE Type 3 and 4, are now integrated with practical features such as: focus managerial software that is compatible with high-speed Ethernet technology (1GbE, 2.5 GbE, and even 10GbE), switch devices that support various terminal equipment (from smart devices to smart home/smart building), varied data link technologies (wireless, wired, optical fiber, Bluetooth…), and sensors/LED systems. Altogether, these help to bring the IoT (Internet of Things) concept much closer to actualization.

Specialized designed for special purposes are also popular: from outdoor to special industrial designs (electricity, oil and natural gas, production…) where they have to counter electrical noise and vibration noise, or support wireless connections (RF, BLE). The result is PoE’s eventual popularity in connection switch devices.

Benefits are endless: decrease in costs and human resources necessary for deployment, investment and operation (now that only 1 system is required to supply both power and data instead of 2 separate ones), utilization of supporting systems for data link as backup supply (via UPS or generator), and finally specialization for industries including electricity, gas, oil, all leading to simplification, safer systems, and lower costs.

The structure of PoE-integrated Ethernet system

PoE system is basically a network connection system that uses copper-cable Ethernet, where terminal equipment (wireless generators, cameras, lights, sensors) can receive and transfer two-way data via Ethernet cables that use PoE-integrated switch devices (both directly and indirectly). Special features to these devices (storing/warning) operate on a backup power source, either from memory cards/chips with separate capacity storage or from batteries.

  • PoE Switch is able to transfer both data link and sources (from itself or externally with Power Injector) to connected devices.
  • PoE controller is the mutual connection spot for PoE switch devices via a direct connection, and helps to operate/manage PoE-supplying devices.
  • Terminal equipment includes two types, Direct and Indirect. The former receives electricity and two-way data link from PoE-integrated switches through Ethernet cables or supplying patch-panels directly. While the later, (such as a lighting system which include sensors, lights, and LED control system) serves as an intermediate between other terminal devices (that connects indirectly with PoE), supplying them with two-way data and electricity through Ethernet cables or patch-panels.
  • Indirect PoE loads are terminal equipment that receives indirect power from PoE Switch through those that receive direct PoE power. In a lighting system with sensors, lights, and LED controller, for example, the terminal equipment (sensors and lights) will first receive two-way data (to start/stop/operate). Then, the PoE switch will supply the system via LED controller.
  • Sensor: In this age of IoT, sensor is a multi-purpose, popular and prevalent part in all equipment. The sensor will collect one or multiple types of data using a set of measurement or detections from surrounding environments, including optical sensors (measure or record changes in light level), motion sensors (detect new actions in a specific sight), wall-mounted regulators (track/detect human appearances in specific areas and light adjustments), temperature/humidity/smoke sensors, and the ever-popular smart phones (with various environmental sensors and location services).

Song Phuong – FPT IS

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