Enabling a new generation of devices


A few months ago, IEEE approved the PoE (power over Ethernet) Plus Study Group's project authentication request, promoting the body to an official taskforce: IEEE P802.3at. The taskforce is currently building on the existing 803.3af specification to enable more power to be transmitted over standard Ethernet cables (at least 30 W, as opposed to 13 W).

Venture Development Corp .'s recently published report, "PoE: Global Market Opportunity Analysis," examined the impact and effect of a higher power standard on the marketplace. The report estimated that, during a four-year period, powered device sales will exhibit a 38% compound-annual-growth-rate, and in 2008 the market will exceed $5.2 billion.

The report analyzed over 40 applications to identify and rate the likelihood of PoE penetration for each. The results distinguished design opportunities and potential growth rates for these various applications. Applications comprised six different vertical areas, including:

  • Entertainment;

  • Network infrastructure;

  • Computers/peripherals;

  • Building control;

  • Security; and

  • Retail.

Of the applications analyzed, PoE Plus would potentially affect the adoption and growth rates for 19 different applications.
Primary beneficiaries of a new higher power standard will be pan-tilt-zoom cameras, electronic kiosks, and laptops, which require 25-45 W to function properly.

While individual PoS components, such as signature terminals and bar code scanners, can fully function under the current 802.3af specifications, consolidating the different PoS devices to share one power source requires a higher power standard.

Ratification of a higher power standard, and the growing number of Greenfield installations will motivate adoption of PoE technologies.

— Richard Phelps, senior editor, Control Engineering

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