Ethernet has the juice


Networks and Communications

Only two years have passed since the Power over Ethernet (PoE) standard was ratified. Venture Development Corp.’s new report, "PoE: Global Market Opportunity Analysis," estimates the four-year compound annual growth rate for PoE-enabled PSE (power sourcing equipment) will reach 33% by 2008. Today, 10% of the revenues in the Ethernet switch market are attributed to these PSE infrastructures.



The report also predicts that global revenues for PoE powered devices (PD) will exceed $5.2 billion in 2008, representing a 38% compound annual growth rate. In 2004, network infrastructure components made up the majority of these revenues. More specifically, IP telephones and WLAN access points aggregated 87% of sales. New vertical markets are just beginning to accommodate PoE technologies and, with ratification of a higher power standard, even more new verticals can be expected to enter the PoE space.


IEEE is currently working on the development of PoE Plus. This latest specification defines a higher power standard expected to enable more PDs to support PoE capabilities. VDC screened over 40 applications from various vertical markets to identify the application types and markets most likely to adopt PoE and PoE-Plus.

Some conclusions included:

  • Building control shows promise –The market for building control devices is very large; currently very few devices are PoE-enabled. Growing PoE awareness and maturity will help increase the technology's penetration in this sector.

  • Components are a good fit — Many individual POS components, such as terminals and bar-code scanners, can fully function under the current PoE specifications.

  • Emerging PoE + applications — A screening model results showed the primary beneficiaries of a higher power standard would be pan-tilt-zoom cameras, electronic kiosks, and laptops, which all require 25-45W to fully function. Audio equipment is another product category that VDC determined could reap the benefits of a higher-powered standard.

"Power over Ethernet is a remarkable technology that intertwines many diverse applications and markets," says VDC analyst Spyros Photopoulos. "Enterprises are purchasing UPS and power supplies to power and back up their PoE-enabled switches that ultimately feed the power to telephones, cameras, access points, etc. Suddenly, one little technology is integrating unique applications from five different markets."

— Richard Phelps, senior editor, Control Engineering

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