Motorola, PowerDsine partner on power-over-Ethernet ASIC

Paris, France—Motorola Inc.'s (Schaumburg, IL) semiconductor products sector and PowerDsine (Hod Hasharon, Israel) announced June 5 at the Smart Networks Developer Forum that they'll jointly create an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for the emerging power-over-Ethernet (PoE) market.


Paris, France— Motorola Inc. 's (Schaumburg, IL) semiconductor products sector and PowerDsine (Hod Hasharon, Israel) announced June 5 at the Smart Networks Developer Forum that they'll jointly create an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for the emerging power-over-Ethernet (PoE) market.

The two firms say their ASIC will be the first 12-port, 802.3af-compliant chip for PoE. PowerDsine reports that it is a leader in PoE solutions. PowerDsine and Motorola will assemble a team of engineers to design the chip, which will be based on Motorola's SmartMOS and PowerDsine's Power over LAN technologies. The first chip will integrate power, analog and logic functions into one device. Its use in Ethernet switches and midspans, an alternative for power sourcing equipment, is expected to will allow next generation network devices to share power and data over the same cable.

PowerDsine is expected to offer sample products the end of 2003, and volume production is expected in early 2004. The device is fully IEEE 802.3af compliant and also works with pre-standard proprietary solutions.

'By easing the expansion of networks, PoE reduces common concerns for limited space, costly installations and extensive back-up systems,' says Dave Passmore, Burton Group's research director. 'And, as the industrial market gravitates towards Ethernet bus applications, PoE opens doors for automation and control applications.'

Motorola and PowerDsine report that their partnership will allow them to use Motorola's SmartMOS technology and PowerDsine's foothold in the PoE market to enable PoE installations, and reduce overall installation costs. They add that PowerDsine holds 85% of the midspan market and 50% of the integrated solutions market.

Motorola's SmartMOS technology is the backbone of mixed-signal analog integrated circuits, and acts as the interface between the digital environment of leading-edge microprocessors and analog, real-world interaction, such as sensing, providing power or driving motion. For example, the SmartMOS8 process allows power, high-voltage analog and high-density digital logic functions to be manufactured on one chip in less space than previous generations, which helps simplify system design, lower costs and improve reliability.

'With more than 1 million ports shipped in 2002 and its pioneering role in the IEEE 802.3af standard task force, PowerDsine has proven its leadership in the PoE industry,' says Ciaran Connell, marketing and strategy manager of Motorola's Analog Products Division. 'Combining our company's expertise, we will deliver the industry's only single-chip solution and together lead the Power over Ethernet market.'

The first product resulting from Motorola and PowerDsine's collaboration will address the needs of 12-, 24- and 48-output equipment. Using the ASIC, networking equipment manufacturers can expect to be able to directly integrate power sourcing equipment functionality. Unlike other semiconductors offered for PoE, the chip designed by Motorola and PowerDsine is expected to provide power to 12 Ethernet ports, at 15 W of power per port, through one chip, minimizing the number of external components and reducing overall system costs.

About PoE
PoE is a technology for wired Ethernet, the most widely installed local area network (LAN) technology. PoE allows the electrical power necessary for the operation of each device, to be carried by data cables rather than by power cords. It minimizes the number of wires that must be strung in order to install the network, resulting in lower cost, less downtime, easier maintenance and greater installation flexibility.

PowerDsine reports that PoE potentially reduces the cost of installing a Wireless LAN access points by up to 50%. Because the network's switches also can deliver power through the standard Ethernet infrastructure, the need to connect each access point to a separate electrical circuit and install additional ac power outlets is eliminated. Beyond cost effectiveness, PoE also can provide customers with uninterruptible power for critical applications such as Internet protocol (IP) phones, security cameras, entry loggers and other powered data terminals.

Defined by the IEEE 802.3af Task Force, the standard is scheduled for ratification in June 2003. For more information on the standard, go to .

Power over LAN, which encompasses PoE, converges data and operating power into one LAN cable. This technology allows IP telephones, Wireless LAN access points and other enterprise terminals to safely receive power over standard Category 5 LAN cabling without modifying existing infrastructures.

802.3af defines two alternatives for power sourcing equipment (PSE): end-span and midspan. End-span refers to an Ethernet switch with embedded Power over LAN technology. Midspan is a patch-panel resembling device, with multiple channels, typically 6 to 24, that is placed between any standard switch and the powered terminal. Power over LAN provides continuous service during power outages by using the same centralized, uninterrupted power supply that backs up the network. This architecture enhances users' investments in both Category 5 infrastructure and in Ethernet switch equipment.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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