Ethernet Alliance Announces New Power over Ethernet (PoE) IEEE 802.3bt Standard and New Certification Program

October 8 2018, 00:10
The Ethernet Alliance, the global consortium dedicated to the continued success and advancement of Ethernet technologies, 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. The new standard sets stage for robust Power over Ethernet market growth as the consortium readies second-generation product certification program.

Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology enables the delivery of power to IP network devices via existing Ethernet cables, reducing the need for additional cabling, saving time and money, simplifying network installation, and improving energy management. Enabling swift and easy recognition of interoperable products designed to available IEEE 802.3 PoE standards, the new  Ethernet Alliance Power over Ethernet (PoE) Certification program will elevate the user experience by minimizing market confusion between standards-based and proprietary PoE solutions.
With total PoE-enabled port and device shipments projected to reach nearly 1 billion by 2021, the Ethernet Alliance’s PoE certification program is expected to attract strong interest from Ethernet ecosystem stakeholders.

“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,” says 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,” says 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.”

Employing easy-to-understand logos for products conforming to program requirements, the Ethernet Alliance’s PoE Certification Program simplifies the process of identifying those PSE and PD products that will work together. Launched in September 2017, the successful program is open to both Ethernet Alliance members and the general public. With the ratification of IEEE 802.3bt, the organization has begun work on the second generation of its certification program. Fast-tracked for completion, companies interested in joining the Ethernet Alliance to participate in the development and review of the program’s Gen 2 test plan are encouraged to do so no later than November 30, 2018.

For more information about the next-generation development of the Ethernet Alliance PoE Certification Program, please visit
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