Update on Single-Pair Ethernet

Andy Jimenez, vice president of technology at Anixter, provides an update on the IEEE 802.3cg Task Force's efforts to develop a 10 Mb/s single twisted-pair standard, and why single-pair Ethernet is the way forward.

For more information on this topic, read our TECHbrief on single-pair Ethernet.

Transcript: Update on Single-Pair Ethernet

Hi, I’m Andy Jimenez.

The physical reach of Category-rated twisted-pair cable has been limited to 100 meters, but many industrial and commercial building applications span much greater distances—for example, process control, intelligent lighting, IP-based physical security and building automation. These are a few examples of applications that can take advantage of a standard that provides Ethernet-based distance support beyond 100 meters for both data and low-watt power delivery to endpoint devices.

The great news is that an IEEE Task Force is already working to develop this new standard. It’s called the IEEE 802.3cg 10 Mb/s Single Twisted-Pair standard, and it will enable a unified network based on single-pair Ethernet as an alternative to the hugely fragmented fieldbus and serial bus landscape that we see today.

There are a few reasons the IEEE working group is organizing around single-pair:

First, there’s increasing data and power capabilities. Single-pair Ethernet has the potential to support speeds of 1 Gbps. Single-pair cabling also leverages the existing 802.3 Power-over-Ethernet standards to cover a wide range of devices that need both power and data.

The current proposal calls for support of 10 Mb/s operation in automotive and industrial environments over single balanced twisted-pair cabling, up to at least 1 kilometer. The standard will also specify one or more optional power distribution techniques for use over the 10 Mb/s single balanced twisted-pair link segments. Early proposals are looking at delivering roughly 13 watts of power to powered devices with an installed cabling distance not exceeding 1 kilometer.

The second reason is the efficient use of space and dollars: Single-pair cabling is just 25 percent the mass and weight of traditional four-pair Ethernet. It can help relieve the congestion in cable pathways and enable more routing options, including connecting to smaller, high-density devices.

And finally, there’s data security. Network protection is a major challenge, and IEEE 802.3 applications have built-in security features that will allow secure communications. While single-pair Ethernet doesn’t offer the higher data rate and remote powering capacities of traditional four-pair Ethernet, it offers a compact and cost-efficient solution for connected devices.

To learn more about single-pair Ethernet, you can read our TECHbrief on this topic, and talk to your local Anixter representative.


TECHbrief: Back to the Future: The Road to Single-Pair Ethernet