Ethernet Alliance Launches PoE Subcommittee

January 21, 2014 by Jeff Shepard

The Ethernet Alliance today announced the formation of its Power over Ethernet (PoE) Subcommittee. The subcommittee is among the various activities within the organization in support of both new and ongoing IEEE 802.3® projects encompassing PoE, 10, 40, and 100 gigabit per second (Gb/s) Ethernet, Next Generation Passive Optical Networking (EPON), and more. Through its efforts, the Ethernet Alliance hopes to help the Ethernet ecosystem better respond to the array of diverse challenges and nascent Ethernet technologies now coming online.

“The shifting Ethernet landscape encompasses a broad spectrum of technologies and a diversity of new challenges, however, there is one underlying commonality: the need for reliable power,” said Scott Kipp, president, Ethernet Alliance, and principal technologist, Brocade. “PoE meets this need while delivering measureable cost-savings, and improving safety and reliability. 4-Pair PoE, being standardized in IEEE P802.3bt™, will deliver at least 49W to thin clients or other new applications like intelligent building management systems. The PoE subcommittee, leveraging interoperability, education, and consensus-building activities, puts the Ethernet Alliance at the epicenter of these evolutionary changes and enables it to address every point in the PoE concept-to-deployment cycle.”

The new subcommittee’s mission is to help expand IEEE’s growing library of PoE standards and extend the range of applications and devices using the technology. Committee members will work to promote the use of PoE standards-driven technologies through the demonstration of PoE-capable device interoperability and by highlighting emerging applications. The Ethernet Alliance is also fostering Ethernet’s continued evolution by engaging with working groups, taskforces, and other constituencies pursuing new or expanding existing IEEE 802 standards.

The organization aims to be an essential resource for every phase of the standards development cycle, from the exploratory to final balloting. Among the initiatives currently being championed within the Ethernet Alliance are proposed PoE standards IEEE P802.3btâ„¢ and IEEE P802.3buâ„¢; IEEE 802.3bjâ„¢, which addresses 100 Gb/s Ethernet backplane and copper cable operations; IEEE P802.3brâ„¢, specifying parameters for interspersing express traffic; and IEEE 802.3 next-generation EPON (NGEPON).

“One of Ethernet’s most important underpinnings is its continuing ability to evolve and adapt to emerging challenges and complexities arising from disruptive technology innovations and changing market needs. However, its unique adaptability wouldn’t be possible without the important work performed by the thriving, dynamic 802.3 Ethernet community,” said John D’Ambrosia, chairman, Ethernet Alliance, and chief Ethernet evangelist, Dell. “As Ethernet continues to expand in new directions, the timely delivery of robust standards will become increasingly critical to its success. The support being provided by the Ethernet Alliance for Ethernet and its related technology standards will help enable a new generation of Ethernet advancements.”