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802.3bt Power over Ethernet: Increasing Possibilities

by Stuart Berry April 25, 2016

Possibilities have expanded for Power over Ethernet (PoE) with the development of 802.3bt PoE.

The main benefit of PoE is that it provides power to communication devices where no AC power source is available. So with no power lines to run, PoE saves substantially on installation costs and makes configuration much easier because the power source is within the data cables. More than one million devices are powered by PoE using the same cables that transmit Ethernet data.

The standard version of PoE, 802.3at, however, peaks at 25.5 Watts.This is insufficient for many applications, and more wattage is often required.

The development of the 802.3bt standard will lift those power limitations with capabilities up to 49 Watts. This is because 802.3bt PoE uses all four twisted pairs in Cat 5 and Cat 6 Ethernet cables, therefore providing more power. 802.3bt will be standardized with support for 10GBASE-T (10 Gbps Ethernet) and will be backward compatible with previous 802.3 versions.

PoE has evolved into a key technology for providing power and data simultaneously. With 802.3bt PoE offering double, and possibly triple the power, new applications could extend to include 100 million devices worldwide and countless other possibilities.

Typical PoE Injector and PoE Splitter Applications

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Stuart Berry
Stuart Berry

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