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Single Pair Ethernet counts to those technology disruptions deserving a lot of attention that have an impact on our industries, change our operations, systems, processes and bring new possibilities to designing and deploying our networks, cabling, and connectivity infrastructures.
In order to improve routing and supervision of industrial Ethernet, protocols play a significant role, although the field/IO level, as well as device-to-device communication, mainly relied on the traditional Fieldbus protocols (Profibus, AS-Interface, Modbus, CANOpen, DeviceNet, CC-Link, and IO-Link) which are known for their time-sensitive transfer and determinism ensuring sending and receiving of the correct information on time and place. However, this Fieldbus key advantage can be substituted due to the development of Time-Sensitive-Networking (TSN) by the IEEE addressing these needs via time synchronization and deterministic communication over standard Ethernet. Furthermore, Fieldbus cables require too much space and come with a costly and challenging installation.
For a long period of time, four twisted pairs carried Ethernet data by avoiding noise in data lines, but once the IEEE protocols can be carried out over a single balanced twisted-pair Ethernet cabling instead of two twisted pairs there was room for a new design – a lightweight single pair of UTP/STP cable, easy to install and cost-effective – known as Single Pair Ethernet.
Single-pair Ethernet offers a way to bring all your controls, sensors, and low-data devices onto an Ethernet network, as well as delivering power.
Many wireless devices can support some of the same applications, control, and sensor devices, but they cannot provide power. 4-pair Ethernet offers the right technical performance but can be too large for building-automation applications. Managing and routing cables to hundreds or thousands of devices and sensors in one facility is complicated enough and this makes Single Pair Ethernet ideal for small IoT devices and sensors.
Learn more in a Belden webinar about why is SPE the missing link in field network connectivity and what are the 6 key points to stay ahead of the game.
Single Pair Ethernet is expected to impact four areas:
- Enterprise IoT: Moving toward digital buildings SPE with up to 100m reach, can be used increasingly to connect more devices to their networks. Applications like building automation, alarm systems use sensors for all types of systems and devices that integrate directly with the enterprise network to capture and communicate data.
- On-Board Automotive Sensors: Connected smart cars need data transmission to connect a car’s networking system to onboard microcontroller units that provide features like automatic parking, smartphone apps, lane departure, and blind-spot warnings. For these in-vehicle systems, a Single pair Ethernet standard was created to access information-carrying data up to 15 m.
- Up to 20W Power Over Direct Line (PoDL): SPE supports PoDL, which simplifies wiring by eliminating a separate power cable by enabling data transmission.
- Industrial Automation: in an industrial environment, SPE is used for sensors and actuators to connect to the network to report on temperature or environmental conditions. This standard calls carry data up to 40 m. Information about the production, equipment conditions, manufacturing environment is communicated by industrial 10 Mbps applications that have a reach up to 1 km.
Learn more about Single Pair Ethernet for industrial application from a Belden whitepaper.
With one Ethernet network from the sensor to the cloud, SPE and TSN enable control over all networked components to drive the deployment of IIoT within the industrial environment. Here are key benefits of Single Pair Ethernet:
- 50% less weight and footprint than traditional Fieldbus cables save space within robots and inside walls and floors while enabling a more orderly, defined infrastructure and reducing power and temperature control requirements.
- Easier and faster installation saving material and labour costs, allowing field devices, sensors, and actuators to be easily integrated into the existing Ethernet environment with no additional gateways and interfaces.
- Possibly 10 times better range and device coverage with the ability to support 10Mbps to distances up to 1000 meters and 10 times the transmission performance with existing options for 1Gbps.
- Bus topologies with no additional power lines via short multidrop link segments combined with Power over Data Lines (PoDL).
- Simple, cost-effective passive line distribution with the potential for cable sharing where common twisted-pair cable enables four SPE channels in one cable.
- Known standards-based cable and connectivity with interchangeable plug-in M8 and M12 connector interfaces that meet the established M2I2C2E2/M3I3C3E3
With the rise of IoT devices, our network grew bigger and more complex, so does the probability and cost of network failure. Downtime could mean security systems that fail, machines that don’t work, or serious quality control issues. On top of all that risk, the cost of unplanned downtime can run into the millions for production facilities.
Learn more about How to choose the right cable and about the advantages of the bonded-pair technology.