Posted by Travis Gaerke on

Devices that are PoE compatible must adhere to a universal standard for PoE to ensure that they can be safely connected to other network devices. Previously, widely adopted IEEE PoE standards included either IEEE802.3af or IEEE802.3at. The IEEE802.3af standard provides 15W capabilities and was often used for IP cameras or IP Phones while the IEEE802.3at has 30W capabilities and is used for POS terminals and wireless AP.

As of 2018, however, a new standard has emerged. To keep up with the increasing power demands of modern technology and the expanding development of the Internet of Things, the universal PoE standard has been revised and improved to introduce the new IEEE 802.3bt standard. This third revision to the IEEE standard provides impressive 30, 60, and 90W capabilities and greatly increases PoE applications. To learn more about what the IEEE 802.3bt standard is and its many applications, continue reading.

What the IEEE 802.3bt Standard Is
As previously stated, the IEEE 802.3bt standard is the latest PoE standard, which was approved on September 27, 2018. The amount of power available for devices under this new standard increases to a capacity of up to 100W of Power over Ethernet—over tripling the amount of power provided by the previous IEEE802.3at standard. This PoE level is currently the maximum level defined. Higher levels are predicted to be unsafe for existing cabling and connectors in current infrastructures.

The maximum Powered Device (PD) increases under this standard by delivering a current through all four twisted pairs in a Cat5e network cable and above which allows for a higher power level. For Class 5 and higher, power delivery requires all four pairs to be utilized, allowing a current to flow evenly through them. In the previous IEEE802.3at standard, power transfer was permitted over only two out of the four pairs. It either called for power delivery from pairs 2 and 3 or 1 and 4, but not both simultaneously.

By increasing the enabled delivery of power, the capabilities of Ethernet with standardized power are exponentially expanded. Further, by using all eight conductors in an Ethernet cable, the new standard also facilitates lower standby power consumption in end devices and the easier management of available power budgets.

Benefits of the IEEE 802.3bt Standard
The benefits provided by the new IEEE 802.3bt standard are numerous. Some of the most notable advantages that the standard offers include:
- Increases the maximum powered device power to 100W by transmitting power through a 4-pair Ethernet cable
- Enables support of multiple PoE classes
- Provides long delivery distance for devices powered by PoE
- Backward compatibility with 802.3at/af and HDBaseT PD
- Allows for meaningful power management capability by extending power classification information
- The PoE connection can remain alive even without a PoE power input
- Allows the specific amount of power needed by the PD to be allocated
- Provides extra switch ports for PoE devices
- Facilitates the construction of a 90W PoE network without the need to replace non-PoE Ethernet switches
- Support for higher power enables new applications
- PDs can achieve lower standby power in comparison to the existing due to its short maintain power signature
- Short MPS (Maintain Power Signature) allows PDs to achieve a much lower standby power compared to the existing IEEE802.3at standard
- Reduced minimum standby power to 20 mW in comparison to 200 mW required by the previous IEEE802.3at standard

What Applications are Best for 90W?
Because the new IEEE 802.3bt supports a higher power, there are far more application opportunities available. Not only does the standard increase PoE applications in new markets, it also expands its application in existing markets as well for more power-hungry devices. Examples of some of the applications that are best for 90W capability include:
- LED signs and connected lighting
- PTZ cameras
- Kiosks
- Monitors
- Robotics
- Small machines
- Point of Sale (POS) terminals
- Access points

Why Is 90W PoE So Important to the Industrial Market?
Because of the increased amount of power available for devices, the new IEEE 802.3bt standard enables an innumerable amount of new applications—especially in the industrial market where devices require substantial amounts of power.

PoE devices function as the backbone of industrial networks and play a large role in powering connected devices. By allowing for 90W power capabilities, the variety and amount of devices that can connect to a single network is greatly increased.

Industrial devices such as IP video phones, PTZ cameras, and POS terminals, and kiosks require extensive amounts of power which couldn’t be supported by the previous IEEE802.3af or IEEE802.3at standards. Thus, industrial networks were greatly limited in the amount of additional devices that could be connected. By increasing the amount of available power as well as extra switch ports for PoE powered devices, the creation of the IEEE 802.3bt standard greatly mitigates such limiting factors which impact PoE use in industrial applications. Additionally, the new standards provide long delivery distance for PoE-powered devices. Such reach is often essential for networks that are located in expansive industrial environments.

Another reason why IEEE 802.3bt standard significantly affects the industrial market is because it reduces the minimum standby power significantly. In comparison to the previous IEEE802.3at standard, the minimum standby power of the new IEEE 802.3bt standard is reduced to only 1/10th of the standard allowed—20 mW. By reducing the minimum standby power to such a large degree, IoT applications are able to be powered with PoE while maintaining suitable standby performance.

Because of the many benefits listed above, 90W PoE sets the stage for the creation and expansion of smart homes, buildings, cities, and other complex networks that require networks to have backbones with massive power capabilities. Without the new IEEE 802.3bt standard that allows for 90W power capabilities, such advanced industrial networks would be exponentially more expensive and challenging to design, build, and operate.

Antaira’s IEEE 802.3bt Compliant Devices
Antaira Technologies is a leading networking technology manufacturer committed to crafting innovative PoE technology with adherence to the latest and most advanced standards. To provide you with the power your industrial network requires, many of our products adhere to the new IEEE 802.3bt standard.

Examples of our IEEE 802.3bt standard compliant devices include our 8-Port Industrial PoE+/4PPoE Unmanaged Ethernet Switches, Gigabit Type 3 4PPoE injectors, and range of compact Gigabit IEEE 802.3bt Ethernet-to-Fiber industrial PoE Media Converters

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