Single Pair Ethernet: Uniform standards as an opportunity for innovation

Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) is the parallel transmission of data and power over just one twisted-pair using Power over Data Line (PoDL). SPE enables continuous IP communication between server and cloud as well as power supply in complex IIoT solutions. SPE represents the next milestone in network technology and will revolutionise the market.
The SPE System Alliance has been founded in order to optimally exploit the immense potential of this new technology for the future. This alliance of leading technology companies aims to promote the use of SPE technology in industry and establish uniform standards.

Technology Days

In a digital conference, experts from various industries and technology sectors gave presentations on the added value of communications technology.

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The idea of the Single Pair Ethernet: High performance – low cabling

The impetus for the development of SPE technology comes from the automotive industry. Wiring currently accounts for a large part of the vehicle weight. In order to make vehicles lighter and thus more economical, a more efficient cable infrastructure is required that achieves the highest performance with as few cables as possible.


Reliable sensor-to-cloud communication

Single Pair Ethernet is the extension of Ethernet technology into sensor technology. SPE is compact, flexible, and enables high ranges for data connections where Ethernet systems reach their limits. SPE allows the extension of existing installations and supports consistent communication based on the Ethernet protocol.

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"Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) is one of the megatrends in industrial data transmission. SPE deliberately does not define new transmission speeds and distances, but rather forms the normative framework for reduced cabling in line with the application"

Torsten Janwlecke, President Business Area Device Connectors at Phoenix Contact

Wide range of industry applications

All sectors of industry can benefit from SPE technology, because the number of intelligent end devices is increasing significantly in the plant field. SPE enables a continuous connection from the sensor to the cloud – and in practically every application: including industry, logistics, building services engineering, or wherever data is sent and received.

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"Compact design, miniaturised dimensions, a significant reduction in weight as well as the simple connection options make SPE technology also interesting for automation technology, building cabling, railway technology, and many other applications",

Florian Gärtner, Chief Executive Officer of Telegärtner

Uniform standardization for the Single Pair Ethernet infrastructure

The specifications that SPE infrastructure must meet are defined in standards such as IEEE or ISO/IEC. According to these standards, secure transmission starts with a processor and extends to the circuit board and various components. Contrary to what is frequently stated, standardization in this environment ensures the entire connection of passive and active components while fulfilling all requirements.


Elaboration of a common standard

For SPE technology to establish itself optimally on the market, uniform connectors and uniform components for the infrastructure must be defined. For this reason, the partners of the SPE System Alliance are working on optimally matching their components based on international standards.

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"Our cooperation in standardisation creates security. On the basis of standardised interfaces, users around the world can build efficient network and cabling structures from the sensor to the control and company level right up to the cloud."

Torsten Janwlecke, President Business Area Device Connectors at Phoenix Contact

Development of a comprehensive range of SPE products

The basis for barrier-free networking is an infrastructure that connects a wide variety of components – for example cables, connectors, devices, sensors, and circuit boards. That's why leading technology companies from various fields have joined in the SPE System Alliance to develop components for SPE technology. These include companies from the connector industry, automation technology, sensor technology, as well as chip manufacturers, switch manufacturers, measuring device manufacturers, the cable industry, and the online education sector.

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"For plant engineers, the Single Pair Ethernet makes work easier. Installation is simpler compared to four-pair Ethernet and allows a noticeable reduction in space and weight."

Jörg Scheer, Head of the Device & Field Connectivity Division at Weidmüller

A strong partnership to promote SPE technology

The SPE System Alliance is an open association of leading technology companies from different industries and fields of application. All partners of the SPE System Alliance pursue the common goal of promoting Single Pair Ethernet technology for IIoT applications. To this end, they pool their know-how in the field of SPE and engage in a targeted exchange of ideas.

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Members of the System Alliance