Reliable sensor-to-cloud communication

To make Ethernet technology consistent from the sensor to the cloud, new technologies must be developed with standardized, cost-effective, and space-saving components. In this context, the extension of existing fieldbus systems at process level with transparent communication solutions must also be considered.

The current Ethernet technology is too complex and oversized for many industrial applications. For example, the current RJ45 connectors and Ethernet cables are hardly suitable for connecting simple sensor components at the field level. Encapsulation up to the sensor is complex, expensive, and often not feasible for space reasons alone. Added to this is the need for two- or four-pair cabling and the maximum cable length of 100 m. Especially for applications in conveyor technology or warehouse logistics, this length is too short. A simplified Ethernet standard that deliberately does not achieve the high data transmission rates of the IT world, but instead combines long cable lengths with a compact design and simple, robust cabling, provides remedy: Single Pair Ethernet (SPE).

Single Pair Ethernet

SPE in communication technology

SPE fulfils one of the essential requirements for IoT and Industry 4.0 applications. Continuous intelligent networking across all levels. SPE is scalable, deterministic, and fully compatible so that all components can communicate with each other.

  • Consistent: Uniform Ethernet-based communication from the sensor to the cloud
  • Future-proof: Comprehensive key technology for Industry 4.0 and IIoT
  • Simple: Reduced cabling effort by reducing to only one pair of wires
  • Flexible: Can be used across applications with ranges of up to 1,000 m and transmission speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s


  • The physical properties and transmission rates are defined internationally by various standardization committees.
  • SPE attracts great interest in automation technology, because this new Ethernet variant meets all the requirements for industrial communication in the context of digitization.
  • The transmission rates are sufficient even for demanding sensor components: 10 Mbit/s with a transmission length of 1,000 m, 1 Gbit/s with a transmission length of 40 m.
  • Components such as scanners and cameras can be consistently integrated into the Ethernet network – for example, for monitoring purposes or for detecting the type and position of a component. The feasible response times even allow TSN applications.
  • Power supply and data interface for the sensor technology can be accommodated in a very small space. The power supply for the connected peripherals can be implemented via Power over Data Line (PoDL), so that up to 60 W is available at the Power Source Equipment (PSE) for feeding in.