Die Technology – applications

The automotive industry: origin of single pair Ethernet.

Die Technology – applications


The development of single pair Ethernet (SPE) began in the automotive industry, where smaller and more powerful devices were required.

More and more Ethernet systems are being installed in today’s vehicle generations. New driver assistance systems – such as lidar (light detection and ranging), high-resolution displays, 4K cameras or infotainment systems – can only be realized by networking control units and sensors. Future-oriented technologies such as autonomous driving also require a connection technology that enables transmission of higher data rates in a small installation space. Other industries can also benefit from this approach.

First official IEEE standards

The development of automotive Ethernet has resulted in two official IEEE standards: 100BASE-T1 (100 Mbit/s) and 1000BASE-T1 (1 Gbit/s). When defining these standards, the aim was to define the limits for connectors and cables as well as the measurement methods from the requirements for the overall channel (defined in the IEEE).

Application areas of SPE solutions

Single Pair Ethernet is ideal for infrastructure applications in mechanical and plant engineering, process technology, building infrastructure and many more.

The big advantage:
Single Pair Ethernet is environment neutral, so field devices, sensors and actuators can be easily integrated into an existing Ethernet environment. Additional gateways and interfaces are not required. Unlike fieldbus protocols, Ethernet penetrates all automation levels.

It is more consistent, efficient and cost-effective than fieldbus systems.


Thanks to the standardized interfaces, single-pair and four-pair cabling concepts can be combined, as can IP20 and IP6x solutions. The two-wire technology also allows the application-specific supply of terminal devices with power of up to 60 watts via the same wire pair (Power over Data Line – PoDL).


Wiring requirements

Different applications have different cabling requirements. The relevant
Refer to the following table for cabling requirements:

Automotive industry Building automation Process automation Factory Automation
Application focus Car wiring harness Control cabinet wiring Field wiring (e.g. KNX) Field wiring sensors Ind. Control cabinet wiring Field wiring Sensors
Transmission rate
Transmission link
10 MBit/s – 1 GBit/s
15-40 m
10 MBit/s – 1 GBit/s < 1000 m 10 MBit/s < 1000 m 10 MBit/s – 1 GBit/s ≤ 100 m
Conductor cross section AWG 26-22 AWG 26-22 AWG 22-18 AWG 26-22
Mech. / electr. Robustness medium - high low - medium high medium - high
Current connections Automotive specific connectors Individual wiring, terminal, EIB, RJ45 Terminal, connector, M12 RJ45, single wiring, terminal, M8/12

Connection technology in factory automation

With advancing automation, a growing number of sensors and actuators are being used in all areas of manufacturing, which must be reliably connected to cloud systems.

Single pair Ethernet solutions offer significant advantages here:

The standardized IEC 63171-2 (IP20) and 63171-5 (IP67) interfaces are ideal for office and industrial environments. The application-optimized cabling forms the basis for future-proof networking from the sensor to the cloud.

Connection technology for process automation

In process automation, explosion protection and long transmission distances place increased demands on network technology. The necessary standards are summarized as Advanced Physical Layer (APL).

Single Pair Ethernet solutions offer the following additional advantages for process automation:

Connection technology for building automation

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become an integral part of building automation and will continue to play an increasingly important role in the future. By using the IP protocol, building automation can be implemented both more conveniently and more cost-efficiently, as sensors, controllers and other technical units in the building are networked directly with the building management system. Thus, existing proprietary fieldbus systems are replaced by consistent Ethernet cabling, eliminating expensive and time-consuming programming and parameterization efforts.

The trend in the development of smart buildings is to reduce the energy consumption of all networked devices. This is another area where Single Pair Ethernet comes into its own, as high-performance transmission of data and power in parallel via just one twin wire is possible using Power over Data Line. Likewise, the single pair Ethernet components are robust and powerful and are versatile due to the different transmission distances and rates in combination with the high packing density.