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PowerDsine puts more power in its PoE

May 02, 20062 mins

* PowerDsine jumps ahead of PoE Plus effort in IEEE

Power-over-Ethernet specialist PowerDsine this week unveiled a “high-power” controller intended to broaden the range of devices that can be supported by the emerging technology.

The PD83000 will use four pairs of Ethernet wires within a cable, as opposed to just two, to support more electrical power over Ethernet cable. With the added power, new networked devices can be run with just one cable. PowerDsine gives as examples video phones, WiMAX transmitters, thin clients and pan-tilt-zoom cameras.

If this sounds familiar, that’s because the IEEE is working on a standard way of doing this. It’s now called 802.3at, or PoE Plus, and it’s probably not going to become a ratified standard for a year or more. But if you can’t wait, PowerDsine has a proprietary technology available this month.

The previous standard, 802.3af, supports 15.4 Watts, while the technology from PowerDsine supports twice that amount by using parameters defined in 802.3af. The technology has the potential to reach 56 Watts, according to the company. When used with PowerDsine’s switch chips, the new technology can provide up to 48 high-power ports.

Power is sent on all four pairs of wires within an Ethernet cable, and it is then combined at the PoE-enabled end device. The new technology is backward-compatible with standard 802.3af end devices, the company says.

PowerDsine makes a point of noting that it is an active participant in the IEEE task force working on PoE Plus, so future versions of its technology can be made compatible with the standard when it is completed.