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Sensors and industrial communication Technology Stage Lecture
4:15 — 4:35 PM
November 25 '20

Single Pair Ethernet - Intelligent connection technology & infrastructure in the networked world

The increasing level of digitalisation in industrial plant requires the further development of existing Ethernet cabling. For sensors and local, modular control units in particular, conventional cabling concepts are no longer able to meet the new demands with regard to transparency, space requirements and installation effort. This is where the new Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) standard enables continuous communication from the sensor to the cloud, based on the widely used Ethernet protocol.

Transmission distances of up to 1,000 metres can be achieved thanks to the data cabling with just a single pair of wires. This means that for the first time, SPE allows areas of use and applications even in complex industrial applications and in IIoT solutions. Unlike fieldbus protocols, Ethernet penetrates all levels of automation and therefore has the potential to completely replace all fieldbuses that are used today in the long term. The major advantage for operators is that the entire communication infrastructure right through to the lower field level can be standardised on the basis of the Ethernet protocol, and identical interfaces and connector faces can be used in different environments.

In IEEE 802.3cg (SPE 10 MBit/s, 1,000 m), the electrical properties of connectors were explained for the first time under the heading MDI (Medium Dependent Interface). The current version of the document describes possible connectors that can be used on the MDI. All SPE connectors are described in the basic standard IEC 63171. Together with the SPE Technology Cluster, Weidmüller supports the IEC 63171-2 (IP20) and IEC 63171-5 (IP67) series of standards. With these interfaces, users around the world can build efficient network and cabling structures from the sensor via the control and enterprise level to the cloud, on the basis of standardised interfaces.


The resulting compact mating faces are ideal for efficient cabling of numerous communication devices. The special feature of the compact interfaces is that the two poles of the device connectors are arranged vertically rather than horizontally. This enables device manufacturers to house twice as many interfaces in the same installation space as before with conventional RJ45 sockets, or to reduce the size of their devices with the same number. The compact interface is also the only one to offer secure integration in M8 installations. This interface can therefore easily complement existing infrastructures and fully develop its cost saving potential.


Subject to changes without notice

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