PoE switches for industrial networking

PoE (Power over Ethernet) is one of the hottest topics in Ethernet networking applications today. According to recent IDC forecasts, total market sales for PoE devices will reach US$1.14 billion by 2009 with a 65% annual growth rate. In this white paper, Moxa will introduce the basics of PoE technology and the new 802.3at standard, followed by a discussion on the required functions and benefits of adopting PoE switches for industrial networking.

PoE technology allows data and electric power to be simultaneously supplied to remote devices over an Ethernet network. The need to transmit power over Ethernet cables was first recognized by several companies, including 3Com, Intel, Mitel, National Semiconductor, Nortel, and PowerDsine, but each had its own method of implementing the technology. In 1999, the IEEE started to standardize the number of proprietary implementations that were available at the time. The IEEE 802.3af standard approved in 2003 established common specifications for implementing PoE networks. A typical PoE system requires both power sourcing equipment and powered devices.

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