Single Pair Ethernet – The evolution for Ethernet is now

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Before I dive into the wonderful world of Single Pair Ethernet….

The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging us in ways we could never have predicted just a few months ago. From unprecedented amounts of family time, home-schooling and to working remotely — or not working at all. These sudden, rapid changes in the way we live, coupled with uncertainty, can feel overwhelming, especially for parents of young children. While we may know that it’s usually helpful for everyone in the family when parents stay positive, it’s sometimes easier said than done.

If you had told me last year that in 2020, I would be housebound for weeks. That I would have to celebrate family and friends’ birthdays through my computer and that the world was fighting a pandemic, I would not have believed you. I have realised how I have taken the small things for granted. Like that beer, braai, chatting to our colleagues in the office or even a handshake or hug.

However, on the positive side at least we have technology. The funny videos or memes being shared on friends what’s app groups have been very entertaining. The zoom meetings between colleagues and friends keeping us sane and updated with life, and my very favorite zoom meeting for my toddler with her class on Fridays is the best. The teacher sings a song while the toddlers back her up with lots of crying, while some toddlers loose interest after seconds and leaving us parents with a blank stare at the screens.

While we cannot physically be together, imagine if we were living in the 70’s with none of this technology. The times we are living in are rather exciting and frightening! But enough about me let’s get down to business!

Maybe you’ve been hearing some buzz recently surrounding single-pair Ethernet and a couple of new standards in development, Single Pair Ethernet stands for parallel, high-performance transmission of data and power via Ethernet through a single double wire via Power over Data Line (PoDL).

Single Pair Ethernet

Phoenix Contact has launched compact device and cable connectors for the Single Pair Ethernet standard. The standardized SPE interfaces are ideally suited for efficient data transmission in factory and process automation. The application-specific, reduced cabling is therefore the basis for future-proof Ethernet communication from the field to the cloud.

Single Pair Ethernet technology

The evolution of 4- and 8-wire cabling systems toward simple and secure two-wire cabling has begun – and the result is Single Pair Ethernet.

Ethernet has already been the leading communication and network protocol in LAN applications since the 1980s, and since then it has been constantly advancing into new fields of application. Ethernet allows the seamless transmission of information via TCP/IP and is viewed as the application-neutral communication protocol for local IoT networks. The unique compatibility of Single Pair Ethernet between new and old generations is the basis for the future.

Consistent solutions for cabling

Standardized pin connector patterns form the basis for the barrier-free networking of the most diverse components, cables, and connectors. Here, Phoenix Contact is driving progress decisively with the development of a standardized pin connector pattern – from the IP20 to the IP6x connector.

In the long run, SPE will replace classic serial bus systems. Use a multifunctional pin connector pattern from the office to the sensor.

The pin connector pattern M1 I1 C1 E1 has been developed for building automation in accordance with IEC 63171-2. This pin connector pattern makes it possible to connect up to four times as many devices as you can with existing passive infrastructure. This standard is often used in office buildings.

The M2/3 I2/3 C2/3 E2/3 pin connector pattern in accordance with IEC 63171-5 has proven itself in industrial applications, even in harsh field environments. The pin connector pattern can be integrated into all conventional and standardized connector versions.

MICE is an abbreviation that describes the external conditions of an Ethernet interface.

  • M = Mechanical robustness
  • I = IP properties
  • C = Chemical and climatic resistance
  • E = Electromagnetic stability

Areas of application

Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) forms the basis for all Ethernet-based communication. It opens new fields of application and enables smart device communication. Due to its great transmission properties, even across longer distances, SPE supports future-proof network communication optimally. Following the development toward resource-conserving, miniaturized devices, SPE provides more space for your electronics, thanks to space-saving cables.

Selected areas of application include:

Building Automation

Industrial Automation


Railway Industry

Your advantages

  • Future-proof: Standardized connectors and cables in accordance with IEC 63171-2 (IP20) and IEC 63171-5 (IP67)
  • Cross-application: Ranges of up to 1,000 m, data rates of up to 1 Gbps, and powers of up to 50 W
  • Efficiently cabled: Plug and Play, even in existing cabling infrastructures
  • Compact: Pin connector patterns for single and multi-ports enable high packing densities
  • Easily integrated: Male and female versions for established inductive sensors and flying leads

For more information, please contact Richard Schoonebeek –



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