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Power over the Net

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With the adoption of a standard protocol for Power over Ethernet (PoE) by America’s Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, manufacturers are quickly developing standard-compliant products.

Being able to power network peripherals over the same cables that carry the signals will mean the installation of security cameras, temperature, smoke and heat sensors and industrial automation will benefit from PoE capability.

Cisco Systems claims to have given birth to PoE with its in-line power technology for IP telephony and senior manager Steven Shalita says, with the IEEE standard ratified, many more PoE applications will come through.

“The standard really opens the door to a whole broad range of new network device and applications that can be deployed on the network,” said Shalita.

He cites PoE enabled video cameras from Sony, a PoE point of sale device, and adds Intel is working on a way to charge laptops using PoE.

The new standard supports up to 15.5W of power per device and, with 100 devices connected to the network, that’s as much as 1,500W of power needed in addition to what’s required to run the switch itself. The second issue is wall power: it needs to have the capacity to support the power requirements.

“There’s a wide range of power requirements that these devices have, so the ability of the switch to manage power delivery to maximise the power available is a key factor,” said Shalita.

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