PoE Plus: Enabling a New Generation of Powered Devices


Just two months ago, the IEEE approved the PoE Plus Study Group’s project authentication request, and thus promoted the body to an official Task Force. Recognized as IEEE P802.3at, the task force is currently building on the existing 803.3af specification to enable more power to be transmitted over standard Ethernet cables (at least 30 watts, as opposed to 13 watts).

A recently published report, “PoE: Global Market Opportunity Analysis,” from Natick, Mass.-based Venture Development, examines the impact and effect a higher power standard will have on the marketplace.

The report estimates that during a four-year period, powered device sales will exhibit a 38% compound annual growth rate, and in 2008 the market will exceed $5.2 billion in revenues. The later portion of sales will be derived primarily from new applications or powered devices that will utilize this new higher power standard.

One portion of the report analyzes over 40 applications to identify and rate the likelihood of PoE penetration for each. The results distinguish design opportunities and potential growth rates for these various applications. Applications embodied six different verticals, including:

  • Entertainment

  • Network Infrastructure

  • Computers/Peripherals

  • Building Control

  • Security

  • Retail

Of the 46 applications analyzed, the results indicated PoE Plus would potentially affect the adoption and growth rates for 19 different applications.

Top Applications Affected by PoE Plus

(Ranking 1-Low, 20-High)

Pan Tilt Zoom Cameras: 20

Information Kiosks: 18

Laptops: 17

Audio Equipment: 15

Workgroup switches: 15

The primary beneficiaries of a new higher power standard will be Pan-Tilt-Zoom Cameras, Electronic Kiosks, and Laptops, which all require 25-45 watts to function properly. Screening criteria that influenced more positive growth for one application over another included potential installation cost savings and power backup requirements; both major drivers for implementing PoE devices.

Other “big movers” in terms of score were audio equipment, which could potentially be the catalyst for PoE entering the entertainment market. An industry vertical poised to benefit from PoE Plus but not depicted in the exhibit above is retail. While individual PoS components, such as signature terminals and bar code scanners, can fully function under the current 802.3af specifications, consolidating the different PoS devices to share one power source is not feasible without a higher power standard.

The ratification of a higher power standard and the growing number of Greenfield installations will incite retail stores, restaurants and even residents to adopt Power over Ethernet technologies. “I wouldn't be surprised if in twenty years from now all new homes are PoE-equipped. Just imagine, sisters to the fuse box known as Power Sourcing Equipment that have the potential to power almost anything, from: lights, phones, speakers, to even monitor displays,” says VDC analyst Spyros Photopoulos.

The full report is available at www.vdc-corp.com .

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