Power Electronics

Midspans Power Up for Gigabit Ethernet

With shipments of gigabit Ethernet switches on the rise, power-supply vendors are now starting to introduce Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) midspan devices that are compatible with the high-speed Ethernet equipment. These new midspans overcome the limitations of existing midspans, which were designed to inject power into 10-Mbit/s and 100-Mbit/s Ethernet systems.

Earlier this month, PoE-specialist PowerDsine unveiled its 6000G family of power over gigabit Ethernet midspans at Networld+Interop 2005 in Las Vegas. At this event, the company introduced and demonstrated the first member of this series, the 24-port 6024G model. The 6000G family is currently available for field trials, with general availability expected on July 1, 2005.

The product family provides a scalable solution that will enable the deployment of new PoE applications and services without the need for additional upgrades, providing support for existing 10/100 devices, as well as future 1000-Mbit/s devices. PowerDsine’s CEO Igal Rotem said, “The two main drivers for our 6000G Midspan line are emerging Gigabit IP phones and wireless LAN access points. In particular, the Gigabit IP phone benefits significantly because the IP phone and PC share the high-bandwidth pipe while reducing costs by consolidating power, data and voice on the LAN.”

Another vendors addressing the Gigabit Ethernet applications is Phihong vendor that focuses on low cost power supplies. This company recently introduced a multiport midspan power injector for PoE that can be used with gigabit systems.

“Our customers realized that Power-over-Ethernet was a smart solution to their networking needs, but the midspans on the market were not designed for high-speed applications such as broadband wireless,” said Keith Hopwood, vice president of marketing for Phihong USA. “We designed our low-cost injectors so that they can be applied to any network without compromising the data rate. Now IT professionals can take our midspan and get PoE on any network without having to check compatibility.”

Available in 1-port, 8-port, 16-port and 24-port versions, Phihong’s high-speed midspans offer full 15.4 W per port at a cost that is 40% lower than competitor solutions. Pricing for the 24-port midspans start at $295 in OEM quantities.

The enterprise midspan provides 1 to 24 ports to upgrade an existing architecture with total output power up to 370 W. Offering 15.4 W per port, the midspan will deliver full power to all ports so there is no need for calculating which devices to connect. Each midspan comes with software to control and monitor each port along with full power management capability for load shedding in backup power conditions.

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