Exploring 4PPoE: Powering Up Your Network with Four-Pair Power over Ethernet

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In the world of networking, efficiency is key. Imagine transmitting both data and power through the same Ethernet cable, simplifying installations and reducing costs.

This is made possible by Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology, standardized by the IEEE. The PoE standards we use today include IEEE 802.3af-2003 (PoE), IEEE 802.3at-2009 (PoE+), and IEEE 802.3bt-2018 (PoE++).

The latest standard, IEEE 802.3bt-2018, also known as 4-Pair PoE (4PPoE) or Type 4 PoE++, introduced in 2018, has revolutionized how we power network devices.

Let's delve into what 4PPoE is, how it works, and the benefits and applications it brings to the table.

What is 4PPoE?

4PPoE (4-pair PoE) is an advancement in Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology that utilizes all four pairs of wires in an Ethernet cable to deliver a maximum power supply of up to 90 W.

Traditional PoE systems use only two pairs, limiting the amount of power that can be transmitted. By utilizing all four pairs, 4PPoE significantly increases the amount of power that can be delivered over longer distances.

How Does 4PPoE Work?

In a standard Ethernet cable, there are eight wires divided into four pairs. Traditional PoE systems use two of these pairs to transmit power, while the other two pairs are reserved for data transmission.

4PPoE, on the other hand, leverages all four pairs for power delivery, effectively doubling the amount of power that can be transmitted.

To achieve this, 4PPoE-compliant devices negotiate power requirements and capabilities using a protocol called Universal Power over Ethernet (UPOE). This negotiation process ensures that devices receive the appropriate amount of power without risking damage from overloading.

Ethernet cables are compatible with 4PPoE Type 3 and 4PPoE Type 4.

cable requirement for 4PPoE

Source: Cisco.com

Benefits of 4PPoE

  • Increased Power Budget: By utilizing all four pairs of wires, 4PPoE significantly increases the power budget available for each device. This allows for the powering of high-wattage devices such as pan-tilt-zoom cameras, IP telephony systems, and even small appliances.
  • Extended Reach: Traditional PoE systems are limited in the distance over which they can transmit power. With 4PPoE, the increased power and efficiency enable power delivery over longer distances, reducing the need for additional power sources or complex wiring configurations.
  • Simplified Installations: By combining data and power into a single cable, 4PPoE simplifies installation processes. This reduces cable clutter, lowers installation costs, and streamlines network deployments, especially when adding power outlets is challenging.
  • Future-Proofing: As network devices continue to evolve and demand more power, 4PPoE provides a future-proof solution. Its higher power capabilities ensure compatibility with emerging technologies, allowing networks to scale and adapt to changing requirements.

Applications of 4PPoE

Thin Client Applications

The deployment of thin client and point-of-sale (POS) devices is on the rise, driven by the need for streamlined and efficient computing solutions. These devices typically operate within a power range of 50-100W, with POS systems at the lower end but potentially escalating with advancements in graphic performance. As businesses increasingly adopt thin client architectures for their computing needs, the demand for reliable and robust power solutions like 4 Pair PoE becomes paramount, ensuring seamless operation and sustained productivity.

Access Point Applications

Wireless access points are like the main hubs of modern networks, making it easy for different devices to connect to the internet. The ones we use now usually need about 16 watts of power, but newer ones might need up to 35-40 watts, especially if they're more advanced. Also, adding femto-cell radio heads makes it even more important to have a good way to deliver power efficiently. That's where 4 Pair PoE comes in handy, as it's a crucial solution for keeping these important parts of wireless networks powered up.

Recharge/Powering Applications

As consumer preferences shift towards streamlined and cable-free setups, the integration of power and data transmission into a single link presents significant advantages. With power requirements ranging from 70-90W for powering and 50-60W for recharging, 4 Pair PoE not only simplifies setups but also enhances user experience by eliminating the clutter of multiple cables and adapters.

Docking Applications

Docking stations serve as versatile hubs for connecting peripherals and expanding the functionality of devices such as laptops and tablets. In docking applications, the power dynamics are flexible, allowing appliances to either draw power from the docking station or power the station itself. With power requirements typically falling within the 70-100W range, 4 Pair PoE enables seamless integration and powering of docking stations, enhancing the usability and versatility of modern computing setups.

Reference: ieee802.org


4PPoE represents a significant advancement in Power over Ethernet technology, offering increased power capabilities, extended reach, and simplified installations. By leveraging all four pairs of wires in an Ethernet cable, 4PPoE enables the seamless integration of data and power, unlocking new possibilities for network deployments across various industries. As technology continues to evolve, 4PPoE stands at the forefront, powering the networks of tomorrow with efficiency and innovation.

Rich Tull

Rich Tull
R.W. Tull is the President of Versitron, a leading technology company specializing in data communication and networking solutions. With expertise in Guiding network switches and media converters, R.W. Tull has played a pivotal role in driving Versitron's success. His deep understanding of these technologies has enabled the company to provide innovative and reliable solutions to clients. As a visionary leader, He ensures that Versitron remains at the forefront of the industry, delivering cutting-edge networking solutions that enhance data communication efficiency.
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