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Single-Pair Ethernet

Compact yet ground-breaking technology

What does single pair Ethernet (or SPE for short) mean and how is it different from conventional Ethernet?

Single Pair Ethernet cables are copper cables that contain just one twisted pair of wires (single pair) that they use for data transmission, for example in industrial applications. However, the conventional Ethernet cables from the LAN sector or industrial Ethernet cables use 2 or 4 core pairs depending on the transmission rate. Single pair Ethernet technology is therefore the lean, lightweight and material-saving Ethernet development for many current and future applications.

White paper "Single-pair Ethernet (SPE): the future of IIOT"

Manufacturers and users agree that single pair Ethernet is the future of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT). This has numerous advantages for users, but some aspects have to be taken into consideration now. This whitepaper explains which aspects are important and what users need to pay attention to.

What was SPE developed for?

Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) require a uniform network infrastructure across all levels and systems, as well as data transmission in real time.
The classic Ethernet, which already connects all upper layers in the automation pyramid, is often unsuitable for connecting the lowest field level because the cables are difficult to connect and are oversized. Therefore, conventional Fieldbuses currently have advantages over the Ethernet standard in these areas.  They are the ones that regulate the exchange of information between sensors and actuators with the control level (PLC). These BUS systems are now to be replaced by SPE systems and corresponding SPE cables as soon as possible.


  1. Replacing Fieldbuses with future-proof single-pair Ethernet systems.
  2. Standardisation of technology in IP-based networks, from sensor to ERP or into the cloud to the benefit of smart factories.
  3. Miniaturisation of the cable saves material and costs and saves weight and space. Space plays an essential role in the networking of sensors and actuators in particular.
  4. Single-paired cable design enables significantly quicker and easier on-site installation and reduces the potential for errors during assembly.
  5. Cost-effectiveness due to the elimination of additional gateways that were previously used to connect the Fieldbuses to the higher-level standard Ethernet. The field level can be connected using SPE without these translators.
  6. SPE enables terminal devices to be supplied with up to 50 W via the data cable using PoDL (Power over Data Line). This is comparable to PoE, which has already proved its worth with today's Ethernet.
  7. The open cabling standard with compatible cabling components is suitable for universal use in the entire automation industry.

What's next with SPE?

To ensure that the new technology arrives quickly in factories, standardised communication protocols had to be created. This has been done in the meantime. The protocol standards according to IEEE 802.3 define the technical framework conditions for single-pair Ethernet transmissions in industrial applications; the industrial connector face “T1 Industrial Style” is standardised in IEC 63171-6.

The working group IEEE 802.3 has defined standards for different SPE applications.

SPE standardBit rateCable length point to pointCable length point to point
IEEE 802.3ch2,5/5,10 Gbit/s15 m-
IEEE 802.3bp1 Gbit/s40 m15 m
IEEE 802.3bw100 Mbit/s40 m15 m
IEEE 802.3cg10 Mbit/s1000 m and more-

ETHERLINE® T1 Cable Portfolio

Connecting cables from our ETHERLINE® T1 product family

The ETHERLINE® T1 product family contains various single-pair Ethernet cables for use in industrial machinery and systems.

  • ETHERLINE® T1 FD P is a shielded AWG26 cable for gigabits and use in cable chains (available soon).
  • ETHERLINE® T1 FLEX is an AWG22 cable for occasional flexing and is suitable for 100 Mbit and gigabit (already available).
  • ETHERLINE® T1 P FLEX is an AWG18 cable for 10 Mbit/s and distances up to 1000 m (available soon).


  • #2170921
  • PUR outer sheath
  • Cable chain
  • up to 1 Gbit/s
  • max. 40 m
  • UL AWM 80 °C, 300 V
  • #2170922
  • PVC outer sheath
  • Occasional flexing
  • 100 Mbit/s - 1 Gbit/s
  • max. 100 m
  • #2170924
  • PVC outer sheath
  • permanently installed
  • 10 Mbit/s
  • max. 1000 m
  • UL (in preparation)

LAPP is a member of the SPE Industrial Partner Network, a consortium of well-known companies that want to help SPE technology break through together.

The network of partners aims to create an integrated SPE infrastructure. The innovative technology should not only guarantee reliable data transmissions, but also provide standardised interfaces and system components. The foundation for this has already been laid by defining standards and working closely with international standards committees.

Learn more about SPE Industrial Partner Network