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Single-Pair Ethernet

Compact yet ground-breaking technology

Single Pair Ethernet: the cornerstone for the Smart Factory

The upgrade for the field level

Single-pair Ethernet cables are copper cables that contain just one twisted core pair (single pair) and are primarily intended for data transmission in industrial applications. Conventional Ethernet cables from the LAN sector or industrial Ethernet cables have two or four core pairs, depending on the data transmission rate. Single Pair Ethernet is a lean, lightweight and material-saving development of the industrial Ethernet. SPE enables a consistent and uniform network infrastructure right up to the field level. The Ethernet networking of the field devices, such as sensors and actuators, enables real-time data to be collected and analysed.

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SPE replaces conventional fieldbuses

The classic Ethernet, which already connects all upper layers in the automation pyramid, is unsuitable for connecting the lowest field level. The cables are complex to connect and oversized. Companies therefore still rely on conventional field buses, which regulate the exchange of information between the sensor and actuators with the control level (PLC). However, these BUS systems no longer meet the extensive requirements of a smart factory. This is why they are now being replaced by Single Pair Ethernet and the associated cables.

Advantages of Single Pair Ethernet

  1. Replacing fieldbuses for a future-proof smart factory
  2. Standardisation of technology in IP-based networks, from sensor to ERP and the cloud
  3. Material, weight and cost savings, significantly less space required
  4. Single-paired cable design for fast, easy installation and fewer errors during assembly
  5. Cost effectiveness through the elimination of gateways as "translators"
  6. Power-over-Data-Line for supplying terminal devices with up to 50 watts
  7. Open standard with compatible cabling components for universal use in the entire automation industry

What's next with SPE?

Standards ensure a quick entry into practice:

  • The protocol standards according to IEEE 802.3 define the technical framework conditions for Single Pair Ethernet data transmissions in industrial applications.
  • The industrial connector face "T1 Industrial Style" is standardised by 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-

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.

More about the SPE Industrial Partner Network

Ethernet Advanced Physical Layer: SPE for the process industry

Ethernet APL is the booster for networking at field level – especially for the process industry. Single Pair Ethernet with its consistent networking using one protocol is used as the basis. Ethernet APL extends this to include intrinsic safety for areas at risk of explosion with all the benefits of SPE.

LAPP offers an extensive portfolio for setting up Ethernet APL networks

Find out more about Ethernet APL here

The portfolio of SPE/Ethernet-APL products from LAPP