Ethernet Alliance launches Gen 2 PoE Certification Program

Thursday, 12 November, 2020

Ethernet Alliance launches Gen 2 PoE Certification Program

The Ethernet Alliance has launched its Gen 2 Power over Ethernet (PoE) Certification Program, in response to rising industry and end-user demand for interoperable PoE products and solutions.

The program incorporates certification testing, certification logos and a public registry of certified products. With the completion of its successful Gen 2 pilot program, Gen 2 PoE Certified product testing will open to the public in December 2020.

David Tremblay, Technical Chair, PoE Subcommittee, Ethernet Alliance, notes that although PoE has made great strides recently, new survey results show that significant deployment challenges remain.

“As with any disruptive technology, building confidence in the marketplace is critical. This means ensuring broad interoperability between PoE-enabled devices, minimising confusion resulting from the growing number of PoE definitions and providing clarity over standardised versus non-standardised approaches,” Tremblay said.

Tremblay added that the Certification Program enables power sourcing equipment (PSE) and powered device (PD) manufacturers to deliver the functionality expected by end users, while helping to reduce the time to get interoperable PoE-enabled equipment to market.

The Certification Program incorporates testing and certification of equipment developed to IEEE 802.3bt, which defines two additional types of PSEs and PDs, Types 3 and 4, that support class 1–8 power up to 90 W over 4-pair cables.

With the program’s launch, new “EA Certified 2.0” logos are available for use on certified PoE products and supporting documentation. The new certification logos clearly identify PSE and PD products, offering a high level of confidence of interoperability between existing and new PoE devices from multiple manufacturers.

Prior to opening the testing to the public in December 2020, the Ethernet Alliance conducted a members-only PoE Gen 2 Certification pilot test program. Having completed interoperability testing, devices in the pilot program will receive EA Certified 2.0 approval and be added to the organisation’s public certified product registry.

A recent Ethernet Alliance survey highlighted the technology’s sustained growth, with two-thirds of respondents reporting more than 20 PoE devices already installed, and more than half expected to install 20 or more within the next 12 months.

IEEE 802/3bt, suitable for higher power applications like wireless access points, pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras and LED lighting, is expected to accelerate that trend. More than half of the respondents also reported that Ethernet Alliance Certification would significantly influence PoE buying decisions.

Peter Jones, Chairman of the Ethernet Alliance, noted that end users want to be comfortable buying and connecting devices, knowing they’ll work without any interoperability issues.

“Achieving that level of confidence comes from selecting products with certified interoperability. With customers being increasingly likely to choose certified products, PSE and PD manufacturers need to be part of the Ethernet Alliance Gen 2 PoE Certification Program — even for proprietary products — to ensure the highest level of interoperability possible,” Jones said.

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