Page 71 - 2020 Interconnect Innovations eBook
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3. Simplified IT Integration Using a Standardized Communication Protocol
Ethernet is the most prominent method of wired data transmission in networked buildings and industrial environments. However, Ethernet was not typically used at the edge of industrial networks, where they connect to devices including sensors, actuators, and various other peripheral devices. Before, fieldbus systems were used due to lower cost and extend link reach. Two and four-pair Ethernet can transmit data over distances up to 100m, while some of the fieldbus protocols can achieve communication distances of over 1,000m.
However, fieldbus technology presents unfavorable challenges when sending information to the other levels of an industrial network. Additional gateways and protocol translators are required to establish direct communication between fieldbus and Ethernet networks, which results in additional cost and network complexity.
Single-Pair Ethernet technology solves the primary Ethernet pain point in the industrial field networks, the long data reach, by extending the data link to 1,000m. With SPE, it is now possible to establish Ethernet communication from the enterprise level to the sensor networks using one unified SPE protocol. Furthermore, since SPE technology is based on the standardized TCP/IP protocols, it enables the use of other network diagnostic and monitoring protocols including the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), simple network management protocol (SNMP), and link layer discovery protocol (LLDP). These tools allow IT personnel and engineers to easily monitor, diagnose, and troubleshoot all devices and components on the network.
4. Compatible with Current and Future Network Infrastructures
Ethernet is compatible with a wide range of devices and is the most universally employed communication technology in IT environments, building networks, and — most recently —industrial applications. Single-Pair Ethernet was developed in response to the universal use of Ethernet, to fill the gap at the network’s edge.
Interoperability is an important trend for network infrastructures, as it means that all connected devices have the ability to communicate with one another. Under the IEEE 802.3 standard, SPE will democratize Ethernet communications, making it available at all levels of the manufacturing floor and eliminating the need to change out fieldbus systems in the future.
Backed by internationally recognized IEEE 802.3, ISO/IEC, and TIA 42 standards, Single-Pair Ethernet will become the go-to technology for industrial communications. In order to advance the deployment and adoption of industrial SPE technology, several connectivity companies have joined together to form the SPE Industrial Partner Network. This group is committed to developing and disseminating clear recommendations for the implementation of Single- Pair Ethernet networks and ensuring compatibility between all products in the SPE ecosystem.
» Representatives from the founding members of the SPE Industrial Partner Network — HARTING, TE Connectivity, Hirose, Würth Elektronik, LEONI, Murrelektronik, and Softing IT Networks — presented the SPE concept at the Hannover Messe and SPS trade events in November 2019.

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