This chapter provides an overview of:
Power over Ethernet technology allows IP telephones, wireless LAN Access
Points and other appliances to receive power as well as data over existing LAN
cabling, without needing to modify the existing Ethernet infrastructure.
Power over Ethernet has become a standard feature of ethernet switches, as
the cost of adding power supplies to the Ethernet switches is small. IEEE
802.3af is an extension to the existing Ethernet standards. It offers the first
truly international standard for power distribution (consider how many
different AC power plugs exist worldwide).
Almost all appliances require both data connectivity and a power supply. Just
as telephones are powered from the telephone exchange through the same
twisted pair that carries the voice, we can now do the same thing with Ethernet
The technology is bound to make a big impact in the world of embedded
computing. In the realm of embedded computers, where the systems are
increasingly connected to LANs and the internet, the advantages of providing
power and data through a single cable should be obvious. Consider a typical
application: a system for a multi-level car parking garage that includes security
cameras, information signs, call-for-help telephones and vehicle sensors. Such
a system is distributed over a significant area, where main power is not easily
available. A single link to a PoE Ethernet Switch makes implementing this
system less expensive and faster than using a non-PoE switch.
Power over Ethernet (PoE/PoE+).
A list of reasons why you might want to implement PoE in your network
How PoE supplies power over twisted pair cable.
The capabilities of the devices used to provide PoE.