What is a digital ceiling, anyway? Microchip Announces New PoE Switch for Ethernet Building Automation Design.
This week, Microchip announced through its subsidiary Microsemi an eight-port device that offers a guaranteed power of 60W per port for all eight ports simultaneously: the PDS-408G.
The 480-watt fanless switch is designed for digital lighting applications and will connect separate systems such as lighting, sensors, HVAC, and Wi-Fi access points through a single switch.
PoE Building Automation
Building automation is a term that refers to automation that is specific to the internal workings of a building. Generally this will often refer to commercial grade buildings or compounds, but the concept extends both ways towards smaller systems like smart homes and huge systems like smart cities. You can refer to this summary on building automation for a bird’s-eye view of recent developments related to this application.
Microchip, among other big players in the field, is looking closely at PoE as the solution for more connected buildings.
Interestingly, the application that Microchip has in mind for this switch is the “Microchip Digital Ceiling”:
All images are courtesy of Microchip.
The concept is that this switch carries power and data to various Ethernet terminals for connected lighting, power systems, security, etc.
In addition to providing a 60W guarantee to each port, the PDS-408G can also deliver 90W to any port.
Plenum-Rated, Fanless Design
A full space in a building is an area with a specific amount of air flow. It is an excellent place to lay power and / or communication cables. That’s because no matter how efficient the wiring system is, some heat will be generated.
The PDS-408G, combined with proper wiring, will not overwhelm the heat transfer capacity of a chamber space.
A closer look at the PDS-408-G. Microsemi image.
The PDS-408G is designed to be fanless, which can be an important specification for applications that require quiet operation. The lack of fans also helps reduce maintenance needs, as there are fewer moving parts that are not working properly.
Power over Ethernet
Ethernet can be considered as a type of local internet. It is used for communication between local networks of devices, providing Internet and data connections within homes and offices. For the curious, you can view a project using Microchip’s Ethernet of Everything (or EoE) kit from our comedy series, MIT-i.
Power over Ethernet means that the same cable that carries digital information to a remote device also delivers its electrical power. The obvious analogy is a USB cable, which can charge a smartphone and also communicate with it.
This means that only one cable needs to be run, not two. This saves time, money, and simplifies the installation process.
“The demand for Power over Ethernet in connected lighting systems has accelerated, and our new PoE switch is specifically designed for the needs of these applications,” said Rich Simoncic, senior vice president, Analog, Discrete and Power business unit. Microchip. “The PDS-408G continues Microchip’s leadership in PoE technology, providing an IEEE 802.3bt compliant solution that provides nearly six times the amount of power as the original PoE standard.”
The IEEE 802.3bt Power over Ethernet (PoE) standard
To avoid an electronic tower of Babel in which the systems of each manufacturer were incompatible with those of others, the IEEE intervened and established a standard, IEEE 802.3. The IEEE 802.3 standard was updated last month to ensure that the standard can serve the growing IoT and the data centers emerging to serve it.
The arrival of 5G will make power over Ethernet an even more pressing issue. We discussed some of these issues in last month’s article on STMicroelectronics’ new PoE chipset, the PM8804 and PM8805.
At the other end of the cable: The Ethernet of everything
As Microchip puts it, “Whether it’s called the Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial IoT, or Industrial Ethernet, now you can connect and control anything ‘: garage openers, appliances, HVAC systems, lighting and a host of other devices. common. products “.
To that end, the company offers a wide range of products to facilitate the “Ethernet of everything.”
The Ethernet of everything
To designers, the “EoE” seems like a series of resources, including hardware like the PDS-408G, a portfolio of EoE-compliant MCUs, accompanying firmware, and a host of downloadable application notes and dashboard design files. . If you decide to try one of these board designs for yourself, let us know about your experiences in the comments below.
For many, PoE is an obvious choice when connecting remote (or not-so-remote) devices via Ethernet to a controller. Not surprisingly, many manufacturers have entered the fray. However, most are slowly adapting to the latest version of the 802.3 standard.
A couple of players you’ll want to be aware of include:
- Yoda’s PU842G series are eight port PoE switches. Various versions of the series adhere to combinations of the new IEEE 802.3bt standard and the old IEEE 802.3at and IEEE 802.3af standards.
- Phoenix Contact Series 4000 complies with IEEE 802.3bt. They are touted as suitable for powering and communicating with devices such as high-power cameras over Ethernet cables.
If we have lost someone, please let us know and we will update this section.
Working with PoE in a current design? Let us know in the comments below.