HARTING made its way into various standardisation bodies at a very early stage for single-pair Ethernet (SPE) and the HARTING T1 Industrial connector. Ethernet via mere Single Twisted Pair cable is a completely new transmission technology that requires entirely new components in an end-to-end connection. This is reason enough to think outside the box when it comes to the effort to set standards.
The trend towards ever smaller and more powerful devices is finding its way into more and more industries. In addition, ever higher data rates need to be transmitted, which requires smaller and lighter cabling components as well. Single-pair Ethernet (SPE) enables data transmission via Ethernet over only a single twisted pair, as well as enabling simultaneous power supply to end devices via PoDL (Power over Data Line) and thus the barrier-free connection of field devices and sensor/actuator technology.
That's why HARTING made its way into various standardisation bodies at a very early stage. Ethernet with only a single twisted-pair cable is a completely new transmission technology that requires entirely new components in an end-to-end connection. This is reason enough to create the normative foundations for a whole PES ecosystem. There are several standard proposals for SPE connector faces. When it comes to standardised industrial interfaces, which are established as an integrated solution via international voting on industrial cabling and device standards, there is only one -- the HARTING T1 Industrial according to IEC 63171-6.
Countering user uncertainty
While two pairs of wires are required for Fast Ethernet and four pairs are required for Gigabit Ethernet, these TCP/IP-based data streams can be transmitted with the new Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) over only one wire pair. Hence new components are needed in future devices, e.g. PHY's (Physical Layer) and Magnetics. However, the infrastructure of connectors and matching cables must also adapt to the development. Over the past few months, several connector manufacturers have presented connector solutions for SPE. Different standards proposals are now being discussed for these different interfaces, which is once again -- understandably -- causing uncertainty in the market. Users are repeatedly coming back to HARTING with legitimate questions such as "Will there be several standards side by side?", "Are the connector standards compatible?", "What’s the right one for me as a user?"
Pioneer in the standardisation of SPE connection technology
The first SPE connector draft standard was submitted by HARTING in 2016 in the IEC committee SC48B and published as IEC 61076-3-125 up to the CD document. In 2017, CommScope submitted a further mating face for standardisation, with the committee subsequently deciding to create the IEC 63171 series of standards for all SPE connectors. The standards that are already in the works are being finalised as self-contained documents and integrated into this new series of standards as part of revisions. The ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 25/WG 3 committee plays a key role in the standardisation effort. Here, the cabling standards according to ISO/IEC 11801 are created and maintained, based on the IEEE 802.3 standards.
The following standards projects for SPE mating faces are currently in progress:
|IEC 63171||Basic standard with all necessary specifications and test sequences (CD in preparation)|
|IEC 63171-1||Proposal by CommScope based on the LC interlocking for M1I1C1E1 applications (CDV available)|
|IEC 63171-2||Proposal by Reichle & De-Massari for M1I1C1E1 applications (CD available)|
|IEC 63171-3||Proposal from Siemon based on one pair of the well-known Tera connectors for M1I1C1E1 applications (NP available)|
|IEC 63171-4||Proposal by BKS for M1I1C1E1 applications (NP available)|
|IEC 63171-5||Proposal by Phoenix Contact, based on the IEC 63171-2 mating face for M2I2C2E2 and M3I3C3E3 applications (CD available)|
|IEC 63171-6 (bisher IEC 61076-3-125)||Proposal of the companies HARTING, Hirose and TE Connectivity for M2I2C2E2 and M3I3C3E3 applications (CDV available, FDIS in preparation and final publication 2019)|
Summary: This makes the connector introduced by HARTING the first to be standardised worldwide.
Cabling standards for SPE
SPE and connectors standardised for it are incorporated into the current cabling standards. Internationally, this concerns the series of standards for structured cabling according to ISO/IEC 11801 as well as the European standard series in CENELEC according to EN 50173.
The implementation of SPE into the ISO/IEC 11801 documents is of great importance because it is solely this standard that contains a description of the cabling channels with all the necessary parameters (length, number of connections, bandwidth and the complete set of transmission parameters including NEXT, FEXT, shielding properties, etc.) with relation to the environment – MICE– and can then be metrologically verified by the user after installation. For the US markets, including Canada and Mexico, standards are being prepared for ANSI/TIA-568.5 and TIA TR42.7. In the TIA42 papers this is updated via the addendum TIA-1005-A-3.
In conjunction with connector and cable standards, these cabling standards provide the user with clear guidelines on the structure of cabling, the components to be used to meet performance specifications, and the threshold limits for cabling verification. As such, they are the most important instrument for setting up and operating SPE cabling. At the same time, they ensure compatibility between devices and cabling via the references to the component standards (e.g., connectors according to IEC 63171-6 HARTING T1 Industrial.This compatibility is a basic prerequisite for the functioning of networks and connections based on SPE and thus the basis for IIoT. The use of cabling components other than those specified in ISO/IEC 11801-3 Amd.1 is not standard-compliant and carries the risk of incompatibility and loss of functionality. This is why ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 25/WG 3 and TIA 42, at the start of 2018, initiated an international selection process to establish uniform interfaces. These were co-initiated by the IEEE 802.3.
More than 20 expert panels have participated in this international selection process of the IEC. As a result of this selection, two mating faces have prevailed:
- for building cabling (M1I1C1E1) the mating face according to IEC 63171-1: CommScope
- for industrial and industry-related applications (M2I2C2E2 and M3I3C3E3) the mating face according to IEC 63171-6 (previously IEC 61076-3-125): HARTING T1 Industrial
SPE needs completely new components and corresponding standards for interfaces, cables and a new transmission standard.
Pre-requisite for large-scale use
TIA 42 has confirmed the results of ISO/IEC, and as such there is significant global consensus on the SPE interfaces. These selected mating faces will now be incorporated into the respective international standards. The end-to-end compatibility of devices, cables and connectors in different fields of application fulfils the requisite condition for the large-scale use and hence the success of SPE technology, and creates planning security for all market participants.
DKE - German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies
The DKE is the official German expertise centre for electrotechnical standardisation. As a platform for the results-oriented dialogue for the development of generally accepted electrotechnical norms and standards, the DKE represents German interests in the European and international standardisation organizations and implements the results of international standardisation work in the national standards collection. It is also a body of the DIN German Institute for Standardization as well as a division of VDE VERBAND DER ELEKTROTECHNIK ELEKTRONIK INFORMATIONSTECHNIK e.V. (Association of the Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies) and is supported by the VDE. The published standards are part of the German standards collection. To the extent that electrical safety regulations are concerned, these are simultaneously included in the VDE regulations. The results of the standardisation work of the IEC and CENELEC as well as the European Standards of the ETSI are published by the DKE in accordance with the rules of DIN in Germany. The DKE was founded in 1970 by VDE and DIN. It operates on the basis of the "Standards Contract" of 1975 between the Federal Republic of Germany and DIN. It is also a body of the DIN German Institute for Standardization as well as a division of VDE VERBAND DER ELEKTROTECHNIK ELEKTRONIK INFORMATIONSTECHNIK e.V. and is supported by VDE. The published standards are part of the German standards. As far as electrical safety regulations are concerned, these are simultaneously included in the VDE regulations. Results of the standardization work of the IEC and CENELEC as well as the European Standards of the ETSI are published by the DKE in accordance with the rules of DIN in Germany.
PHY (Physical Layer)
PHY is a term in computer and communications engineering that refers to a special integrated circuit or functional group of a circuit that is responsible for encoding and decoding data between a purely digital system and a modulated analog one. In classical Ethernet, the PHY is divided into three sublayers: the Physical Layer Signaling (PLS), the Attachment Unit Interface (AUI) and the Medium Attachment Unit (MAU). Fast Ethernet has four different architectures: 100Base-TX, 100Base-T4, 100Base-FX and 100Base-T2. In general, the PHY here consists of the sub-layers Physical Coding Sublayer (PCS), Physical Media Attachment (PMA), Physical Medium Dependent (PMD) and the Autonegotiation Sublayer with the Autonegotiation Protocol (ANP) and relies on the Medium Dependent Interface (MDI). The individual partial layers have various characteristics in the different Fast Ethernet variants. This applies to all partial layers, from the coding to the connector.