Ethernet Alliance Gen 2 PoE Certification program aims to minimize confusion, build market confidence

The Ethernet Alliance, a global consortium dedicated to the continued success and advancement of Ethernet technologies, announced the launch of its Gen 2 Power over Ethernet (PoE) Certification Program.

Responding to rising industry and end user demand for seamlessly interoperating 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 July 2020.

“PoE has made great strides recently and its advantages are well documented. However, new survey results show 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, minimizing confusion resulting from the growing number of PoE definitions, and providing clarity over standardized versus non-standardized approaches,” said David Tremblay, technical chair, PoE Subcommittee, Ethernet Alliance; and system architect, Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

“The Ethernet Alliance Gen 2 PoE Certification Program enables power sourcing equipment (PSE) and powered device (PD) manufacturers to deliver the functionality end users expect, while helping to reduce the time needed to get interoperable PoE-enabled equipment to market – something that’s in the best interest of both the Ethernet ecosystem and customers alike.”

The Ethernet Alliance Gen 2 PoE Certification Program now 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 90W 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. Providing an unambiguous visual cue, 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.

In advance of opening the testing to the public in July 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 organization’s public certified product registry.

Ethernet Alliance members participating in the pilot program are Analog Devices; Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company; Cisco Systems; Fluke Networks; Microchip Technology Incorporated; ON Semiconductor Corporation; Signify; and Texas Instruments Incorporated.

A recent Ethernet Alliance survey of more than 800 PoE end users, network owners, system designers, and installers and integrators highlighted the technology’s sustained growth. Two-thirds of respondents reported 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, ideal 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 respondents also reported that Ethernet Alliance certification would significantly influence PoE buying decisions.

“PoE is an unstoppable wave, but what do end users really want from the technology? To be comfortable buying and connecting devices, knowing they’ll just work without any interoperability issues. Achieving that level of confidence comes from selecting products with certified interoperability,” said Peter Jones, chairman, Ethernet Alliance; and distinguished engineer, Cisco Systems.

“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.”

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