Header News

The potential of SPE

Single-Pair Ethernet is a growth market

25 ene 2023

News 2023 01 SPE
In 2030 50 million SPE nodes are already anticipated in factory automation alone

– in factory automation and building infrastructure

Single-Pair Ethernet (SPE) is an exciting new standard for intelligent network communication. This technology allows the seamless transfer of data via Ethernet by only one pair of conductors. The development of SPE originated in the automotive industry, where it is clear to see the trend towards ever smaller and more sophisticated devices and connection techniques, for example in future technologies such as autonomous driving. In cars SPE can reduce the complexity of the cabling and significantly increase the reliability of communication by comparison with bus systems.

But SPE is also suitable for applications in machine and plant engineering, in process technology and for building infrastructure. For with SPE field devices, sensors and actuators can simply be integrated into the existing Ethernet environment at company level, i.e. into a consistent IP Infrastructure, without the need for additional gateways and interfaces to other protocols and proprietary bus systems.

So it is no wonder that many market researchers credit this technology with huge growth – not only in the automotive sector but also in other industries. According to a study by The Insight Partners the global SPE market will grow to 3.6 billion US dollars by 2028. According to the analysts, the growth drivers include industrial automation, IoT-based applications, adoption of industrial robots and the trend towards real-time monitoring, all calling for faster communication with lesser downtime.

In 2030 50 million SPE nodes are already anticipated in factory automation alone (see image). Another important field of application will certainly be building automation. For, as has been said, SPE makes it possible to transfer the existing very differing interfaces and transmission protocols into a uniform IP-based communication.

Energy consumption must be monitored and traffic flows optimised in order to make our cities more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Here flow sensors (air, gas, water) as well as cameras and presence sensors are utilised. A reliable, robust, and high-performance infrastructure is needed to network these systems. And in wind farms and solar parks various sensors, devices and controls also have to be connected over sizeable distances. The number of communication participants using Single-Pair Ethernet will therefore significantly increase in tomorrow’s “smart cities”.

According to a report by 650 Group the worldwide market for Single-Pair Ethernet will reach 500 million ports by the end of the decade. “For decades, a combination of industry giants, IT, and networking vendors have discussed the convergence of IT and Operational Technology (OT), including building automation and manufacturing. Now the market is ready to merge IT and industrial devices with Ethernet, connecting many more millions of devices to the network,” said Alan Weckel, Founder and Technology Analyst at 650 Group.

As a member of the SPE System Alliance, Datwyler IT Infra sees itself as a “driver” of SPE standardisation. Here Datwyler’s focus is on solutions and services in the field of intelligent buildings. One core competence is the development and manufacture of high-quality Ethernet data cables.  Modules and connectors are in preparation for the provision of all-in-one solutions for in-house cabling and building automation, ranging from patch panels to faceplate. They will be combinable with Datwyler’s data outlets and 19 inch patch panels. In addition, an SPE portfolio for factory automation will be available at Datwyler. Further information can be found in Panorama No. 2/2022 (from page 26).