Single-pair Ethernet (SPE) forms the basis for the infrastructure that Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or Industry 4.0 makes possible. SPE cables can be installed in a space- and cost-saving manner. They enable the direct Communication from the cloud to the field level. Data is transmitted at a speed of up to 1 Gbit/s with just one pair of wires. Below you will find a lot of interesting facts and innovations of the new Ethernet standard.

Igus SPE line




The time has come for Single Pair Ethernet

SPE is unstoppable, which is not least due to the spread of Ethernet in industry. Weidmüller's experts are also certain that Single Pair Ethernet has reached the market-ready stage. The strong demand at the trade fairs of the past year would not allow any other conclusion.

According to Study by HMS Industrial Networks, around 2016% of all communication in industry was still based on fieldbuses in 64 and only 30% on Ethernet. In 2021, the ratio has reversed: 30% come on fieldbuses and 65% via Ethernet. The 5% share for wireless solutions remained unchanged.

Endress+Hauser joins SPE System Alliance

Endress Hauser Single Pair Ethernet06.05.2024 | Endress + Hauser is actively committed to promoting the digitalization of its customers. By joining the Single Pair Ethernet System Alliance, the company underlines its confidence in collaborating with other members as they work together to shape the future of automation technology.

Customers can from the interoperability benefit from the wide range of products offered by the members of the SPE System Alliance. With almost 75 members, this network represents the largest ecosystem of SPE products and offers customers an extensive selection. Endress+Hauser's participation in this alliance opens up new opportunities for exchanging know-how and experiences in order to offer tailor-made solutions.

Endress+Hauser is already actively working on developing a portfolio of Field devices with SPE. The goal is to create a unified approach, comparable to the manufacturer's Ethernet APL devices. The comparison with Ethernet APL, another industrial Ethernettechnology, illustrates the importance of a uniform connection and certification concept, regardless of whether it concerns non-hazardous or explosive areas. In this way, customers from various industries can flexibly benefit from the advantages of a high-performance information highway system.

Great Feedback for Single Pair Ethernet

Weidmüller plug-in face SPE23.08.2023 | Simon Seereiner, Head of Product Management IE & SAI Weidmüller, comments on the SPE trend from his own experience: “Last year, many of the major sensor manufacturers approached us at trade fairs and asked about Single Pair Ethernet. The sensors are becoming more and more complex, but space remains limited.

A system that can simultaneously supply a sensor with energy and Ethernet data using just one cable is extremely attractive. A great deal of feedback also came from system manufacturers from the process and building industries as well as from the factory and mechanical engineering sectors. Everyone now finally wants to use Single Pair Ethernet.”

Complete SPE portfolio from a single source

Weidmüller offers the complete SPE portfolio in IP20 and IP67 for all connection tasks in the field. It ranges from field-assembly connectors for on-site assembly to ready-made patch cables and entire device connection technology.

The connectors currently have the smallest mating face in accordance with IEC 63171 on the market. The volume is only 20% of an RJ45 socket. The components can be integrated into standardized M8 housings and M8 connectors, such as IO-Link or Profinet. Full compatibility between IEC 63171-2 (IP20) and IEC 63171-5 (IP67) is given. An IP20 connector can therefore be used as a service connector for IP67.

The world's first SPE product database is online

17.02.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX | The market for single pair Ethernet network technology is constantly growing. SPE Industrial Partner Network would like to have an overview of all users currently available components give. The System Alliance has created the world's first database for Single Pair Ethernet products.

Designers and development engineers can choose what they need for the development of prototypes or series production from hundreds of listed products. The address is:

IEC 63171-7 standard for hybrid SPE + Power M12 interfaces

09.06.2022 | The SPE Industrial Partner Network drives a new international standard for hybrid M12 single pair Ethernet + power interfaces Ahead. The 2021 standard initiated by TE Connectivity IEC 63171-7 standard is the logical further development of the hybrid M8 SPE+Power Interfaces. Leading members of the network published this in 2020 as the IEC 63171-6 Industrial Style standard.

With Kuka from the Harting connector to robot connectivity

Many industrial customers follow the strategy one device – one interface for future generations of miniaturized devices. Therefore, hybrid SPE connectivity is considered the key on the way to seamless Sensor to Cloud Ethernet Communication and power supply. The Single Pair Ethernet network members have pushed the hybrid M12 interface with different options for SPE and power supply contacts to support customers in the one device - one interface strategy.

Unison statements by the board members in the network

“We are pleased that more and more companies on the market are offering solutions for SPE based on our developments. This shows the acceptance of our solution and the need for a uniform solution for all industrial applications from a single source.", commented Frank Wezel, CEO of the network.

Eric Leijtens comments

Board member Eric Leijtens from TE Connectivity sees “the new standard for hybrid SPE connection technology in the M12 size as an absolutely necessary development step for the market. We are pleased that we can take this step in a great network with strong partners. Hybrid SPE connectors will clearly accelerate the acceptance of the interface in industrial applications by enabling easy and cost-effective networking of devices up to the so-called network edge for real-time, data-driven decisions."

Wolfgang Dötsch comments

board colleague Wolfgang Dotsch, Murrelektronik adds: “Seven different codings for data and power contacts always offer the user the right solution. Combined in an industrial standard housing like M12, the new IEC 63171-7 standard defines a universal single-interface solution for future industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices. We heard the needs of the market and created a suitable solution with a standardized interface."

Matthias Eick comments

Board member Matthew Eick von Helukabel emphasizes: "With the hybrid interfaces and their SPE standards for M8 and M12, our network members have built an important piece of the infrastructure puzzle for new Ethernet structures and business models. The simultaneous provision of data and power opens up new possibilities for small Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices and data transmission and consumption directly from the sensors."

Development cooperation for hybrid SPE cable assemblies

17.05.2022 | Phoenix Contact and TE Connectivity (TE) will jointly develop new hybrid Single Pair Ethernet M12 connection solutions. The M12 connectors conform to the specified hybrid format according to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard 63171-7. This was initiated in the standardization commission at the beginning of 2021 at the suggestion of TE.

The agreement connects the connectivity-Expertise and -competence of the cooperation partners. They want to use it to advance the market penetration of single pair Ethernet technology in industry. 

Priyank Kishor commented

“As a founding member of the SPE Industrial Partner Network, TE is committed to bringing the critical benefits of SPE technology to industrial networks. We now have a common roadmap for implementation, namely the development of hybrid interfaces. These should facilitate the integration of SPE into existing infrastructure. In cooperation with Phoenix Contact, we will jointly develop solutions that enable the widespread implementation of SPE,” comments Priyank Kishor, Global Product Management Leader, TE Connectivity.

The norm IEC 63171-7 specifies hybrid interfaces with SPE and power contacts in M12 format. The Single Pair Ethernet Standard describes 7 codings for a wide variety of applications with power classes from 8 to 16 A and from 50 V to 600 V. Previous concepts with (PoDL) Power over Data Line are limited to 50 W on the device. The possible applications for SPE M12 hybrid connectors, on the other hand, also include high-performance ones Roboticsystems, IIoT devices, servo and three-phase current Drive Technology. The universal SPE standard brings the industry an important step forward. It brings Ethernet to the edge of the industrial network, enabling the implementation of intelligent manufacturing.

SPE M12 hybrid connector

“The development partnership with TE forms the basis for the successful development and global marketing of SPE-M12 hybrid connectors. The new connectors according to the -7 standard supply devices with only one Ethernet cable and one interface for data and power in a cost- and space-saving manner. With this we reach the next milestone for a successful establishment of Single Pair Ethernet in the field level”, says Torsten Janwlecke, Member of the Management Board of Phoenix Contact and President of the Device Connectors Division.

The development activities focus in the first step on the encoding 2 (2 x 8A / 50VAC). The first series products are to be presented in early 2023.

New IEC 61918 standard regulates SPE cabling

21.04.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX | The new edition of the installation standard was published in March of this year IEC 61918:2018/AMD1:2022 Amendment 1 - "Industrial communication networks - Installation of communication networks in industrial premises". This standard describes the structure of communication networks such as single pair Ethernet in industry. 

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Single pair Ethernet becomes the standard interface

12.02.2020/XNUMX/XNUMX | Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) users are finally gaining investment security. As the technology company Harting announced yesterday, the IEC standards committee SC 48B for connection technology published IEC 23-63171 on January 6 as an international standard for single pair Ethernet SPE interfaces. 

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Technology leaders establish single pair Ethernet partnership

14.11.2019/XNUMX/XNUMX |Connector specialist Harting, TE Connectivity, Hirose, Würth Elektronik, Leoni, Murrelektronik and Softing IT Networks are co-founders at the SPS SPE Industrial Partner Network an open partner network for companies that are actively promoting Single Pair Ethernet for the fast-growing IIoT market. The ones on the Hannover Messe This significantly expands the SPE cooperation presented in 2019. 

SPE as the basis for the infrastructure

Single Pair Ethernet is the infrastructure foundation that makes IIoT and Industry 4.0 possible. The strong partnership of technology leaders is in favor of the one defined by ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 25/WG 3 and TIA42 in 2018 Interface T1 Industrial according to IEC 63171-6 as a uniform Media Dependent Interface (MDI). For the reliable establishment of the entire future single pair Ethernet ecosystem, standards for protocols for transmission, cabling and device components are also jointly supported. Therefore, all members of the partner program as well as the ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 25/WG 3 are in close exchange and intensive cooperation with IEEE 802.3 and IEC SC46C for uniform transmission standards and copper data cables.

For future users, this organization is the first point of contact for all questions and concerns about the structure of SPE networks and devices. Via the information channels, users are always provided with news and information on Single Pair Ethernet technology. The partner network thus provides transparency and clear recommendations for the development of future IIoT applications and is at the same time a central information and exchange platform for interested parties.

Single Pair Ethernet cooperation between Harting and TE

15.04.2019/XNUMX/XNUMX | The Harting Technology Group cooperates with TE. Together, both partner companies want to advance Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) as a de facto infrastructure solution for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The two companies want to develop solutions for the SPE infrastructure.

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New standards for single pair Ethernet technology

28.03.2019/XNUMX/XNUMX | The companies Phoenix Contact, Weidmüller Interface, Reichle + Massari (R+M), Belden and FlukeNetworks announce a technology partnership for the Single Pair Ethernet (SPE). The companies develop and support the single pair Ethernet technology connector faces of IEC 63171-2 (office environment) and IEC 63171-5 (industrial environment) that have been jointly introduced into the standardization.

Define the norms IP20 and IP65/67 mating faces for one- and four-pair data transmission in single-pair Ethernet applications. In order to have a coordinated infrastructure for devices, connectors, Cables and Measurement Technology To ensure this, the companies pool their technological know-how.

Transmission distances of up to 1000 m

Data cabling with just one pair of wires enables transmission distances of up to 1000 m at transmission rates of 10Mbps up to 1Gbps. This makes Single Pair Ethernet particularly suitable for infrastructure applications in mechanical and plant engineering, process technology, but also for the Buildingsinfrastructure. The big advantage: SPE is environmentally neutral. Field devices, sensors and actuators can be easily integrated into the existing Ethernet environment at the enterprise level. Additional Gateways and interfaces are omitted.

The development of single pair Ethernet has its origin in the Automotive industry. The trend towards the development of smaller and more powerful devices can be clearly felt there. Pioneering technologies like that autonomous driving require a connection technology such as single pair Ethernet technology, which enables higher data rates to be transmitted in a small space. Other industries can also benefit from this approach.

The mating face for SPE communication

14.01.2019/XNUMX/XNUMX | All relevant standardization bodies have now signed up for the Harting design of a Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) connector face. This is IEEE802.3 for the single pair Ethernet protocol and ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 25 or TIA 42 for the cabling.

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Products for SPE technology

Switches for robust single pair Ethernet

04.12.2023 | Harting presents a new one Switch for Single-pair Ethernet before. It has a protection rating of IP67 and can withstand the rigors of a harsh outdoor environment in its robust metal housing. It is tested for rail vehicles according to EN 50155 and ensures secure data communication.

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SPE plug-in face T1 Industrial in a mini push-pull housing

November 21.11.2023, XNUMX | Recognized by international standards bodies T1 Industrial Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) interface according to IEC 63171-6 is based on a modular system that integrates seamlessly into Harting's broad product portfolio. The T1 interface in the mini push-pull housing is new.

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First managed switches for single pair Ethernet 

03.08.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX | With the new single pair Ethernet switch FL Switch 2303-8SP1 from Phoenix Contact sensors and field devices can be integrated directly into Ethernet networks. The first managed switches with PES Interface supports eight ports of Single Pair Ethernet with the 10Base-T1L standard.

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Data with SPE technology from the sensor to the Jumo Cloud

16.02.2023 | Jumo integrated the Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) technology in three new sensor products: the humidity, CO2 and temperature measurement transmitters Jumo Hydrotrans, the flow transmitter Jumo flow Trans MAG H20 and the pressure transmitter Jumo Delos S02. 

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Single Pair Ethernet components for harsh environments 

16.01.2023 | Belden introduces its Single Pair Ethernet portfolio, designed to optimize Ethernet connectivity in harsh environments including industrial and transportation applications. The SPE program includes IP20 certified circuit boards Connectors, connecting cables and connecting cables for classic environments as well as IP65 / IP67 certified M8/M12 based connecting cables, connecting cables and built-in connectors for reliable industrial Ethernet connections of field devices. This enables the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

The SPE components serve as the basis for the real-time communication between the cloud and all devices in the network as well as the corporate backbone. This improves process efficiency and lowers operating costs. The Single Pair Ethernet portfolio is suitable for the implementation of predictive maintenance or digital twins.

SPE for logistics

In logistics, the SPE products offer an outer diameter reduced by 30% 30% improved flex behavior. Narrow spaces between vehicle bodies reduce the problem. Wiring is simplified by the greater choice of connection options. The weight of the single pair Ethernet connection is reduced by almost half.

"In Industry 4.0 and modern transportation applications, it is critical that real-time data from connected field devices is simultaneously monitored, seamlessly exchanged and analyzed to ensure optimal performance of operations," he said Chen Zhang, product manager at Belden. "Our SPE product portfolio ensures reliable connections and offers our customers a forward-looking solution for mission-critical industrial applications and revolutionary new transport applications."

The Single Pair Ethernet components are compact, durable and offer a significantly higher range. This makes them predestined for network connections in mechanical engineering, Automotive industry, food technology and beverage industry, intralogistics, local transport systems, traffic control systems, rail transport, train stations and rail-bound rolling stock.

High-speed SPE connectors with 1 Gbit/s

12.01.2023 | The Ethernet compliant portfolio is joined by 1000 Base-T4 and 10G Base-T4 compliant solutions Lemo a new series Single-pair Ethernet connectors with a data transmission speed of up to 1 Gbit/s. These miniature models are offered with 1 or 2 high-speed SPE pairs. 

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Automotive Single Pair Ethernet Connectors

09.11.2022 | The networking of Automobiles is one of the most important parts of driver assistance systems and autonomous driving systems. The data that is sent and processed is enormous, but it still has to be transmitted securely and, above all, quickly. Automotive Ethernet makes it possible to transmit such high data rates at high frequencies within the car.

Yamaichi Electronics offers the perfect single pair Ethernet connector with the Y-HDE series (HF116). The high-speed data Ethernet connectors for Gigabit Ethernet transmit data rates of up to 20 Gbps. The Y-HDE meets all the requirements of automotive systems such as qualification based on the LV214 and the Uscar standard.

core of SPE connector is the differential contact pair, which is separated from an external contact. In the 90° version, the contacts are continued via a die-cast housing. This shields the data. The front insulating body or the coding is available in a variety of colors. Each color is also assigned a mechanical coding. This means the installer is doubly protected against accidentally inserting the cable side incorrectly.

Gateways for Industry 4.0 factory networks

The Fast Ethernet series is available as Single- (a differential contact pair), double or Quad-Version. All variants are available in different color and mechanical codings. This allows the user to flexibly select signal paths according to the application and requirements. The Y-HDE connectors can be processed fully automatically using the THR process. They are delivered in Tape & Reel packaging. Custom solutions such as a panel version are also available.

Note: The BroadR-Reach method is also available for connectivity applications in automobiles. The Ethernet physical layer standard allows multiple vehicle onboard systems to access information simultaneously over unshielded single twisted pair cables.

SPE cable for drag chain and torsion applications

16.09.2020 | Leoni was the first manufacturer to develop two cables for single pair Ethernet. Now the Ethernet cables of the industrial data transmission standard can also be used for the Drag chain and torsion applications are used. Leoni is a founding member of the SPE Industrial Partner Network e. V.  

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SPE cable with a long service life for the energy chain

05.12.2019 | Provides for the movement in the energy chain Igus the first SPE "Chainflex" cable. Using only one pair of wires reduces the outer diameter by 25%. the Chainflex CFBUS.PUR.042 Single pair Ethernet cable was specially developed for flexible, long-lasting use in the energy chain. 

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Frequently asked questions

How does Single Pair Ethernet work?

Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) allows data to be transmitted over just one pair of wires, unlike traditional Ethernet connections that use four pairs of wires. SPE uses a special encoding technique to transmit data at high speed and low power consumption. This technology is particularly suitable for applications in industrial automation, automotive and building networking as it saves space and simplifies installation.

What are the advantages of SPE?

SPE offers Ranges of up to 1000 m at 10 Mbit transmission speed and up to 1 Gbit/s over shorter distances. SPE does not require any Gateways between machines, controls and a group-wide IP-based network. Single Pair Ethernet differs from classic Ethernet only on the physical layer. The layers above such as protocols, transport and application remain unchanged: data travels from the sensor to the cloud. Since SPE only requires one pair of wires, smaller and lighter cables and connectors can be used, which is particularly advantageous in applications where space is at a premium, such as in automotive construction or industrial automation. Depending on the specification, SPE can also support Power-over-Data-Line (PoDL) technology to transmit both data and power over the same cable.

How many members does the PES have?

The SPE System Alliance currently had 70 members from 33 countries (as of May 06.05.2024, XNUMX).

Source: This article is based on information from the following companies: Belden, Endress+Hauser, Harting, Igus, Jumo, Lemo, Leoni, Murr Electronic, Phoenix Contact, TE, Weidmüller, Yamaichi.

Author information
Angela Struck

Angela Struck is editor-in-chief of the development scout and freelance journalist as well as managing director of Presse Service Büro GbR in Ried.