Twisted-Pair has a Definite Future in Building Infrastructure
Thu 8 Sep 2022 | Stuart McKay
For over 30-years Twisted-Pair (TP) cabling has been used to transmit voice, data, and power over the same infrastructure.
It has been crucial to integrating factory OT (operational technology) and IT (information technology) on a single TP Ethernet platform during that time as we have seen technological advancements that have expanded the use of the now-ubiquitous TP across domestic, enterprise, and industrial infrastructure.
With the newest single TP (SPE) up to 1000m and the usage of a small 18AWG cable and connection type, the flexibility and use across organisations have grown. Through this one technology, Industry 4.0 is being given to not just businesses but also to the factory floor through single pair (SPE) copper wire and the edge sensors. It has the potential to transmit data at rates of up to 10 Mbit/s across lengths of 100m while consuming up to 52W of power.
The importance of power over TP should not be overlooked, especially for remote powered devices. Remote DC power over the SPE connection is made possible by the IEEE 802.3bu standard, known as Power over Data Line (PoDL). This is like Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology for standard Ethernet, which is transforming smart building electrical and data communications infrastructure.
Panduit believes that TP is gaining traction as a viable substitute for connecting systems within smart buildings and industrial automation. As for the future of TP? Alternative methods of enhancing data rates are necessary in locations where replacing all of the copper cable is an expensive and time-consuming procedure, according to a number of recent research publications on the TP Technology.
One study looked at the maximum operating frequencies for TP, and it showed that the UK-standard TP can operate up to a carrier frequency of 5GHz. Higher carrier frequencies on Twisted-Pair can enable the data rates required by the future communication networks; allowing existing copper infrastructure to be utilised on the last mile complementing the fibre networks.
Fibre-optic cables will always provide higher data rates at a premium, but while building this infrastructure we can improve TP networks to increase throughput while in transition.