IEEE Forms 4-Pair Power Over Ethernet (PoE) Study Group

New group to explore benefits of more efficient, higher-power PoE solution for networked devices

PISCATAWAY, N.J.--()--IEEE, the world's largest professional organization advancing technology for humanity, today announced formation of a new study group to consider initiating a formal project to standardize 4-pair Power over Ethernet (PoE). The IEEE 802.3™ 4-pair Power over Ethernet Study Group will consider a 4-pair solution’s capability to enhance energy efficiency and provide greater than 25.5 Watts of power in improving PoE, which has become the preferred method to power networked devices, such as IP phones, access points and other network devices.

“The formation of this study group will allow collaboration on a proposal for the development of a 4-pair PoE standard, which would allow support of new PoE applications in the areas of IPTV, industrial Ethernet and more,” said David Law, chair of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group and distinguished engineer with HP Networking. “A 4-pair approach would result in increased efficiency, since the use of additional pairs results in lower channel resistance.”

Individuals interested in the future of PoE standards are invited to contribute to the IEEE 802.3 4-pair Power over Ethernet Study Group, which is scheduled to meet during the IEEE 802.3 Interim Meeting, 14-17 May 2013 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

"PoE has become the dominant powering method in many Ethernet-based products—access points and IP phones, for example—demonstrating that customers will migrate towards convenience,” said Chad Jones, chair of the IEEE 802.3 4-pair Power over Ethernet Study Group. “Enabling applications beyond 25.5 Watts will extend this convenience to other products. An additional benefit is the reduction of power lost in the delivery channel by at least half. This benefit can be extended to existing powered products by moving from a 2-pair powering system to a new 4-pair powering system."

Added Wael William Diab, vice chair of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group and senior technical director with Broadcom: “A 4-pair PoE standard would result in increased power and increased efficiency for Power over Ethernet applications. The group’s main purpose is to continue the success of the PoE family of standards, which started with IEEE P802.3af™ DTE Power via MDI Task Force and the IEEE P802.3at™ DTE Power Enhancements Task Force. Both resulting standards are part of the Ethernet family of interfaces and are part of the recent revision of IEEE 802.3-2012 ‘Standard for Ethernet.’”

Ethernet is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Deployment of technology defined by the IEEE 802.3 standard is already globally pervasive, driven by the ever-growing needs of local area, access and metropolitan area networks around the world. Beyond traditional networks, new application areas such as networking for industrial, automotive and other industries are looking to expand their reliance on Ethernet in their networks. To better address the needs of all of these areas, the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standard is constantly evolving and expanding. The success of the standard—from its inception through today—has been its open and transparent development process, which is an example of the "OpenStand" principles ( These principles encapsulate a modern paradigm for global, open standards that can be extended broadly to other technology spaces.

For more information on the IEEE 802.3 4-pair Power over Ethernet Study Group, please visit

For more information about the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group, please visit

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Call for Interest (CFI) Consensus Building Panel Members

Martin McNarney, associate product line director, Physical Layer Products, Broadcom: “As higher-power applications become more common and draw attention to the need for energy efficient technologies, the approval for this study group’s review of 4-pair Power over Ethernet technology is timely. The outcomes of the study group will complement the rich and diverse IEEE 802.3 PoE interfaces in order to address next-generation PoE system requirements.”

Francois Crepin, president, international and strategic accounts, Akros Silicon: “The increasing demand for higher-power PoE connections will benefit greatly from standardization. The 4-pair PoE, through improved energy efficiency, will enable a broad range of new connected applications such as thin clients, industrial Ethernet, IPTV, building management and lighting control systems, nurse call systems, IP cameras and point-of-sale terminals.”

David Tremblay, senior hardware engineer, Hewlett-Packard: “The proven success of the IEEE 802.3af and IEEE 802.3at standards has set the stage for a new 4-pair PoE study group. With an increase in higher-power applications along with green and energy efficiency growing in today’s Ethernet market, a standard 4-pair PoE alternative is imperative for next-generation PoE systems.”


Shuang Yu, +1 732-981-3424
Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing

Release Summary



Shuang Yu, +1 732-981-3424
Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing