Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) enables the transmission of data via Ethernet with just one twisted pair of wires.Transfer rates of 10 MB/s to 1 GB/s are currently possible. In contrast, the previous Ethernet technology used in industrial applications requires two or four cable pairs. The two-wire design of Single Pair Ethernet therefore reduces the cabling weight by almost half compared to conventional categories of Ethernet cables.
Furthermore, SPE is used to standardize power transmission. Through Power over Dataline (PoDL), both power and data with an output of up to 50 W are transported on a cable, which are not compatible with the current Power over Ethernet standard.
The idea to develop SPE technology came from the automotive industry. That's because wiring accounts for a large part of the vehicle's weight. In industrial applications, Ethernet with SPE is intended to close the gap between the control system level and the field level, i.e., the sensor/actuator networks, and to create a consistent Ethernet connection. For this reason, SPE cables and connectors are significantly smaller, lighter, and easier to install than previous industrial Ethernet solutions, and ASi needs no connectors at all.
Today, the latest ASi generation is already conveniently and cost-effectively replacing many conventional Ethernet connections in the field. Besides the lower costs of ASi, its greatest advantage is that penetration technology makes it possible to completely eliminate the need for prefabricated cables and connectors.
What's more, ASi-5 is a completely redesigned system that is optimally adapted to the requirements of Industry 4.0. Thanks to the high data size and short cycle times, which are more than sufficient for many Ethernet-based automation solutions, many things that were previously impossible with AS-Interface can now be realized.
For this reason, ASi-5 is already being used to replace conventional Ethernet connections cost-effectively and conveniently. We offer a wide range of solutions for this. Here are three examples:
- Our ASi-5 Motor Module for SEW MOVIMOT® (BWU4068) enables the same data image as with an optionally available PROFINET interface from the manufacturer.
- The ASi-5 Motor Modules for Interroll EC5000 AI (BWU4246, BWU4212) offer the same drive control data as the manufacturer's Ethernet-based roller controllers.
- With our ASi-5 IO-Link Masters (e.g., BWU4067, BWU3819), you can save up to 40% on a medium-sized application with 50 IO-Link devices compared to comparable Ethernet solutions – while achieving the full performance of IO-Link.
More information about ASi-5
Unlike ASI-5, SPE does not require protocol converters. Through the physical layer of SPE, data is captured in a unified protocol at the information source (sensor) and transmitted via switches – non-smart distributors – to the output location of a network participant (computer). To prevent loss, this data is temporarily stored in the switch.
The ASi-5 gateway, on the other hand, is a smart network participant with an integrated switch. It additionally "translates" the data into ASi-5 ASIC for the higher-level control system. Likewise, the data – together with diagnostic messages – can also be viewed directly on the display or conveniently via remote access.
Fig.: SPE enables communication at all levels with a single protocol. Therefore, no gateway is required and the intermediate "protocol conversion" is no longer necessary.
What is the conclusion of the comparison between ASi-5 and Single Pair Ethernet? Making a final conclusion is not easy with the information available to date. The following statements can be made, however:
- "A lean, lightweight, yet high-performance Ethernet infrastructure was needed to enable the industry to digitize the field level and move towards IIoT." (Source: single-pair-ethernet.com)
- Single Pair Ethernet has its strengths thanks to high data size, high data volumes, and through the use of a switch instead of a protocol converter.
- ASi was developed for typical field applications in machines and systems, which is precisely where its strengths lie.
- ASi-5 replaces conventional Ethernet in many of today's applications, e.g., in drive technology or IO-Link.
- Both SPE and ASi can complement Ethernet in the field with their lean, lightweight, yet powerful infrastructure.