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Cisco offers power-over-Ethernet products

Posted: 23 Feb 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cisco systems? ieee 802.3af? power over Ethernet? poe? 6500 catalyst switch?

Cisco Systems Inc. has bolstered its early support for IEEE 802.3af Power Over Ethernet (POE) by expanding its support for the standard across most models of its Catalyst switches, both chassis and stackable. A slew of new POE product offerings from Cisco include the first line cards to support Gigabit Ethernet, as well as 10/100 Ethernet.

Steven Shalita, worldwide manager for product marketing for LAN switching at Cisco, said that support for 802.3af does not come solely from industrial Ethernet applications. In fact, the standard was promoted initially to support line-powered Voice Over Internet Protocol phones, and wireless LAN systems.

Now, the notion of carrying dc power over the same copper wiring used in an Ethernet topology has found favor in multiple industrial, enterprise, and consumer applications.

The standard defines the power budget for Power Sourcing Equipment, such as LAN switches, and for Powered Devices, which can range from phones to access points to digital cameras. Initially, the maximum power delivered was specified at 6.3W to 7.3W, under the assumption that most end nodes would be IP phones. But the final 802.3af standard calls for a maximum power of 15.4W.

The IEEE standard also defines a Power Classification feature, in which a default end device with no declared classification is assumed to require 15.4W. A Class 1 device requires 4W, a Class 2 device requires 7W, and a Class 3 device explicitly calls for the same as the default Class 0, 15W. Cisco supports all the power classes in its new switches, and adds an additional capability called Intelligent Power Management, in which power delivery is further optimized by analyzing the load on clients with different power classifications.

Cisco is introducing several line cards for the 6500 Catalyst switch family, including an unusual single-slot 96-port 10/100 card that doubles 48-port density by splitting the signal. The WS-X6158X2-45AF card thus can operate as a 48-port or 96-port card, depending on splitter use. It is $14,000, or $10,500 in a version with RJ-45 jacks. Cisco is offering a 48-port 10/100/1000 card for $9,500, or one supporting the CEF256 switching fabric for $14,000. A 48-port 10/100 card is $7,995. While all these cards have integrated POE support on a daughter card, Cisco will offer the daughter card to existing users of 6500 series line cards for $2,000.

For the Catalyst 4500 family, Cisco is offering a 48-port 10/100/1000 card for $7,495, or a 48-port 10/100 card for $6,495.

In the stackable Catalyst family, Cisco has introduced a version of the 3750 switch with integrated POE support. The switch is offered with two or four fiber ports, with an option of a standard Layer 3 software package (QoS, advanced security, and RIP routing), or an enhanced software package (standard features plus multicast routing and policy- based routing), in a price range of $4,795 to $10,490. A brand-new fixed-port switch in the 3000 family is the 3560, offering POE support in standard 24-port and 48-port models.

To expand the ways that POE features can be used, isco is offering a special 1U Redundant Power System for its stackable switches. Shalita emphasized that the RPS 675 is not an uninterruptible power supply, but is intended to provide 675W of power in failover mode to up to six Cisco devices. For its chassis-based 4500 family, Cisco also is showing customers how to use dual power supplies in bridged mode, as well as in traditional redundant modes.

- Loring Wirbel

EE Times

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