The Emerging Role of Single-Pair Cabling in Enterprise Networks

Did you know that it’s possible to support up to 1000 Mb/s Ethernet transmission rates over a 1-pair copper cable? While initially developed to support automotive applications, it is now recognized that single-pair or “BASE-T1” Ethernet could fill the gap to support industrial (e.g., RS-432 and RS-485), automation, and other low-speed connections with nonproprietary cabling, while also providing a path for them to merge with Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the enterprise space. This article summarizes IEEE 802.3’s BASE-T1 single-pair Ethernet standardization efforts and investigates the activities currently underway by the TIA TR-42 Telecommunications Cabling Systems Engineering Committee to develop performance requirements for single-pair cabling in commercial, intelligent building, and industrial spaces.