Convergence Of Data And Power

Constant cost pressures, higher data traffic and new technologies call for new connector solutions.

Cost-cutting measures must be considered as a whole. No longer is it enough just to reduce the cost of components. Instead, the costs of installation and infrastructure need to be included in costings. Nor should the space required by new solutions be left out of account.

New technologies for manufacturing connectors and cables, as well as the increasing integration of functions in the case of semiconductors, enable data and power to be combined in a single medium.

In light of the above, the first step in integration is to bring separate lines for data and power together in a single cable, and thus in a single connector. This hybrid technology means smaller cables and less installation work than with familiar technologies. Our IP67-sealed M12 Circular Hybrid Technology (CHT) connector can carry CAT5e data and power up to 4 x 6 amperes. These solutions are currently already in use for copper cables. Another possible combination on the horizon is to bring together power cables and fiber optics.

A further technology advance is being brought about by converting proprietary field buses to Ethernet-based communication. Technologies such as PoE (Power over Ethernet) for low powers or EoP (Ethernet over Power) for high powers will sooner or later further cut installation costs and enable transmission in one and the same cable. As yet, these technologies are not ready to go into production for applications in industry, but increasing use in the consumer market will make technically mature solutions available for industrial applications in the near future.

These different approaches show that the convergence of data and power has already started. The technologies required and the know-how for a wide variety of approaches are all available from Molex.

Visit Molex in Nuremberg, Germany November 22-24 during SPS/IPC/DRIVES in Hall 10, booth 110.