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Ethernet Extender - Silicon Labs Unveils Single-Port Power over Ethernet Controller for Home Office and SMBs
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April 11, 2012

Silicon Labs Unveils Single-Port Power over Ethernet Controller for Home Office and SMBs

By Rajani Baburajan
TMCnet Contributor


Powered devices are commonplace in small office/home office and small-to-medium business (SMB) markets, driving the demand for easy-to-use single-port embedded Power over Ethernet (PoE)/PoE+ PSE solutions that enable these devices.

The popularity of higher power IEEE (News - Alert) 802.3at PoE+ standard and the need to support PD applications that consume up to 30 watts have created the need for suitable PSE controllers that offer flexible power measurement and monitoring capabilities, standards-compliance and no interoperability hassles.

To help businesses address these challenges, Silicon Laboratories (News - Alert), a provider of high-performance, analog-intensive, mixed-signal ICs, announced the launch of a single-port Power over Ethernet (PoE) controller that offers a simple and economical “plug-and-play” solution to embedded power sourcing equipment (PSE) designs.

Thanks to the plug-and-play system, the Si3462 controller eliminates the need for host MCUs and high-overhead software, company officials said. The solution simplifies overall system integration, mitigating software development costs and risks, and speeding time to market.  The Si3462 also monitors the power delivered to PDs, ensuring that each PD is operating safely and within all IEEE-required PoE/PoE+ specifications.

With its simplicity and advanced features, the new Si3462 controller makes it easy to develop PSE endpoints such as residential gateways, set-top boxes, fiber-optic media converters, and surveillance and security systems that connect to a wide variety of powered devices including VoIP phones, security cameras, keypads, network attached storage and WiFi (News - Alert) access points.

“The new Si3462 controller makes the adoption of PoE+ in embedded PSE systems easier and more cost-effective than ever, while freeing developers from the standards compliance risks and complexities associated with other PSE solutions,” said Jim Judkins, product line director for Access products at Silicon Labs, in a statement.

The Si3462 controller eliminates the need for up to 10 discrete components in Classification Optional Mode. In this mode, the Si3462 controller determines when a valid PD is connected at the other end of the cable and immediately applies a predetermined amount of power. 

In another recent development, Silicon Labs introduced the Precision32 microcontroller (MCU) family. Based on the ARM (News - Alert) Cortex-M3 processor, the new Precision32 family includes 32 SiM3U1xx and SiM3C1xx MCU products with footprint-compatible USB and non-USB options. 

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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