Power over Ethernet (PoE) company PowerDsine is to start commercial shipments of a chip that it claims will reduce network switch PoE components by nearly 90 per cent, starting in January.
A laptop PoE chip is also planned for late next year, and analysts predict a rapid increase in adoption now that the IEEE 802.3af standard is ratified.
The PD64012, developed jointly with Motorola and so far the only PoE chip, uses an application specific integrated circuit. Switches incorporating it should appear in the second half of 2004.
PowerDsine sells its free-standing Midspan series PoE units through a few distributors with an international presence, including Ingram Micro, Anixter and Comstor.
Ingram Micro's senior business manager for networking services, Jon Pearce, told CRN: "We saw steady growth in PoE in the first few months of 2003, then it exploded from June onwards."
He said it was still a niche market product, mostly for wireless LANs and IP telephony, but that sales were growing by more than 100 per cent a month.
Mark Blowers, senior researcher at Butler Group, said: "It is moving from the early adopter to the mass market phase. [Our] advice is that you want to be asking whether your new equipment is PoE-enabled."
There are 36 PoE-enabled switches in development, compared with about five this time last year, plus more than 100 devices that are certified to use PowerDsine PoE.
PowerDsine claimed that switches with 44-48 ports require about 1,500 components, compared with 200 using the new chip.
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