Single Twisted Pair: The Next Frontier

By Steve Carlson



These days, a speed of 1Gb/s doesn’t seem particularly fast. With the IEEE carlson.jpg.75x75px802.3 Ethernet Working Group creating standards on speeds of 40Gb/s, 100Gb/s and now 400Gb/s, 1Gb/s is an unlikely candidate for a new standard. But that’s missing an important point: not all networks need to operate at the fastest possible speed. Speed is related to the needs of the application, and many applications are well served by what would now be considered low-speed links.

The IEEE P802.3bp 1000BASE-T1 PHY Task Force is developing a standard for full-duplex operation at 1Gb/s over a single twisted copper wire pair, operating in a severely constrained environment. The target market for this PHY is automotive networking, which will use hundreds of millions of Ethernet port in automobiles in the coming years. The 1Gb/s speed is very fast by the standards of current automotive networks and will allow automakers to deploy a vast number of new applications in infotainment, driver assist, and remote telematics.

It’s likely that the 1000BASE-T1 PHY will find homes in a wide variety of M2M and “Internet of Things” devices, especially when combined with IEEE 802.3bu Power over Data Lines Task Force that will deliver DC power over the same twisted wire pair.

The Task Force has been working away to define the special channels used in automotive, and is working to adopt PHY baselines-the most recent being PAM-3 coding at the Beijing meeting in March.

If this sounds interesting to you, come and join us at the May 801.2/802.3 joint interim, hosted by the Ethernet Alliance, in Norfolk, VA (

Steve Carlson, High Speed Design

Chair, IEEE 802.3bp 1000BASE-T1 Task Force



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