Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) comes to town.

By Peter Jones



Ethernet is continuing its long history of evolving to meet new needs. Over the past few years IEEE 802.3 has been working on the definition of BASE-T1 Ethernet. Unlike the BASE-T (e.g. 1000BASE-T) most of us are familiar with, SPE uses a single pair copper cable, and is targeted at very different markets.

The initial target market for BASE-T1 was automotive (see 1000BASE-T1 CFI). The more recent 802.3cg 10SPE project adds building and industrial automation to the target markets for SPE. These industries are on the path to Ethernet, and SPE is a key technology to enable the transition.  These trends are illustrated in the following slides from the 10SPE kick off (aka CFI).


10SPE supports 15m and 1000m point to point links with power. It also supports 25m CSMA/CD multidrop with PLCA (Physical Layer Collision Avoidance) to improve performance under load. 10SPE is designed to use the enormous installed base of single pair copper used in building and industrial automation today.

SPE offers us the chance to replicate the success of BASE-T Ethernet (e.g., 4+ Billion BASE-T switch ports have been sold), in market spaces not served by today’s Ethernet. As the “Voice of Ethernet”, the Ethernet Alliance is in a unique position to help guide SPE to broad adoption.

How can we make this happen? Here are some suggestions:

  • Consult the whole ecosystem about what’s needed
  • Collaborate with key industry bodies (e.g., IEEE 802.3, ISO/IEC, TIA, ODVA, PI, FieldComm)
  • Take advantage of having done this before with BASE-T
  • Prioritize “adoptability”

Please join us on March 25th 2019 at 8:00am PT for a 60 minute public teleconference to discuss this opportunity, and the work required to take advantage of it. You can register for this call at

I look forward to seeing you on the call.

Peter Jones

Ethernet Alliance SPE Subcommittee Chair

Note: More about Peter is at

Peter Jones

Distinguished Engineer


Peter is a Distinguished Engineer in Cisco’s Enterprise HW team. He works on system architecture for Cisco’s enterprise switching, routing, wireless and IOT products. While at Cisco, Peter has been a major contributor to the Catalyst switching product line, including the Catalyst 9000 family. He is chair of the Ethernet Alliance Single Pair Ethernet technical subcommittee. He’s been active in IEEE 802.3 for several years, mostly working on BASE-T projects. He was Chair of the NBASE-T Alliance from its inception until its merger with the Ethernet Alliance. He works on evolution of technology to add value to physical infrastructure and make technology consumable.

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