What is the IEEE?
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (known as the IEEE) is the largest technical professional organization in the world. With its corporate office located in New York City and its operations center in Piscataway, New Jersey, this enterprise has more than 423,000 members in over 160 countries.
The IEEE’s “objectives are the educational and technical advancement of electrical and electronic engineering, telecommunications, computer engineering, and allied disciplines.”
The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) is an entity within the IEEE that develops, nurtures, and drives global standards for a wide range of industries, including:
- Power and energy
- Biomedical and health care
- Information technology
- Home automation
- And many more . . .
Technical experts from all over the world participate in the development of global standards for these wide-reaching industries.
The IEEE-SA has a catalog of over 1250 active standards as well as hundreds in the process of development.
What is IEEE 802.3?
According to Techopedia:
“IEEE 802.3 is a set of standards put forth by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) that define Ethernet-based networks as well as the name of the working group assigned to develop these standards.
“IEEE 802.3 is otherwise known as the Ethernet standard and defines the physical layer and the media access control (MAC) of the data link layer for wired Ethernet networks, generally as a local area network (LAN) technology.”
In response to evolving industry requirements for new and emerging Ethernet applications, the IEEE-SA announced (in April 2019) 3 standard amendments to IEEE 802.3.
- Amendment 1 (IEEE 802.3cb-2018): This amendment defines “Ethernet Media Access (MAC) parameters, Physical Layer specifications and management objects for the serial transfer of Ethernet format frames at 2.5 Gb/s and 5 Gb/s over electrical backplanes.”
- Amendment 2 (IEEE 802.3bt-2018): The maximum Powered Device (PD) power available is increased by this amendment by utilizing all 4 pairs in the specified structure wiring plant. “This represents a substantial change to the capabilities of Ethernet with standardized power. The power classification information exchanged during negotiation is extended to allow meaningful power management capability. These enhancements solve the problem of higher power and more efficient standardized Power over Ethernet (PoE) delivery systems.”
- Amendment 3 (IEEE 802.3cd-2018): This amendment adds Clause 131 through 140 and Annex 135A through 136D to IEEE 802.3-2018. These addendums specify Media Access Control (MAC) parameters, Physical Layer specifications, and management criterion regarding the transfer of IEEE 802.3 format frames at 50Gb/s, 100 Gb/s, and 200 Gb/s.
Meeting Industry Needs for the Future
These 3 new amendments to IEEE 802.3 have been instituted to meet industry demands for greater Ethernet functionality. According to IEEE Standards University article, written by George Zimmerman and entitled “Evolution of Ethernet Standards In IEEE 802.3 Working Group”:
“The work within the IEEE 802.3 Working Group is far from done, with the next generation of high-speed 40/100/200/400G links aiming for broader market adoption through increasing the cost-effectiveness of solutions while decreasing the power consumption and complexity of compatible products. This work also focuses on lower speeds. The 10 Mb/s Extended Reach Single Twisted Pair Ethernet PHY project, aims to address existing market demand for a unified lower speed and a longer-reach PHY for automation purposes. The IEEE 802.3 Working Group is thus looking for ways to expand Ethernet market coverage and to support higher data rates while also providing coverage for emerging markets such as the automotive industry.
“It can be expected that innovation in the area of wired Ethernet will continue in the years to come, bringing the same highly reliable and well-understood networking philosophy to new markets, enabling new applications, and making networking in general more ubiquitous.”
Testing HDBaseT quality can be a straightforward process, but if you miss this one step in the process you’ll give yourself a headache later.
Technology is ever-changing, and with consumer electronics, the reality has never been more true: If you’re not keeping up with evolving and changing technology, you will quickly fall behind, costing you time, money and frustration.
Though HDBaseT is the most adaptable technology for home and office audio & video needs, in order to successfully plan, install, and maintain these infrastructures takes ever-evolving knowledge, and the appropriate tools for such adaptations.
There is one quiet killer in particular for HDBaseT quality that, if known about, tested for in your HDBaseT installations, the issue can be avoided or resolved entirely. In order to fully explain this issue and how to discover it, it’s important to understand how HDBaseT technology got to where it is today.
The Power of PoE
In the past, communication between two points required separate circuits entirely: One for communication, and another for power. But with the advent of PoE (Power over Ethernet), this was no longer necessary. This state-of-the-art technology allowed communication planners and technicians an efficient way to provide power for an expanding collection of electronic devices, without the necessity for separate infrastructures. All they needed was the Power over Ethernet infrastructure. Finally, the invention of HDBaseT took high-tech communication to new levels of quality and speed, and expanded diversity of the infrastructure.
With this, PoE became PoH (Power over HDBaseT), meaning all of the conductors in the cable infrastructure not only carried communication, but the DC current as well to a multitude of different components. The outcome? – any issues with the DC power in the HDBaseT networks now negatively impacted the quality and dependability of transmissions.
Because of this latest update in technology, one thing is clear: Testing HDBaseT infrastructure is imperative – whether you’re solving issues, expanding your current infrastructure, or installing new infrastructures.
It is, of course, attractive, to make what you have as efficient as possible, to take on the largest load possible. However, if you’re not testing for DC-related problems, you could be setting yourself up for disaster. Conversely, getting rid of the infrastructures you already have for unknown concerns doesn’t entirely make sense either. And moreover, even new cables should be checked for their ability to handle PoH and high-quality transmissions concurrently, since the materials of any one cable may differ from another, and therefore affect the network quality.
HDBaseT Quality Testing
So what is it that you need to test in order to determine the health and quality of your current HDBaseT? Think about current. With any DC, resistance is going to be the biggest enemy. And the higher the DC resistance, the bigger the issue.
Therefore, what you may think to do is to test the DC resistance of individual wires & wire pairs. While this is important, you’ll want to do more than just that. In order to appropriately determine the health of the Power over HDBaseT capacity, you will need to test the entire cable as a whole. See, each individual wire might be performing healthily, but the entire cable as a whole could not be due to differences in the DC resistance of each twisted pair, or the DC resistance unbalance.
That means 3 DC resistance values are needed to understand the overall picture of the HDBaseT infrastructure’s health: the resistance of individual wires, total resistance and resistance unbalance within pairs, and DC resistance unbalance between all pairs. That way, you’ll get the true answer about the ability of your HDBaseT infrastructure to hand PoH while maintaining its highest quality transmission that it possibly can.
Now here’s the good news: there are plenty of options out there on the market to test DC resistance and DC resistance unbalance effectively and reliably. Prices and capabilities of the various models will vary widely, but few will offer full testing capabilities while supporting all necessary DC resistance functions.
Understanding is a key element to success. You can’t fix an issue if you don’t know what to look for. That’s why being aware of the potential problems that DC resistance can cause in your HDBaseT network, as well as knowing how to check these parameters with the appropriate tools is so important to prevent network disruptions before they arise.