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Single Pair Ethernet: smaller, lighter, more affordable Ethernet

The Ethernet has spread in many sectors, including industrial automation, transportation, smart cities and defense that require the use of networked devices.

More recently, in the automotive industry and in industrial automation (linked to Industry 4.0), connectivity challenges have arisen due to the increase in sensor density, actuators and controllers:

  • long cabling distances to cover;
  • bandwidth limitations from legacy connectivity systems;
  • and complexity from managing multiple protocols.

These challenges have fueled the demand for a smaller, lighter and more affordable version of the Ethernet – the Single Pair Ethernet (SPE). SPE uses just one pair of twisted copper wires to transmit data at speeds ranging from 10 Mbit/s to 1 Gbit/s, with Power over Data Line (PoDL) up to 52 Watts and over distances from 15 meters (at 10, 100 and 1000 Mbit/s) to 1000 meters (at 10 Mbit/s).



How efficient is Fischer Connectors’ Single Pair Ethernet connectivity solution? The first part of this demo video shows how easily the flow of two 300 MB videos is transmitted in both directions simultaneously between two laptops interconnected via a Single Pair Ethernet cable with Fischer MiniMax™ connectors. The integration of this SPE solution to the laptops is made via a transceiver that translates the SPE signal into the Ethernet signal directly readable by the laptops. In the second part, transmission rates are measured with pre-defined bit streams (up to 100 Mbit/s), which shows that the Fischer Connectors solution maintains signal integrity. (With Marine Bouduban, High Speed Connectivity Solution Architect, and Julien Hernandez, Development Engineer at Fischer Connectors’ R&D)


The Single Pair Ethernet in a nutshell

  • Compact and lightweight: two wires instead of 8 copper wires for Gigabit Ethernet
  • Fast and easy to cable and repair
  • Increased durability:
    • Energy saving thanks to its light weight
    • Higher material resistance and less cable servicing, due to more flexible cables that withstand more bending cycles
  • Greater flexibility of movement for machines and robots
  • Versatile connectivity solutions (with a choice of installation length, bandwidth, with or without PoDL)
  • End-to-end seamless connectivity

Fischer Connectors designs, manufactures, and distributes rugged connectors and cable assemblies particularly suitable for applications requiring faultless precision, durability and resistance to extreme conditions. We can now combine SPE’s unique features with our renowned high-reliability, high-performance, sealed connectors to take SPE connectivity to new heights and markets.


Rugged Industrial

The Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) is designed to meet multiple device-connectivity needs. What if you could benefit from SPE in rugged industrial environments, such as wet food production?

Opportunities for using a Single Pair Ethernet protocol

  • Seamless connectivity: SPE enables you to bring Ethernet down to the production lines, connecting multiple production line modules to the rest of the organization’s network system seamlessly.
  • Increasing the number of sensors and actuators used on production lines in a large infrastructure implies a growing need for cables and connections over a range of distances – this calls for the most cost-effective connectivity solution.
  • Production line modules may need to be connected in confined areas where minimal space is available for connectivity.
  • Robots may be used on the production line, requiring extra flexibility of movement which is easier to attain using SPE, with a single pair of wires, than with rigid Ethernet cables.

Why a Fischer Connectors solution?

  • Ideal in environments with highly corrosive cleaning solutions and water that call for IP68-sealed solutions in corrosion-resistant material.
  • Blind mating solutions make it easier to connect confined and hard-to-access areas.

Other rugged industrial environments:

  • Chemical plants
  • Industrial seaports
  • Mines
  • Oil rigs

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Defense & Security

The Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) is designed to meet multiple device-connectivity needs. What if you could benefit from SPE in Defense & Security environments, such as for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)?

Opportunities for using a Single Pair Ethernet protocol

  • Networking onboard controllers, sensors and actuators (the payload) via Ethernet/IP connectivity in larger drones brings two key advantages:
    • electrical fail-safes (if one module fails, the other will not be affected thanks to electrical insulation between components);
    • enhanced modularity (allowing the payload to be adapted to various mission requirements).
  • Optimizing size and weight is key to maximizing the UAV’s autonomy range: the heavier the payload, the shorter the autonomy range (higher power consumption). SPE’s lightweight and space-saving features, while still allowing for speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s, provide crucial benefits.
  • SPE’s space- and weight-saving features enable seamless connectivity between all interconnected devices and base control to be implemented throughout the UAV, eliminating protocol discontinuity.

Why a Fischer Connectors solution?

  • In environments with a high level of vibration and shocks, rugged connectors have to deliver reliable connectivity solutions with a high tolerance to guarantee the continuity of signal transmission in any situation.
  • In diverse climatic conditions, sealing is as critical as temperature resistance.
  • UAVs operating over multiple years require highly durable and trusted solutions.

Other unmanned vehicles:

  • Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV)
  • Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV)

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