Electronic Design

Four-Port PoE Driver Supports SOHO Routers

Power over Ethernet (IEEE 802.3af, or PoE) is expanding from mainframe Ethernet routers and midspans to smalloffice/home-office (SOHO) implementations. According to PowerDsine's marketing VP Madhu Rayabhari, a new market for "network-in-a-box" products that provide Ethernet solutions for small enterprises has emerged.

To satisfy that market, PowerDesine has introduced the PD64004A. This four-port PoE driver enables the detection of PoE powered devices (PDs). It then permits PDs to be powered up and removed in compliance with the 802.3af spec. Up to eight PD64004As can be cascaded in either of two modes. In its auto mode, intended for basic designs, the IC follows a preconfigured power budget. In enhanced mode, router designers can enable enhanced power management.

For example, routers that take advantage of the enhanced mode may allow IT managers to prioritize power allocation, permitting the use of smaller, less expensive supplies. In enhanced mode, the drivers also can deal with non-PoE Legacy-and Ciscopowered devices.

The chip integrates power, analog, and logic functions into a single 48-pin plastic QFN package. Evaluation boards are available as well. In volumes of 1000, the PD64004A costs $5.49.


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