Targeting Automotive and Industrial Apps with 10BASE-T1S

Jan. 26, 2024
Single-pair Ethernet presents a lighter, lower-cost alternative to RJ-45/CAT5 and 6 that's typically used in computing applications.

Check out Electronic Design's coverage of CES 2024. Also, this video is part of the TechXchange: Single-Pair Ethernet

What you’ll learn:

  • What is 10BASE-T1S and single-pair Ethernet (SPE)?
  • How SPE differs from standard Ethernet.
  • Why it’s important to industrial and automotive applications.


Ethernet has become the de facto standard for high-speed Ethernet. It pushes speeds past 400 Gb/s in the enterprise and in cloud computing, but its 10-Gb/s roots go back to days when coax cabling was employed. Lower-speed Ethernet still enjoys popularity in control applications for the industrial and automotive space. In particular, Single-pair Ethernet (SPE) provides a lighter, lower-cost alternative to RJ-45/CAT5 and 6 employed for computing applications.

I recently talked with Henry Muyshondt, Business Development Manager at Microchip, about the company’s 10BASE-T1S technology. One of the demos discussed includes an array of microcontrollers handling LED arrays that are linked via a 10BASE-T1S daisy chain (Fig. 1).

Microchip offers PHYs and SPI interfaces like the LAN8651, which handle 10BASE-T1S interfaces (Fig. 2). The PHYs connect to standard Ethernet ports on microcontrollers. Protocols such as IEEE 1588 and Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) work with 10BASE-T1S. The LAN8651 can be used in applications requiring ISO 26262 certification.

10BASE-T1S, which supports power over Ethernet (PoE), essentially works like regular Ethernet except it uses only two wires. It does have length and speed limitations compared to other Ethernet standards. The LAN8651 can handle at least eight devices with a run length of 25 m. SPE versions of 100BASE-T and 1000BASE-T are also available.

The slower speed and limited distance aren’t really a detriment for many automotive or industrial applications where wiring is limited and communication needs for a node are low, which is the case for control and sensor systems. It provides the flexibility of linking to higher-speed Ethernet networks. For example, cars are moving toward high-speed networks to link high-performance engine control units (ECUs), but these can be tied to lower-speed 10BASE-T1S subnetworks.

Likewise, control within a machine or section of an assembly line may not need high-bandwidth communication or run long distances. Gateways can easily be added to tie 10BASE-T1S networks to higher-speed networks with greater connection distances as well.

Check out more of Electronic Design's coverage of CES 2024. and more articles/videos in the TechXchange: Single-Pair Ethernet



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