The network standard 802.3az was developed by the IEEE with the goal of reducing network power usage when demands fall. IEEE 802.3az defines enhancements to twisted pair cabling that can result in significantly lower network energy consumption, without impact to link integrity or network functionality. IEEE 802.3az details a protocol for Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) with mainstream Base-T and Backplane copper interfaces. This energy-saving Ethernet can be utilised in the home, office or data centre.

Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) Standard

802.3az is known as the standard for Energy Efficient Ethernet, or EEE. It specifies the signalling for minimal power consumption during times when data is not being transmitted. 802.3az supports reduced power usage in 10Base- T, Fast, Gigabit, and 10 Gigabit Ethernet networks. The standard promotes the reduction of Ethernet link power requirements when utilisation is lower. This is opposite of continuous transmissions, where energy consumption does not drop when links are idle. With 802.3az implementation, transmission paths can enter a low-power idle (LPI) mode whenever links are between transmissions. Devices become alert again upon receiving transmission requests.

802.3az Signaling Protocol for EEE Networks and Energy Savings

The benefits of the 802.3az signalling protocol for EEE networks include reduced power consumption and financial savings. 802.3az defines the processes that set up the low power idle, which is the basis for green Ethernet. During the LPI state, a refresh signal contributes to link maintenance. 802.3az specifies the way an EEE network moves into and out of LPI, but does not define when the sleep state should be initiated. Comms-Express can assist businesses in finding EEE-compatible devices.

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