SPE Industrial Partner Network drives development of the IEC 63171-7 standard

29 August 2021

The SPE Industrial Partner Network is driving the development of IEC 63171-7 for hybrid SPE + power interfaces in M12 format. M12 is the logical and natural progression of the hybrid SPE + power interface in M8 format, as already specified in IEC 63171-6.

The M12 interface is one of the most common sizes at the field level of automation and, to establish SPE as the new physical layer for the IIoT at the field level, the right infrastructure is needed. 

As well as higher data rates, the SPE infrastructure should also ensure greater ranges and increased power supply to devices. To guarantee this, even in the case of high-power applications, it is necessary to seek alternatives to Power over Data Line (PoDL) via data contacts, which are limited to 50W at the device and a pure point-to-point star topology. If higher power is required or if more variable network structures are to be realised as a line or tree, hybrid cabling is needed, with separate wire pairs for SPE and power supply. To fulfil these requirements, IEC 63171-6 defines suitable PoDL and hybrid M8 interfaces with one SPE contact pair and two additional power contacts for 60V DC/8A. Building on this solution, the hybrid concept was further developed, adding more contacts, and integrated into the M12 size.

Following consultations with the members of the SPE Industrial Partner Network and with customers, up to five power contacts plus the SPE contact pair are integrated into the proven M12 format. Different versions from 60V DC / 50V AC to 630V AC 3-phase can be realised with fool-proof coding. This makes these new M12 hybrid interfaces suitable for a wide range of applications. 

The hybrid system combines the advantages of a direct supply of data and power with the lower cost and compactness of cabling using only one cable and one interface at the device. In this context, M12 interfaces offer excellent EMC properties through having separate data and power contacts. 

Together with IEC 63171-6, as the new standard for hybrid M12 SPE + power solutions IEC 63171-7 gives companies the confidence to invest in the successful establishment of Single Pair Ethernet at the field level. 


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