Understanding IEEE 802.3bt High Power PoE (Hi-PoE)

Updated on Apr 1, 2023

Power over Ethernet, also called PoE, is a significant technology that simplifies network deployment by enabling Ethernet cables to transmit electrical energy over a live data connection without the need for redundant power lines or outlets. Since the ratification of the first PoE standard in 2003, PoE technology has been upgraded to support higher power delivery. So far, the latest PoE standard is the IEEE 802.3bt High Power PoE, which is also simplified as Hi-PoE.


What Is High Power PoE?

To fulfill the ever-increasing demands of high-power devices, a new-generation PoE standard IEEE802.3bt has been introduced to help build a high-power network system with ease. IEEE802.3bt standard is the latest PoE standard and implements power over four twisted pairs of structured wiring. In IEEE 802.3af/at, only two twisted pairs are used for power connection, while data can be delivered over four pairs. And for the first time, this new generation of PoE uses all 8 wires to transport power so as to minimize power loss over transmission to achieve better power delivery with an increased power budget.

The IEEE802.3bt standard introduces 2 new PoE types, namely, Type 3 and Type 4. Type 3 is also known as PoE++ or UPOE, which can provide up to 60W at each PoE port to power devices like high-performance wireless access points and high-definition IP cameras.

Commonly known as high-power PoE (Hi-PoE), Type 4 can supply maximum power output of 90W to power devices like flat screens and LED lighting over Ethernet cables. IEEE 802.3bt Type 3 and Type 4 are backward compatible with the PoE and PoE+ standards. Detailed information about Hi-PoE vs PoE++ is shown in the following table:

Name Power Available to PD Ethernet Pairs Power Delivered by PSE Min.Cable Rating for PoE
Hi-PoE 71.3W 4-pair 90W Cat5e or higher
PoE++ 51W 2-pair or 4-pair 60W Cat5e or higher

What Is High Power PoE Switch?

PoE switches, as an end span method to add PoE to a network, become the most common appliance which combines both network side and power together and delivers both Ethernet and power to powered devices.

As the new PoE standard popularizes, there are more and more high power PoE switches emerging in the market such as FS S5860-24XB-U PoE switch supporting auto-sensing IEEE 802.3af/at/bt power up to 8×90W per port. Forward-thinking adopters have regarded the high power PoE infrastructures as key assets for enabling smart building and IoT. High power PoE PSE devices, notably high power PoE switches, are poised to optimize smart buildings and IoT devices and repurpose them to meet future needs.

What Devices Need High Power PoE Switches

As demands for new technology are growing with the expansion of newly diversified applications, high-power IP-based terminals such as intelligent LED lights, all-in-one cloud desktops, and intelligent IP audio appear in our lives. The power requirements of these devices range from 15W to 90W. As IEEE 802.3bt standard can be backward compatible with IEEE 802.3af/at standard, high power PoE switches can be used with various devices.

PoE LED Lights

High power PoE switches can provide 90W power to LED lights, saving a lot of energy for owners or managers in the field of intelligent buildings. By using this standard, it reduces the minimum standby power (when the light is off) to 20 MW, which is 10 times higher than that allowed by other existing standards (200 MW).

90W PTZ Cameras

PTZ cameras consume a lot of power, up to 90W in some cases, which the previous IEEE 802.3af/at standard can't provide. The adoption of IEEE 802.3bt PoE technology makes it possible for high-power PTZ cameras to be networked with a high power PoE switch, thus reducing wiring and maintenance costs.

Wireless Access Points

As a way for users of wireless devices (mobile phones, laptops, etc.) to access wired networks, wireless access points are widely used in office buildings, campuses, parks, warehouses, factories, and other places where wireless networking is needed. In some cases, they need more than 60W power to work properly. At this time, they can be connected to high power PoE switches to provide power for terminal equipment.

VoIP Phones, Video Interphones

With high power PoE switches, users can operate video interphones, LED display screens, VoIP telephone system with high power consumption on the existing Ethernet infrastructure.

Benefits of High Power PoE Switches for Smart Building and IoT

PoE itself has been utilized for typical home and office applications for some time. The newer high power PoE standard, is ratified at the perfect time for supporting smart buildings and the Internet of Things (IoT). There are many emerging applications that take advantage of high-power PoE, such as building infrastructure with LED lightning, PTZ network cameras, building access control systems, information kiosks, point-of-sale terminals, and other high power consumption devices in smart buildings or IoT installations. Note that these are just some of the use cases that IEEE 802.3bt supports. Since there will be more new devices emerging in office spaces, in manufacturing facilities, and within campuses, more use cases will flourish.

With the prosperity of high PoE technology, we cannot ignore the application of high PoE network switches. High-PoE switch is the upgraded version of PoE switch with higher PoE wattage.

The main advantages that high power PoE switches can bring to the future-proofing applications are:

Flexibility and Scalability

With the 90W-100W PoE network solution, users can easily extend the network and power coverage. Hi-PoE devices such as high power PoE switches are backward compatible with 802.3af/at PoE standards to allow powered devices that are compliant with 802/3af/at/bt standards to connect to switches flexibly. Also, the standard based PoE technology guarantees interoperability across vendors, which means it is feasible to configure PoE with various network applications as long as the PoE standards that devices support are compatible.

Time and Cost Saving

Without the need for additional power outlets or electric power cabling, a high power PoE switch can provide power for your other PoE powered devices, making installations much easier for scabbling IoT networks. With the expenses for electric power cables and specialist electricians considered, the overall cost of PoE network solution is less than a traditional power solution.


Many enterprise-grade high power PoE infrastructures have remote power-management capabilities that support both IPv4 and IPv4/6 addressing, which allows simple and efficient monitoring and control over the powered devices. This feature brings reliability to networks especially for smart buildings or IoT deployment as the network scale and complexity increase.


In summary, the emergence of high PoE technology is to meet higher equipment power requirements. With this high PoE technology, you can build a high-speed and reliable network.

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