The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association's (IEEE-SA) standards board approved two amendments to IEEE 802 wired network standards. IEEE 802a allows vendors to assign Ethernet-type numbers without depleting the number space, and IEEE 802.3af addresses how to supply power to low-power data-terminal equipment with local-area network (LAN) connectivity.
IEEE 802a, "Ethertypes for Prototype and Vendor-Specific Protocol Development," gives vendors a small number of Ethernet-type values that they can assign as protocol identifiers for prototype and experimental use. Previously, vendors applied for values from the limited Ethernet-type number space for both development and the final protocols.
IEEE 802.3af, "Carrier Sense Multiple Access With Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) Access Method and Physical Layer Specifications—Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) Power Via Media-Dependent Interface (MDI)," defines how to feed power over balanced cabling to data-terminal equipment having IEEE 802.3 interfaces. The power level is limited by cabling physics and regulatory considerations. The standard specifically addresses a new class of low-power devices having IEEE 802.3 LAN connectivity.
These projects were sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society. For more, visit standards.ieee.org.