Office & Enterprise

DICE rolls out for innovative digital ceiling solutions

Jan Middeldorf Apr 20, 2021

“DICE”, an innovative network switch designed specifically to form the heart of Digital Ceiling solutions, is the latest addition to Nexans’s LANactive Fibre To The Office (FTTO) concept. The LANactive XGigaSwitch DICE, to give it its full name, is another major step in the development of our expanding product platform that supports high bandwidth (10G) and high power (PoE++) for smart building applications with flexible, future-proof IT network solutions.

The internet of things (IoT) is continuing to grow at an astonishing rate. In fact, the IDC estimates that by 2025 over 150,000 new devices will join the IoT every minute. Handling this level of growth demands ever more powerful IT networks. At the same time, bandwidth requirements are increasing along with the need for power and data. This means that established network connections are reaching their limits and it is vital to think about new technologies that will be capable of meeting the demand for data traffic.

A further challenge is that smart building systems are being increasingly integrated into IP networks. In this case, it is not typically the bandwidth that is the main consideration. Instead, the main focus is on the provision of data and power to support applications like connected lighting, smart sensors and heating, air conditioning and security systems.

To handle these challenges in a cost and resource efficient way, while ensuring the overall flexibility of the IT network, Nexans has developed the "fibre in the digital ceiling" concept. To achieve this, a data/power/control network is connected throughout the entire building via an overhead matrix installation. This offers a significant number of connection points, including Power over Ethernet (PoE), to link devices to building automation systems. Devices like WLAN access points, sensors, controls and other distributed building services are simply plugged in and immediately powered and connected to the network.

At the core of the Digital Ceiling is the new Nexans LANactive XGigaSwitch DICE produced at our Moenchengladbach plant, Germany. Optimized for fast and easy installation, with a silent, fanless design, DICE integrates seamlessly into the smart building of tomorrow.

DICE is equipped with two 10 Gbps SFP+ uplinks and four 2.5 Gbps for connecting Wireless LAN access points. In addition, four 1 Gbps interfaces for connecting further IP equipment such as monitoring cameras, intelligent lighting or smart building systems are available. Access ports provide PoE++ with up to 90W.

In common with all Nexans LANactive switches, DICE benefits from centralized, end-to-end management with LANactive Controller and Zero-Touch Configuration. In a traditional fiber or copper network, each network switch needs to be configured manually. This can be a lengthy process, prone to human error. The centralized structure makes managing and servicing networks easier and less costly. Smart device management allows flexible, simple and secure switch configuration from a central location. Large, complex networks with thousands of switches can be managed quickly and easily. The result is that networks incorporating DICE have flexibility and scalability built in.

DICE advantages

  • Meets the network requirements of the smart building of tomorrow
  • Optimized for ceiling and wall installations
  • Scalable upgrading of existing or even new network infrastructures
  • Fiber-based technology to serve future requirements for security, high bandwidth and energy savings
  • Fast and flexible provisioning of data and services (WLAN) exactly where they are needed
  • Sustainable and cost-efficient network management and maintenance

About the author

Jan Middeldorf

Jan Middeldorf is Senior Product Manager with Nexans Advanced Networking Solutions as part of the Telecom & Data Business Group. Jan holds a master’s degree in information and communication technology and has more than 10 years of experience in the Telecommunication business. Before joining Nexans, Jan has worked as Application Engineer and Network Engineer.

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