Everything you ever wanted to know about Category 8

February 23, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

Category 8 is coming and we’re not taking about a torrential hurricane. This new standard for twisted-pair cabling is under development with ratification expected this year that will bring many exciting advancements in wired communications. Here is everything you need to know to prepare yourself for Category 8.

 

  -  Primarily intended to support 25GBASE-T and 40GBASE-T

 

  -  Different from previous standards because it uses 2000 MHz frequency

 

  -  Limited to 30 meter distance and 2-connector channels

 

  -  Ideal for data centers and small LANs in commercial buildings

 

  -  Targeted for use at the data center “edge” where connections are made between the server and switch

 

  -  Will be backward compatible with previous standards

 

  -  Two classes of products offered - Class I: RJ45 and Class II: Non-RJ45

 

  -  Requires shielded cable, but not limited to specific type of shielding. Can use F/UTP (8.1) or S/FTP (8.2) and other shielded constructions

 

  -  Can provide up to four times faster speeds on the same cabling being used today

 

  -  Exceptional signal-to-noise margin while supporting transmission rates of 25Gb/s and higher

 

  -  Connectors will be designed for field termination and also pre-terminated for Panduit’s QuickNet line

 

  -  Will allow data center designers to organize their racks and cabinets to support 30-meter channel connections now and be positioned to transfer to 25G/40GBASE-T when the technology becomes available

 

  -  Installation methods will be similar to lower grades of cabling. Can be installed in existing pathways and conduit, though to support 25GBASE-T and 40GBASE-T the existing infrastructure must be upgraded

 

  -  No additional power required. In fact, Cat8 may better support remote powering applications such as PoE because of its lower dc resistance and insertion loss. It is likely that 25GBASE-T and 40GBASE-T equipment will use more power than 10GBASE-T, but that may be remedied as the technology evolves

 

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