Category 7 Overview

April 4, 2019 at 8:00 AM

 

In today’s world, the need to transfer vast amounts of data at high speeds is required. In many Enterprise datacenters, fiber is sometimes used to handle this task but the price of expensive optics and other factors might require a copper based solution.

 

Enter Category 7 cables!

 

Category 7’s most notable quality is its capability of handle speeds of up to 10 Gbps over 100 meters, especially when compared to Cat6 and Cat5e’s 1 Gbps speeds over the same distance. During testing, speeds of up to 40 Gbps have been measured over a distance of 50 meters, and up to 100 Gbps over 15 meters. And, Cat7 cables are able to deliver those high speeds at a higher frequency of 600 MHz, as opposed to Cat6a’s max frequency of 500 MHz. This means that a Cat7 cable will be able to transfer data faster than any of the previous category cables, making it an ideal option for wiring smart homes, data centers, large enterprise networks or anywhere else a high-speed wired connection is required.

 

Aside from speed, Cat7’s other benefits of note include the extensive shielding of its twisted pairs which can considerably reduce signal attenuation and improve noise resistance. The individual pairs in these cables are shielded with an additional layer of shielding over the whole cable.

 

Cat7 cables are also extremely durable and generally have a longer lifespan that Cat5 and Cat6 cables. And while Cat7 cables can be more expensive than other category cables, that price can be offset by their increased performance and resilience.

 

Cat7 has a good amount of admirable qualities and with it being backward compatible with traditional Cat5 and Cat6 cables, Category 7 might be the right choice for your next wired installation. If your application is outdoors or in an industrial environment, check out our new rugged, Cat7 cables with 10 Gig rating. 

 

Cable Shielding Deciphered

June 1, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

It’s no surprise that shielded cables are a hot topic, they can improve performance and are available in Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat6a and Cat7 versions. In past blog posts, we’ve talked about the advantages of shielded cables and how they protect from EMI/RFI and alien crosstalk (AXT). We’ve dug deeper to explore the different types of shielded cables and their benefits. We’ve even shown how to make your own shielded cable. Now, we’re going to take a closer look at the acronyms used to designate the different types of cable shielding and how to decipher them.

 

Cable shielding, also called screening, can be made of a metallic braid, or metallic or polyester foil. The shielding is either wrapped around all 4 pairs of twisted pair cable, just the individual conductor pairs, or both the entire cable and individual pairs.  In a shielded code, the letters before the slash designates the shielding on the entire cable; the code after the slash signifies shielding for the individual pairs.  For example:

 

Here is a glossary of terms to help you decode cable shielding:

 

 

FTP – Foiled Twisted Pair : An additional layer of protection is created with shielding/screening wrapped around the individual twisted wires. 

 

STP – Shielded Twisted Pair : Braided shielding wrapped around the individual twisted wires adds a layer of protection.

 

F/UTP – Foiled/Unshielded Twisted Pair : An overall foil shield encases the 4 pairs of unshielded twisted pair. Commonly used in 10GBaseT applications.


S/UTP – Shielded/Unshielded Twisted Pair :  An overall braid shield is wrapped around all 4 pairs of unshielded twisted pair.


SFTP – Shielded and Foiled Twisted Pair : Foil shielding around the individual twisted wires and an overall shield that is sometimes a flexible braided shield. This provides the highest level of protection from interference.

 

SF/UTP – Shielded and Foiled/Unshielded Twisted Pair : Both an overall braid screen and foil shield with unshielded twisted pairs. Occasionally referred to as an STP cable, these cables are very effective at protecting EMI/RFI from entering or exiting the cable.


S/FTP – Shielded Foiled/Twisted Pair : An overall braid shield with foil-shielded twisted pairs. The shield underneath the jacket is a braid and each individual pair is surrounded by its own foil shield. The purpose of the additional foil on individual pairs is to limit the amount of crosstalk between them.


F/FTP – Foiled/Foiled Twisted Pair : An overall foil shield with foil screened twisted pairs. Like F/UTP, this cable is commonly used in 10GBaseT applications.


U/FTP – Unshielded/Foiled Twisted Pair : No overall shielding or braid with foil-shielded twisted pairs. This cable is also frequently used in 10GBaseT applications.

 

U/UTP (UTP) – Unshielded/Unshielded Twisted Pair : Pairs of wires twisted together that are not shielded at all. These cables are often referred to as UTP andare one of the most basic methods used to help prevent electromagnetic interference. 

 

© L-com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. L-com, Inc., 50 High Street, West Mill, Third Floor, Suite 30, North Andover, MA 01845