M12 Connector Coding Demystified

May 30, 2019 at 8:00 AM

 

When you need to ensure that you have a reliable connection, even in the harshest conditions, you need an M12 connector. These rugged connectors are ideal for maintaining connections in the world of industrial automation and in any application where the environment or conditions can be a challenge. But do you know how to interpret the coding of an M12 connector? If not, you’re in luck, we’re here to help.

 

First, let’s take a look at the structure of an M12 connector. These circular connectors have a 12 mm locking thread that is typically IP-rated and provides protection from liquids and solids. Inside, there are pins in configurations of either 3, 4, 5, 8 or 12.

 

Different pin configurations are used for different applications. For example, 3 and 4-pin versions are used for sensors and in power applications, 4 and 8-pin models are used in Ethernet and PROFINET and 12-pin models are usually used for signal applications.

 

In addition to the varying pin configurations, M12 connectors are also coded. This coding prevents improper mating.

 

Here is a list of M12 codes and the applications they’re used in:

 

A-coded: sensors, DC power and 1 Gigabit Ethernet

B-coded: PROFIBUS

C-coded: AC power

D-coded: 100 Mbit Ethernet

K-coded: AC power

L-coded: PROFINET DC power

X-coded: 10 Gigabit Ethernet

S-coded: AC power (will be replacing C-coded power parts)

T-coded: DC power (will be replacing A-coded power parts)

 

Codes A, B, D and X are the most popular. A, B and D codes originated with the first M12 connectors, so they’ve been available the longest. The growth of the high-speed industrial Ethernet market has brought a surge of popularity for X-coded connectors, which are likely to eventually replace A, B and D codes in Ethernet applications.

 

There you have it, M12 codes de-coded. For all of your M12 connector needs, check out our website.

 

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. 

 

802.3cg 10 Mbit/s Single Twisted Pair Ethernet

March 7, 2019 at 8:00 AM

 

Ethernet technologies are continuing to grow and their use continues to expand across a growing number of industries. With all of this Ethernet expansion, there has been a call to quickly identify and address the progression of standards to support wider use of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standard. That need has brought about the development of 802.3cg.

 

The goal of 802.3cg is to deliver 10 Mb/s speeds over single twisted pair Ethernet, up to 1 kilometer. 802.3cg also specifies one or more power distribution channels delivering 13 watts of power over twisted pair link segments, not to exceed 1 kilometer.

 

This single pair Ethernet standard is aimed to provide a comprehensive communication protocol, a shared networking infrastructure, and produce power for the growing sensor technologies that will enhance the effortlessness of Ethernet’s money saving, plug-and-play design. This standard will also focus on gaps in the existing IEEE 802.3 standards and look to fill them, and it will work to build a focused, industry-approved plan for developing proposed standards. Additionally, the IEEE 802.3cg working group will determine what Ethernet standards need to be developed in order to support the wide range of products now depending on Ethernet.

 

Defining Ethernet standard requirements will extend Ethernet’s reach and there are several industries that could see significant growth. These include the automotive industry that is already using Ethernet for vehicle cameras, security systems and diagnostics, and is moving towards driverless technology that is Ethernet dependent as well. Plus, smart city technology that is becoming more popular throughout the world utilizes Ethernet, and that trend towards sustainable, connected living is expected to continue to grow. And, of course, the data centers that we all depend on to keep us connected depend heavily on Ethernet connections. In turn, Ethernet has the opportunity to innovate the data centers with the development of the 802.3cg standard and beyond.

 

The 802.3cg standard’s ability to provide 10 Mb/s speeds over single twisted pair Ethernet is a welcomed progression in the evolution of Ethernet and another sign that Ethernet has no intention of slowing down.

 

Evolution of the Data Center

August 2, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

Just as computers, phones and everything else in our world has made advancements over the years, so have data centers. Data centers play a critical role in networking and have evolved to allow businesses better access to their data with improved usability while being easier to manage. Traditionally, data centers were only as good as the physical space they took up, they were restricted by server space and having enough room for hardware to be stored. With today’s technological advancements, they are less space-centric, and more focused on the cloud, speed and flexibility. Here, we’ll take a look at the evolution of the data center, from inception to the realm of future possibilities.

 

The Early Days

 

The earliest data centers were large rooms filled with computers that were difficult to operate and maintain. These primordial behemoths needed a special environment to keep the equipment running properly – equipment that was connected by a maze of cables and was stacked on racks, cable trays and raised floors. Early data centers also used a large amount of power and generated a lot of heat, so they had to be cooled to keep from overheating. In 1964, the first supercomputer, the ancestor to today’s data centers, was built by Control Data Corporation. It was the fastest computer of its time with peak performance of 3 MFlops, sold for $8 million and continued operating until 1977.

 

1970s

 

The 1970s brought the invention of the Intel 4004 processor which allowed for computers to be smaller. And in the 1973, the first desktop was introduced, the Xerox Alto. Although it was never sold commercially, it was the first step toward eliminating the mainframe. The first LAN was brought to life in 1977 in the form of ARCNET, which allowed computers to connect to one another with coax cables that linked to a shared floppy data storage system.

 

1980s

 

The personal computer (PC) was born in 1982, with the introduction of the IBM model 5150. This new, smaller computer was a far cry from the expensive and expansive mainframes that were hard to cool. PCs allowed organizations to use desktop computers throughout their companies much more efficiently, leading to a boom in the microcomputer industry. Plus, in 1985, Ethernet LAN technology was standardized, largely taking the place of ARCNET. 

  

1990s

  

The 1990s started with microcomputers working as servers and filling old mainframe storage rooms. These servers were accumulated by companies and managed on premise, they were knows as data centers. The mid-90s saw the introduction of the Internet, and with it came a demand for faster internet connections, increased online presence and network connectivity as a business requirement. To meet increased demands, new, larger scale, enterprise server rooms were built with data centers that contained hundreds or thousands of servers working around-the clock.  In the late 1990s, virtualization technology originally introduced in the 80s was revisited with a new purpose in the form of a virtual workstation, which was comparable to a virtual PC. Enterprise applications also became available for the first time through an online website.

 

2000s 

 

By the early 2000s, PCs and data centers has grown exponentially. New technology was quickly emerging to allow data to be transmitted easier and faster. The first cloud-based services were launched by Amazon Web services, which included storage, web services and computation. There was also a growing realization of the power required to run all of these data centers, so new innovations were being introduced to help data centers be more energy efficient. In 2007, the modular data center was launched. One of the most popular was from Sun Microsystems, which has 280 servers in a 20-foot shipping container that could be sent anywhere in the world. This offered a more cost effective way for corporate computing, but also refocused the industry on virtualization and ways to consolidate servers.

 

2010s

 

By the 2010s, the Internet had become engrained in every part of day-to-day life and business operations. Facebook had become a main player and began investing resources in trying to find ways to make data centers more cost and energy efficient across the industry. Plus, virtual data centers were common in almost 3/4 of organizations and over 1/3 of businesses were using the Cloud. The focus then shifted to software-as-a-service (SaaS), with subscription and capacity-on-demand being the main focus, instead of infrastructure, software and hardware. This model increased the need for bandwidth and the creation of huge companies providing access to cloud-based data centers, including Amazon and Google.

 

Today, the Cloud appears to be the path we are headed on, with new technology being introduced and the implementation of the IoT becoming more of a reality every day. We’ve definitely come a long way from the first gigantic mainframe data centers, one can only imagine what the next 60 years of innovation will bring.

 

411 on M12 Connectors

May 17, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

Since their introduction in 1985, M12 connectors have grown to become the go-to interconnect system for industrial automation. These rugged connectors provide reliable connections in the harshest environments and have revolutionized the world of industrial automation connectivity.

 

M12 connectors are circular connectors that have a 12-mm locking thread and often boast IP ratings for protection against liquids and solids. They are ideal for connecting sensors, actuators, as well as industrial Ethernet and Fieldbus devices, mostly in industrial automation applications and in corrosive environments.

 

Prior to the inception of the M12 connector, engineers had to hard wire or repeatedly replace connectors that couldn’t endure in harsh conditions. Initially released with 3 and 4-pin models, the original M12 connector had a smaller current than its predecessor, the RK30, but still provided the protection of an IP67 rating. The 4-pin M12 connector allowed a single system to include more advanced sensors and actuators. Today, these rugged connectors are available with 3, 4, 5, 8 and 12-pin configurations with additional locking styles continuously being developed, such as bayonet and push-pull.

 

In addition to factory automation, M12 connectors and M12 cable assemblies are used in measurement and control, communications, transportation, robotics, agriculture and alternative energy applications. Choosing the correct pin count depends on the specific application. Three and 4-pin models are needed for sensors and in power applications. Ethernet and PROFINET require 4 and 8 pins. DeviceNet and CANbus mostly use 4 and 5-pin connectors. Twelve-pin models are typically specified for various signal applications.

 

Along with different pin counts, M12 connectors have multiple styles of key coding to prevent improper mating.  Here are the most common coding types and what they’re used for:

 

·       A-coded: sensors, DC power and 1 Gigabit Ethernet

·       B-coded: PROFIBUS

·       C-coded: AC power

·       D-coded: 100 Mbit Ethernet

·       X-coded: 10 Gigabit Ethernet

·       S-coded: AC power (will be replacing C-coded power parts)

·       T-coded: DC power (will be replacing A-coded power parts)

 

The most popular types of M12 coding are A, B, D and X.  The A, B and D-coded connectors are some of the first M12 connectors and have been on the market the longest. X-coded connectors are rising in demand for high-speed industrial Ethernet and will ultimately take the place of A and D-coded parts in Ethernet applications. The newest code designs being developed are K-coded for AC power and L-coded for PROFINET DC power.

 

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