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.

 

Power of USB Power Delivery

February 21, 2019 at 8:00 AM

 

In this blog, we’ve talked a lot about USB. From USB 3.1 to USB 3.2, and even vibration-proof USB, USB is always reinventing itself, so it’s no wonder that it remains a powerfully popular interface. Now, USB is taking another step in its progression with USB power delivery, a fast charging technology with significantly higher power levels than standard charging. Here, we’ll take a look at the power of USB power delivery.

 

In the beginning, USB was merely a data interface that was able to provide a limited supply of power. Today, USB has evolved into a main power provider with a data interface. Thus, many things now use USB ports including cars, aircraft, laptops and wall sockets to charge or power devices and transfer data easily. In order to build on these existing USB functions, USB power delivery (USB-PD) has been developed to allow for maximum functionality of USB by delivering data and increased flexible power over a single cable.

 

USB-PD increases power levels from current standards and boosts them up to 100W. This allows for larger, USB-PD-enabled devices, such as tablets and laptops, to be charged over a USB-C cable without the use of bulky power cables. USB-C cables were designed to be able to handle the increased wattage of USB-PD without overheating or being damaged. USB-PD also enables the freedom of power direction that is not fixed, allowing the host or peripheral device to provide power. With USB-PD, enabled devices are capable of power management that is optimized across multiple peripherals, allowing each device to use only the power it needs. Additional power can be given as it is required for a specific application. This system also provides intelligent and flexible power management through hub communication with the PC. Plus, low-power devices, such as headsets, can negotiate to receive only the power they need. USB-PD specifications have been added to both USB 2.0 and 3.0 adopter agreements.

 

With the introduction of USB-PD, USB continues to prove itself an indispensable interface relevant in today’s continually changing world of technology.

 

It's All About Time: Time-sensitive Networking

February 7, 2019 at 8:00 AM

 

In today’s fast paced world, we’ve all got places to go – and quickly. Thus, the demand for reliable transportation has grown along with urbanization and transit companies’ desire for efficient and cost-effective business. Previously, we’ve discussed how technology is changing transportation and modern day wireless railways. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at another technology changing transportation: time-sensitive networking.

 

Time-sensitive networking (TSN) is an extension and update to the IEEE Ethernet standards 802.1 and 802.3 that are intended to standardize Ethernet technology for control systems. TSN is a groundbreaking technology that offers deterministic, timed messaging over Ethernet for train-to-ground communication. It is centrally managed and ensures delivery with reduced jitter by utilizing time scheduling for real-time applications that require determinism. This technology will allow operations networks to utilize the benefits of traditional Ethernet while also fulfilling the timing and control demands of control and measurement applications.  

 

TSN eliminates the need for multiple networks by leveraging existing Ethernet networks to prioritize transmissions that are critical to safety over non-critical data. This feature provides enhanced interoperability and cost savings by reducing the amount of physical network components needed. Though TSN is not a protocol, but an extension of the Ethernet standard, it benefits from growing improvements in Ethernet security, bandwidth and additional capabilities to hold an advantage over standard and specialty Ethernet protocols.

 

Some of the biggest advantages of TSN include safer rides for both passengers and rail operators by allowing real-time delivery of safety messages. Clearer communication and accurate delivery of information allows for trains to run more efficiently and move more passengers. In addition to faster, safer rides, passengers will have a better trip experience with TSN’s reliable Ethernet network to keep them connected during the ride.

 

In addition to rail transportation networks, there are other applications and industries that could benefit from TSN. These include test cells and distributed monitoring which require sensor readings from multiple locations, all of which need to be linked in time. Hardware in the loop (HIL) could also use TSN since it often needs closely coordinated measurements in addition to distributed closed loop control. Machine control systems also use control networks that need synchronized measurements and actions that are highly time-sensitive. Additionally, auto makers are beginning to integrate Ethernet into vehicles to deliver more bandwidth and quicker response, and media networking can use TSN to transmit audio and video data that requires a stringent timing schedule.

 

As the world of rail and transportation and Ethernet networks continue to evolve, TSN has much to offer to help advance operations and usher in the next age of Ethernet technology.

 

All About USB 3.2

January 10, 2019 at 8:00 AM

 

We’ve discussed the difference between USB 3.1 Gen 1 vs. Gen 2, but now comes the next level for Universal Serial Bus - USB 3.2. What makes this newest USB standard stand out? First and foremost are increased bandwidth and USB Type-C connector and cable support. Here, we’ll take a look at all the specs, so you’ll know all about USB 3.2.

 

While USB 3.1 Gen 1 brought 5 Gbps and Gen 2 doubled that to 10 Gbps speeds, USB 3.2 then doubles down again to offer 20 Gbps speeds – the most notable feature of the new standard. The way it provides those speeds is a little different though. USB 3.2 utilizes what is being called multi-lane operation, where devices use two lanes of 5 Gbps or 10 Gbps running together to transfer data at the same time over extra wires inside the USB cables. This allows for a cumulative data transfer rate of 10 Gbps to 20 Gbps.

 

What does this new standard mean for older USB cables? Fortunately, the new standard will be backward compatible with older standards. Even more fortunately, if the host and recipient devices are USB 3.2 compatible, older USB cables will also see a boost in speeds as great as 2 Gbps. USB 3.2 will also support USB-C connectors and their features such as power delivery, alternate modes, and digital audio, video and data on the same cable.

 

Overall, the new USB 3.2 standard is a big upgrade in terms of speed, but otherwise, it’s not a huge shift – which might be good news for those not ready to replace all of their older USB equipment. Though faster speeds are always good news, so this update is sure to be a welcomed change.

 

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