Cabling Innovators Spotlight

March 24, 2020
Highlighting products that earned Platinum, Gold, and Silver honors in our 2019 Cabling Innovators Awards program.

PLATINUM: MicroScanner PoE Cable Verifier

The Fluke Networks MicroScanner PoE speeds the installation and troubleshooting of Power over Ethernet (PoE) devices including those supporting the IEEE 802.3bt standard. The tester, which can verify and troubleshoot Ethernet cabling, displays a simple indication of the class of power available as reported by the switch in accordance with Ethernet Alliance designations. This information indicates if sufficient power is available for the device in question. With an MSRP of $725 US, the product is priced within reach of every technician. The MicroScanner PoE also provides a complete set of tools for the technician installing PoE and non-PoE devices. Cable wiremapping, a built-in toner, and distance-to-fault indicators can track down cabling problems quickly. When connected to a live switch port, the unit displays the speed of the port up to 10 Gbits/sec, especially useful for troubleshooting slow access points. Cable identifiers can be used to track which cable goes where. Fluke Networks emphasizes that ensuring quality installations of a PoE network is a three-step process. First, designers should use Ethernet Alliance PoE certification to ensure their selected equipment will work together. Second, the cabling installation should be certified to meet not only the category cabling requirements, but also the resistance measurements that are critical to PoE. Third, techs should be outfitted with tools such as the MicroScanner PoE so they can ensure they’re properly connected to devices which can supply the necessary power.

Fluke Networks, flukenetworks.com

GOLD: Active electrical cables

Credo Semiconductor Inc. develops technology used in high-speed SerDes (serializer/deserializer) applications. The company explains, “Our purpose-built approach to chip design allows us to manufacture our products using mature process technology. The result is a fundamental advantage to customers in performance, power, and competitiveness.” The company’s active electrical cables (AECs) represent an entirely new product category in the data center interconnect market for Credo. “Designed around our core SerDes technology, Credo AECs eliminate the hassles of copper cables for 100G and 200G ports, while providing the plug-and-play convenience and superior bit-error-rate performance of active optical cables (AOCs) for 400G ports at a highly competitive price,” Credo continues. “This is made possible by in-cable gearshifting, retiming and forward error correction. As the networking and data center market moves to 400G and beyond, cost-effective interconnect solutions will play a critical role in the rate of adoption of the next generation technology.”

Credo Semiconductor, credosemi.com

SILVER: 3-Cell Vis Divide

In 2018, Milliken’s Cable Management business developed 3-Cell Vis™ Divide, an expansion of Vis™ Divide, a segmented high-density polyethylene (HDPE) rigid conduit that provides dedicated pathways for the placement of more than one cable in a single conduit. Where previous versions of Vis Divide have two available pathways, this product offers three. The fabric divider molded directly into the Vis Divide conduit helps improve efficiency by using all the available space within the conduit while avoiding the risk of cable-over-cable damage. With three pathways, customers who would normally install one cable into a conduit are provided with more flexibility for future growth and expansion. “Vis Divide doesn’t just save on space; it also saves on installation time, improving construction productivity,” Milliken says. “If installers would typically install three conduits, having three available cells reduces those three installs to just one 3-Cell Vis Divide conduit installation, cutting that time considerably.”

Milliken Cable Management, cable.milliken.com

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