CommScope airs Cat 8 vs. Cat 7a concerns re: 40G

CommScope stirs the pot with its Category 8 Cabling Standards Update.

CommScope has released a PDF white paper document entitled Category 8 Cabling Standards Update, which airs the company's concerns surrounding the TIA TR42.7 Study Group's decision to adopt ISO/IEC Class II cabling performance criteria into its pending ANSI/TIA-568-C.2-1 category 8 project, as recently reported in this space.

"The approval of the new task group to study Class II channels is a recognition of the advances in PIMF cabling technology needed to support the use of balanced twisted copper cabling for 40 G applications," admits CommScope. Provocatively, the company then adds that "this recognition is somewhat tempered by the fact that TIA TR42.7 has to deal with the issue of three different connector types allowed for Class II," while contending that "the decision to develop Class II up to 2000 MHz is a clear indication that Category 7A cabling specified up to 1000 MHz will not be sufficient for 40 G applications."

See: CommScope document questions suitability of Cat 7A cabling for 40GBase-T

More: Siemon responds to CommScope's Category 7A claims

The company warns, "The work in TR42.7 will have to be carefully coordinated with the ongoing work in ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC25/WG3 developing Class II specifications, IEC 46C developing Category 8.2 cable specifications, and IEC 48B developing Category 8.2 component specifications...It is not clear whether TR42.7 will continue to require a single interface allowing portability and interoperability of cabling, LAN, and SAN equipment in data centers that generally use the RJ45 connector as the standard ubiquitous interface for balanced twisted pair cabling."

The white paper goes on to debate key differences between Class I and Class II cabling, and to address the subject of backward compatibility with existing cabling and LAN/SAN equipment among the various Category 7A connector designs proposed for use in Class II channels.

View/Download the white paper.


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