Category 8 cabling standard update: Milestones reached, work remains

A new document from CommScope reveals information about Cat 8 return loss performance, use in network backbones, direct-attach channels and more.

Laboratory test setup for Category 8 connector performance
Laboratory test setup for Category 8 connector performance

In its most recent Standards Advisor document, CommScope provided several bullet-point updates on the progress of the Category 8 cabling specifications from the TIA TR-42 plenary meeting, which was held in early June. “Significant progress was made on the Category 8 standard, which will be published as TIA-568-C.2-1,” CommScope said. Specifically, it listed the following milestone achievements and topics still-under-discussion. These bullet points are taken verbatim from CommScope’s The Standards Advisor.

  • Permanent link Return Loss plateau was improved from 6 dB to 8 dB up to 2 GHz.
  • Pair-to-pair unbalance in support of 4-pair PoE was set for channel and cable.
  • No consensus to add Class II requirements was reached at this time.
  • The use of Category 8 cabling was extended to be used in the backbone in addition to horizontal cabling.
  • 22 AWG is allowed within the Category 8 umbrella.
  • A task group was established to study direct-attached channels.

In addition to the Category 8 update, The Standards Advisor also provides updates on TIA specifications—under development and completed—covering the following technologies: Power over Ethernet, telecommunications physical network security, distributed antenna system (DAS) cabling, high performance structured cabling (HPSC), mode conversion, and fiber-optic test procedures.

Additionally, the document provides brief updates from standards activities within INCITS T11 (Fibre Channel); CENELEC TC215, WG1 and WG 2; and the IEEE.

You can download the most recent Standards Advisor here.

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