Standards cover a wide landscape

Aug. 1, 2016
Thanks to the efforts of two leaders within the Telecommunications Industry Association's TR-42 Engineering Committee (the group that makes cabling standards for North America), this issue includes two full-length articles with updates on several TIA standards activities.

Thanks to the efforts of two leaders within the Telecommunications Industry Association's TR-42 Engineering Committee (the group that makes cabling standards for North America), this issue includes two full-length articles with updates on several TIA standards activities. As I wrote in this space last month, the TIA approved the Category 8 standard in June. The standard document officially published July 1.

Sterling Vaden, who served as editor of the Category 8 specifications, provides an inside look at the performance specifications of Cat 8, beginning on page 11. His article includes discussion of electrical parameters that proved to be considerably challenging for cabling-component manufacturers to meet. I also found the final points Sterling made in the article particularly interesting. He explains the potential implications of using Category 8 outside the data center, in applications that will employ Power over Ethernet. The physical properties of a cable that help it achieve Category 8 performance may also be useful in PoE deployments, specifically concerning cable-bundle sizes.

An article from Cindy Montstream, who chairs one TIA TR-42 subcommittee and serves as vice-chair of others, walks us through a number of standard developments, beginning on page 5. After discussing Category 8 and laying groundwork for Sterling Vaden's in-depth article, she details the standardization and practical applications for Wideband Multimode Fiber (WBMMF). From there, Montstream's discussion covers ANSI/TIA-568.3-D (fiber cabling and components), 568.2-D (copper cabling and components), TIA-942-B (data centers), TIA-1179-A (healthcare), and a number of other standard and Telecommunications Systems Bulletin (TSB) projects.

Among the TSB projects currently underway is TSB-5021, which provides guidelines for 2.5GBase-T and 5GBase-T over existing cable. Just as this issue was going to press, I received news from The Ethernet Alliance that the group expects the IEEE 802.3bz 2.5G and 5GBase-T specifications to be ratified in September. That news arrived alongside the Ethernet Alliance's announcement that it will collaborate with the NBase-T Alliance to conduct a multi-vendor interoperability "plugfest" in October. This planned "plugfest" suggests that 2.5 and 5GBase-T products are getting close to interoperability and while they may not be there yet, IEEE standardization certainly will be a milestone for the technology. We'll keep you posted on the TIA's TSB-5021 as well.

Patrick McLaughlin
Chief Editor
[email protected]

Sponsored Recommendations

Cat 6A Frequently Asked Questions

April 29, 2024
At CommScope we know about network change and the importance of getting it right. Conclusion Category 6A cabling and connectivity.

Revolutionize Your Network with Propel Fiber Modules

Oct. 24, 2023
Four sizes of interchangeable Propel fiber modules provide the breadth of capabilities for virtually any configuration.

Elevate Your Network with Propel High-Density Panels

Oct. 24, 2023
Propel Series Sliding Fiber Optic Panels

Constellation™ - Explore power and data products

Oct. 24, 2023
Discover the Essentials for Building Your Power and Data System!