Another indication of the march toward 40-Gbit/sec transmission over twisted-paircabling made itself visible this month with the introduction of the DCM brand ES-2G cable test system. Not a field tester, the DCM ES-2G test set is used in R&D labs by cable manufacturers and conducts "compliance testing of high-performance, individually shielded twisted-pair Cat 7/7a cables up to 2 GHz," explains the systems' manufacturer, Beta LaserMike.
"The ISTP [individually shielded twisted-pair] test heads provide an easy means for connecting the Cat 7 cable under test to the test system, minimizing external influences and providing proper isolation," the company says.
The set also is equipped with a UTP cable fixture, enabling cable manufacturers to test non-individually shielded twisted-pair cables as well.
"The base unit includes the automatic switching and baluns needed to interface the cable under test to an external vector network analyzer," Beta LaserMike explains. "The heart of the system is the Windows-based software engine that includes a simple, easy-to-use test program with automatic comparison to the test specification, full test reporting and data management."
As we previously reported, the IEEE has formed an 802.3 Next-Generation Base-T Study Group designed to measure industry interest and needs in the next generation of the IEEE 802.3 Base-T family of technologies for Ethernet transmission over twisted-pair cabling.
The study group's chair, Bill Woodruff, commented about the group's formation: "Because of the ability of the current IEEE 802.3 Base-T technologies to interoperate with legacy versions via the standard's 'autonegotiation' feature and thereby support cost-effective infrastructure upgrades, extension to 40-Gigabit Ethernet and higher speeds will be required in coming years."
Woodruff is an associate product line director with Broadcom. He added, "IEEE 802.3 Base-T continues to be one of the most successful technologies within the greater IEEE 802.3 family, and our new study group will gauge the timing and needs of extending the standard to support industry needs for server connectivity and other applications."
Within the cabling industry, last year the TIA's TR-42.7 Copper Cabling Subcommittee began working on a set of objectives for twisted-pair cabling specifications aimed at supporting 40-Gbit/sec transmission.