Category8 is called the next generation of twisted pair copper cabling. Today we are going to make a brief introduce of the cat8 solution.
What is a category 8 cable, and what is the standard for category 8 cable?
The relevant standards of Cat 8 network cables were formally approved by the United States Telecommunications (TIA) TR-42.7 Copper Cabling Subcommittee in 2016, the Cat 8 cabling specification (TIA 568 C.2-1), as follows:
- It complies with the IEEE 802.3bq 25G / 40GBASE-T standard, specifies the minimum transmission rate of Cat8 cables, and can support 25 Gbps and 40 Gbps network cabling.
- It complies with the ANSI/TIA-568-C.2-1 standard, stipulates the channel and permanent link of Cat8 cables, and includes the restrictions of resistance imbalance, TCL and ELTCTL.
- It complies with the ANSI/TIA-1152-A standard and specifies the measurement and accuracy requirements of the Cat8 cable field tester.
- It complies with the ISO/IEC-11801 standard, which stipulates the channel and permanent link of the I/II Category 8 cable.
See bellow category cabling standards, you will find that the category 8 cabling is a huge improvement in the performance!
Cat8 cat7 cat6a cat6 cat5e cable standards
Only applicable in data centers
Cat 8 cabling supports speed up to 2 GHz, within distance of 30 meters, and 2 connector channels, which tend to be used in data center applications—not likely to be used for local area network (LAN). Cat 8’s target market is data center edge applications, copper cable connections between servers and switches, which will carry the newly developing 25 and 40 Gb/s rates.
Although high-speed direct connecting SFP+ and QSFP+ cables can support such high speeds between the switch and the server, these cables have a distance limit, which is limited to about 5 to 7 meters. Because cat 8 supports a transmission distance of 30 meters, so it is very suitable for more flexible and manageable deployment when the edge switch is at the end of the row or in the middle position. Since Cat 8 shares the same connector and can automatically negotiate with existing technologies, it has strong interoperability with these technologies.
Cat 8 cabling is a shielded system, that is, shielded connections and FTP cables are used, and four pairs of twisted pairs are covered by metal foil. Metal foil shielding is essential to prevent noise from entering the cable and preventing noise in the cable.
We know that the higher the frequency, the more serious the crosstalk (ie alien crosstalk) between adjacent cables. Therefore, the Cat 6A standard requires the measurement of alien crosstalk. The frequency of Cat 8 is four times the 500 MHz frequency of Cat 6A, and of course compliance is still required-all the parameters required by the Cat 6A standard.
Same as Cat 6A shielded cables, it should be difficult to see any alien crosstalk on a Cat 8 system. But like Cat 6A shielded cable, it is still required to be tested. why?
First, Cat 8 has stricter alien crosstalk requirements. Secondly, if the installation is not correct, the shielded wiring may not pass the external crosstalk test, such as the shielding layer is not connected, or the non-conducting side is not clamped.
Shield integrity is critical
If you are not familiar with the deployment and testing of shielded cables, you must be more familiar with Cat 8. This means that the installer and contractor need to ensure that the cable-connector shield is connected carefully, as well as the correct grounding and binding measures.
In a data center, if a copper cable link is connected from a ground panel in a grounded cabinet to a ground panel in another grounded cabinet, the open shielding layer may still pass the wire diagram test. This is because the connectivity of the shielding layer has historically been a DC measurement, and the DC signal will reach the remote unit through the public building ground rather than through the wiring link. Therefore, it is difficult to diagnose a cable fault with an open shield. However, Fluke Networks already has the technology to solve this problem. DSX-CHA804 Cable Analyzer provides shielding integrity testing function, using patented AC measurement technology to prevent the grounded cabinet of the data center from causing the unconnected shielding layer to show that the connection is normal. Now that the TIA Cat 8 specification, component and link limits have been completed, about the ANSI/TIA-1152-A field test standard can be finalized. Fluke Networks is a leader of this project and the editor of the standard, which stipulates field test methods and 2G accuracy.
By now, all Cat 8 accessories have basically been developed. Cat 8 bulk cable, Cat 8 modular patch panel(empty), which are actually the same shielded patch panels as Cat 6, Cat 8 modular jack, Cat 8 modular plug and Cat 8 patch cords.
As one of more than 10 years experienced professional network patch cords manufacturers, COMNEN have been developing the category 8 patch cable when the cat8 standards approved in 2016. We spent almost 2 years to design the category 8 cable and calculate the data of how to build this 40G cable. We worked out the first sample in 2019. From the beginning, we have to use the 22awg conductor wires to build this cable, because we had to reduce the conductor’s resistance. Because the wires are too big, it’s hard to find a cat8 modular plug to work with this 22awg cable, so we keep on testing 24awg, 26awg, 28awg wires, and now we finally choose the 28awg(7/0.12mm) wires. And we can assure this patch cord can pass category 8 channel test within 12 meters.