Category 6 cable

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A Cat 6 patch cable, terminated with 8P8C modular connectors EthernetCableGreen.jpg
A Cat 6 patch cable, terminated with 8P8C modular connectors

Category 6 cable (Cat 6), is a standardized twisted pair cable for Ethernet and other network physical layers that is backward compatible with the Category 5/5e and Category 3 cable standards.

Contents

Cat 6 must meet more stringent specifications for crosstalk and system noise than Cat 5 and Cat 5e. The cable standard specifies performance of up to 250 MHz, compared to 100 MHz for Cat 5 and Cat 5e. [1]

Whereas Category 6 cable has a reduced maximum length of 55 metres (180 ft) when used for 10GBASE-T, Category 6A cable is characterized to 500 MHz and has improved alien crosstalk characteristics, allowing 10GBASE-T to be run for the same 100-metre (330 ft) maximum distance as previous Ethernet variants.

History

Cat 6, an unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) design, emerged as an advancement of the UTP Cat 5e, which was formalised in 2001. The design of Cat 6 required more stringent precision in manufacturing, and this enabled reduced noise and crosstalk, allowing improved performance. The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) published Cat 6 in June 2002. [1]

Description

TIA/EIA-568-B.1-2001 T568A Wiring
PinPairWireColor
131 Wire white green stripe.svg white/green
232 Wire green.svg green
321 Wire white orange stripe.svg white/orange
412 Wire blue.svg blue
511 Wire white blue stripe.svg white/blue
622 Wire orange.svg orange
741 Wire white brown stripe.svg white/brown
842 Wire brown.svg brown
TIA/EIA-568-B.1-2001 T568B Wiring [2]
PinPairWireColor
121 Wire white orange stripe.svg white/orange
222 Wire orange.svg orange
331 Wire white green stripe.svg white/green
412 Wire blue.svg blue
511 Wire white blue stripe.svg white/blue
632 Wire green.svg green
741 Wire white brown stripe.svg white/brown
842 Wire brown.svg brown

Cat 6 cable can be identified by the printing on the side of the cable sheath. [3] Cable types, connector types and cabling topologies are defined by ANSI/TIA-568.

Cat 6 patch cables are normally terminated in 8P8C modular connectors, using either T568A or T568B pin assignments; performance is comparable provided both ends of a cable are terminated identically.

If Cat 6-rated patch cables, jacks and connectors are not used with Cat 6 wiring, overall performance is degraded and may not meet Cat 6 performance specifications. [4]

The category 6 specification requires conductors to be pure copper. The industry has seen a rise in non-compliant / counterfeit cables, especially of the Copper Clad Aluminum (CCA) variety. [5] This has exposed the manufacturers or installers of such fake cable to legal liabilities. [6]

Category 6A

The standard for Category 6A (augmented Category 6) is ANSI/TIA-568.2-D (replaces 568-C.2), [7] defined by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) for enhanced performance standards for twisted pair cable systems. It was defined in 2018. [8] Cat 6A performance is defined for frequencies up to 500 MHz—twice that of Cat 6. Cat 6A also has an improved alien crosstalk specification as compared to Cat 6, which picks up high levels of alien noise at high frequencies.

The global cabling standard ISO/IEC 11801 has been extended by the addition of amendment 2. This amendment defines new specifications for Cat 6A components and Class EA permanent links. These new global Cat 6A/Class EA specifications require a new generation of connecting hardware offering far superior performance compared to the existing products that are based on the American TIA standard. [9] The most important point is a performance difference between ISO/IEC and EIA/TIA component specifications for the NEXT transmission parameter. At a frequency of 500 MHz, an ISO/IEC Cat 6A connector performs 3 dB better than a Cat 6A connector that conforms with the EIA/TIA specification (3 dB equals 50% reduction of near-end crosstalk noise signal power; see half-power point). [9]

Confusion therefore arises because of the naming conventions and performance benchmarks laid down by the International ISO/IEC and American TIA/EIA standards, which in turn are different from the regional European standard, EN 50173-1. In broad terms, the ISO standard for Cat 6A is the most stringent, followed by the European standard, and then the American (1 on 1 matching capability). [10] [11] [ failed verification ]

Category 6e and beyond

Soon after the ratification of Cat 6, a number of manufacturers began offering cable labeled as Category 6e.[ citation needed ] Their intent was to suggest their offering was an upgrade to the Category 6 standard—presumably naming it after Category 5e, which was a standardized enhancement to Category 5 cable. However, Cat 6e is not a recognized Telecommunications Industry Association standard.

Category 7 is an ISO standard, but not a TIA standard; it is a shielded cable with newer connectors (GG45 or TERA) that are not backward-compatible with category 3 through 6A. Category 8 is the next network cabling offering to be backward compatible. [12]

Maximum length

When used for 10/100/1000BASE-T, the maximum allowed length of a Cat 6 cable is 100 meters (328 ft). This consists of 90 meters (295 ft) of solid "horizontal" cabling between the patch panel and the wall jack, plus 5 meters (16 ft) of stranded patch cable between each jack and the attached device. [13] For 10GBASE-T, an unshielded Cat 6 cable should not exceed 55 meters and a Cat 6A cable should not exceed 100 meters. [14]

Installation requirements

Category 6 and 6A cable must be properly installed and terminated to meet specifications. The cable must not be kinked or bent too tightly; the bend radius should be larger than four times the outer diameter of the cable. [15] The wire pairs must not be untwisted and the outer jacket must not be stripped back more than 13 mm (0.51 in).

Cable shielding may be required in order to avoid data corruption in high electromagnetic interference (EMI) environments. Shielding is typically maintained from one cable end to the other using a drain wire that runs through the cable alongside the twisted pairs. The shield's electrical connection to the chassis on each end is made through the jacks. The requirement for ground connections at both cable ends creates the possibility of creating a ground loop. This undesirable situation may compel currents to flow in the network cable shield and these currents may in turn induce detrimental noise in the signal being carried by the cable.

Related Research Articles

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Category 5 cable Unshielded twisted pair cable for carrying communications signals up to 100 MHz

Category 5 cable (Cat 5) is a twisted pair cable for computer networks. Since 2001, the variant commonly in use is the Category 5e specification (Cat 5e). The cable standard provides performance of up to 100 MHz and is suitable for most varieties of Ethernet over twisted pair up to 2.5GBASE-T but more commonly runs at 1000BASE-T speeds. Cat 5 is also used to carry other signals such as telephone and video.

Gigabit Ethernet

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Twisted pair Type of wiring

Twisted pair cabling is a type of wiring in which two conductors of a single circuit are twisted together for the purposes of improving electromagnetic compatibility. Compared to a single conductor or an untwisted balanced pair, a twisted pair reduces electromagnetic radiation from the pair and crosstalk between neighboring pairs and improves rejection of external electromagnetic interference. It was invented by Alexander Graham Bell.

Category 3 cable, commonly known as Cat 3 or station wire, and less commonly known as VG or voice-grade, is an unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable used in telephone wiring. It is part of a family of standards defined jointly by the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and published in TIA/EIA-568-B.

Registered jack Telecommunication network interface

A registered jack (RJ) is a standardized telecommunication network interface for connecting voice and data equipment to a service provided by a local exchange carrier or long distance carrier. Registration interfaces were first defined in the Universal Service Ordering Code (USOC) system of the Bell System in the United States for complying with the registration program for customer-supplied telephone equipment mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the 1970s. They were subsequently codified in title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 68. Registered Jack connections began to see use after their invention in 1973 by Bell Labs. The specification includes physical construction, wiring, and signal semantics. Accordingly, registered jacks are primarily named by the letters RJ, followed by two digits that express the type. Additional letter suffixes indicate minor variations. For example, RJ11, RJ14, and RJ25 are the most commonly used interfaces for telephone connections for one-, two-, and three-line service, respectively. Although these standards are legal definitions in the United States, some interfaces are used worldwide.

Power over Ethernet System for delivering power along with data over an Ethernet cable

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Attenuation-to-crosstalk ratio Measurement that represents the overall performance of a cable

Attenuation-to-crosstalk ratio (ACR) is a parameter that is measured when testing a communication link, which represents the overall performance of the cable. AcR is a mathematical formula that calculates the ratio of attenuation to near-end crosstalk for each combination of cable pairs. ACR is expressed as a figure in decibels (dB), between the signal attenuation produced by a wire or cable transmission medium and the near-end crosstalk (NEXT). In order for a signal to be received with an acceptable bit error rate, the attenuation and the crosstalk must both be minimized. Crosstalk can be reduced by ensuring that twisted-pair wiring is tightly twisted and is not crushed, and by ensuring that connectors between wire and cable media are properly rated and installed.

Structured cabling

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EIA-530 Balanced serial interface

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Modular connector Electrical connector commonly used in telephone and computer networks

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Twinaxial cabling

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10 Gigabit Ethernet Standards for Ethernet at ten times the speed of Gigabit Ethernet

10 Gigabit Ethernet is a group of computer networking technologies for transmitting Ethernet frames at a rate of 10 gigabits per second. It was first defined by the IEEE 802.3ae-2002 standard. Unlike previous Ethernet standards, 10 Gigabit Ethernet defines only full-duplex point-to-point links which are generally connected by network switches; shared-medium CSMA/CD operation has not been carried over from the previous generations Ethernet standards so half-duplex operation and repeater hubs do not exist in 10GbE.

ANSI/TIA-568 is a technical standard for commercial building cabling for telecommunications products and services. The title of the standard is Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard and is published by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), a body accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

References

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  2. "ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.1-2001 Approved: April 12, 2001 ; Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard Part 1: General Requirements" (PDF). 090917 nag.ru
  3. "Ethernet Cable Identification and Use". Archived from the original on July 10, 2011.
  4. "ANSI/TIA/EIA 568-B.2-1". Archived from the original on 2013-09-28.
  5. "APPLICATION NOTE Copper Clad Aluminum(CCA) Cables". Fluke Networks. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  6. "Potential Legal Liabilities for Manufacturers and Installers of Category Communications Cables Made with Copper Clad Aluminum Conductors". Communications Cable and Connectivity Association, Inc. (CCCA). Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  7. "Cat6A Interactive Reference Guide" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2021-01-29.
  8. "ANSI/TIA-568.2-D The latest TIA standard". Archived from the original on 2021-01-29.
  9. 1 2 "A new Category 6A specification has arrived". Next generation Cat. 6A. Tyco Electronics. Archived from the original on 2014-02-25.
  10. "Cat. 6A ≠ Cat. 6 A ≠ Class EA". Next generation Cat. 6A. Tyco Electronics. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03.
  11. Barnett, David; Goth, David; McBee, Jim (20 August 2004). Cabling: The Complete Guide to Network Wiring, 3rd Edition. Sybex. ISBN   978-0782143317.[ page needed ]
  12. McLaughlin, Patric (2012-12-01). "TIA working on Category 8 standard". Cabling Installation and Maintenance. 20 (12). Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  13. Commercial Building Telecommunications Standard (PDF), archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-12-20
  14. "Deploying 10GBASE-T with Cisco Switches: Choose the Right Cabling". January 22, 2014. Archived from the original on May 25, 2016.
  15. "Category 5/5E & Cat 6 Cabling Tutorial and FAQ's". LANshack.com. Retrieved 2012-01-06.