What is Cat7 Ethernet?
The Category 7 cable, commonly referred to as Cat7 cable is a type of advanced data transfer patch cable used to provide the basic infrastructure for a wired Gigabit, 10 Gigabit, 40 GB and 100GB Ethernet setup. A Cat 7 cable offers performance up to 600MHz but is still an unknown entity in telecommunications. Testing has successfully shown its ability to transmit up to 40 Gb at 50 meters and even 100 Gb at 15 meters
Ethernet cables come in all shapes, lengths, and sizes, but the biggest difference between them is their construction and size. This indicates both their performance, which is directly related to signal to noise ratio. While cables like Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Cat 6a, are quite common, Cat 7 is a little different. Its not often found outside the data centre or home automation environment.
Indeed a majority of manufacturers don’t offer a total Cat7 solution and prefer to base their design on a shielded Cat6a solution which has the same performance at 90m
However today, a very diverse range of commercial and industrial sectors is rapidly increasing the demand for internet and data transfer speeds. A modern reflection of this fact is that we are constantly looking for ways to leverage the highly efficient capabilities of our latest technology. Especially as we get closer to the internet of things era where almost any device allows you to record and transfer potentially valuable user data in real-time, so moving forward forever is becoming more important. The technology is a steep curve and the cabling will be required to follow
Cat7 cable specifications
Category 7 Ethernet cable springs are described in ISO / IEC 11801: 2002. This specification is also known as Class F standard, which is why Cat 7 cable is sometimes called ISO class F cable. This Cat 7 Ethernet cable specifies that there must be a wired connection:
- It can provide reliable data transfer rates over a certain range of distances
- It can deal with a range of potentially troublesome environmental hazards as it provides these speeds
- Designed to meet stringent standards around the cross stall and system noise prevention
- Minimum age guarantee in permanent operation
- Its is ratified to a permanent link of 90 metres with an allowance of patch leads of 5m at each end
Cat7 cable speed
The Cat 7 was designed to support 10 Gbps Ethernet, although laboratory tests have successfully shown it to be much higher, up to 40 Gbps and even 100 Gbps. The 100GB capability has been moved to 15 meters – however, the exact setup of the synchronized hardware will be required. In terms of raw performance compared to the previous review, it is theoretically 6 times higher than the Cat 5e (100 MHz), and 2.4 times higher than the Cat 6 (250 MHz)
Cat7 Ethernet cable standards
The Category 7 wire includes four individually shielded twisted copper pairs. In additionl as an overall cable shield. Thus helping meet stringent standards for compensating for signal loss over distance. Furthermore the Cat 7 cable is better designed to protect against potential degradation caused by such issues crystalline and EMI.
In the connectors there are also additional copper connections top left and top right. Thus in addition to the usual 8 core positions in Cat5e through Cat6a. Therefore this requires matching patch leads and specialised switches to interact with these connectors for transmission. These connectors are commonly known as GG45 connectors or TERA conectors
Types of Cat7 Ethernet cable
Category 7A, also commonly called Augmented Category 7, operates at frequencies up to 1000 MHz. The Cat7a is designed for multiple applications in a single cable, including 40 Gigabit Ethernet and 100 Gigabit Ethernet. Test results show that 40 Gigabit Ethernet will work up to 50 meters and 100 Gigabit Ethernet up to 15 meters is possible. Furthermore, CAT7 can be employed for pair sharing. Therefore one cable can be used for two or more different devices
Benefits of Cat7 Ethernet
There are the following benefits of Cat7 ethernet
Backward compatibility refers to the next generation cabling that meets all the features of its category and the features of the current category. Cat 7 cables are backward synchronized with Cat 5, Cat 5e, and Cat 6 categories. If you connect a Cat7 cable to an old router, everything will work fine. However bear in mind that a cabling link is only as good as its weakest point. Therefore with a cat5e patch leads is only rated as a Cat5e performance link
As the latest category of Ethernet cables, the Cat7 performs relatively fast and increases bandwidth compared to its predecessors. With a maximum transmission frequency of 600 MHz and a maximum speed of 10 Gbps for copper wires over 100 meters, this cable is a high-performance Internet connection for smart homes or in business environments.
If you have smart home technology or are in an environment that requires a fast internet connection, the Cat 7 Cables are the perfect match. However, if you are on a reduced budget, you can choose Cat 6 or Cat 5 cables. Cat6a in most cases will in fact provide the same performance as Cat7