Posted by & filed under Blog, Data Cabling, Data Centres.

What is Cat8
What is Cat 8 Ethernet Cable
Cat 6 Installation cost

What is a Cat 8 Cable?

With the development of fibre, many people assumed ethernet cables would soon become a thing of the past. Somehow, ethernet cables have managed to stay relevant in the world of technology. New developments arise every few years and they continue to push the envelope of traditional copper cables. So what is a Cat8 cable?

The latest development is Cat8 Ethernet cable or category 8 ethernet cable. This cable is an advancement of its predecessor Cat7. As a general rule, a higher number represents newer technology that can support higher data rates. In addition, other differences can be cost, bandwidth, and shielding.

 

Specs for Cat8 Ethernet
Category CAT8 Connectors RJ45/RJ45
Booted Yes, Ferrai-Style, Snaggles Bandwidth Up to 2GHz
Jacket PVC Shielded Pair Foil shielded/4 Pair Braid shield
AWG 24 AWG Conductor Stranded
Conductor Material Pure Copper Max Data Rate 40 Gbps
Backwards Compatible Yes Contact Gold Plating 50 Micron

 

Difference between ethernet categories

Cat5 cables operate at 100MHz and transfer data at speeds of up to 1000Mbps. Cat6 Cables operate at 250MHz with speeds of up to 1Gbps. Category 7 cables perform at superior speeds in comparison to the previous cables. Cat 7 works at 600Mhz and can get up to 10Gbps. This is a simplification; these numbers are based on specific tests. There are variation on each cable and some arrangements that can boost or decrease the overall performance.

Cat8 cables are far superior, they supersede all previous categories by a large margin. The cable reaches speeds of 25Gbps (cat8.1) to 40Bbps (cat8.2). Rated to a frequency of 2GHz, the cable can reach an outstanding 2 billion signals (transfers) per second. The high speed means all cables lengths are up to 30M using a 2-connector channel made up of a high density shielded cable. In comparison to Cat5 data transfers, Cat 8 is 250 to 400 times faster.

 

Category Standard Bandwidth Max Data Rate Shielding
Cat5e 100MHz – 350MHz 1000Mbps UTP or STP
Cat6 250Mhz – 550MHz 1000Mbps UTP or STP
Cat6a 500MHz -  550MHz 10Gbps UTP or STP
Cat7 600MHz 10Gbps Shielded only
Cat8 2000Mhz 25Gbps or 40Gbps Shielded only

 

Cost

Much alike most things, higher performance costs more. At times this purely an economic issue, but in other scenarios its to do with the cost of production. This certainly applies when it comes to ethernet cables. Generally, it comes down to shielding and twists. Higher frequencies require more twists in the cable pairs and the process is more expensive. Additionally, it becomes more difficult to shield higher frequencies from interference and crosstalk. As you go up the scale the cost of raw materials for shielding becomes more expensive.

Bandwidth explained

The frequency of a cable determines how many 1s and 0s can be sent across the cable in a second. For instance, a basic Cat5 cable sends 100 million signals a second (100Mhz). Cat8 on the other hand uses an unprecedented 2 billion (2GHz) signals per second. The cable density and quality of shielding on a Cat8 cable are on a whole different scale. This becomes obvious when you take into consideration that Cat8 is rated for data transfers 250 to 400 times faster than Cat5.

CAT8 Ethernet cable Advantages

Compared to OM3 Multimode Optical Fibre
  • Cheaper alternative for channels less than 30M
  • Backwards compatible with Cat6 & Cat6a
  • Auto-negotiation supported
  • Mixed data rates on the same switch are enabled
Compared to Twin-Axial Copper
  • Supports connections with same or adjacent cabinets
  • Backwards compatibility with RJ45 equipment
  • Auto-negotiation supported
  • Cheaper alternative for direct attached copper applications of 5m or less
  • Mixed data rates on the same switch are enabled

Please click below to share this article