Cat5e for High Speed Networks

By: Mike Nicholson

Bandwidth precedes data rates just as highways come before traffic. Doubling the bandwidth is like adding twice the number of lanes on a highway. The trends of the past and the predictions for the future indicate that data rates have been doubling every 18 months. As streaming media applications such as video and multi-media become commonplace, the demands for faster data rates will increase and spawn new applications that will benefit from the higher bandwidth offered by category 5e.

Cat5 enhanced (Cat5e), supports short-run Gigabit Ethernet (1000 Mbps) networking by utilizing all four wire pairs and is backward-compatible with ordinary CAT5. Currently defined in TIA/EIA-568-B, Cat 5e provides performance of up to 100 MHz, and is frequently used for both 100 Mbit/s and gigabit Ethernet networks. Cat5e cable is an enhanced version of Cat 5 that adds specifications for far end crosstalk. Although 1000BASE-T was designed for use with Cat 5 cable, the tighter specifications associated with Cat 5e cable and connectors make it an excellent choice for use with 1000BASE-T.

The Gigaplus range of Cat5e products offer customers a Gigabit Ethernet solution. The Gigaplus system offers a guaranteed performance that not only meets the requirement of the relevant standard, but offers the comfort of substantial headroom. In the current market GigaPlus represents a sound investment for general office horizontal cabling and residential cabling for networks running Gigabit Ethernet applications.

Some of the Cat5e systems like Belden IBDN System 1200 have been developed to support high-speed network applications such as Gigabit Ethernet and provide clear bandwidth up to 160 MHz; an increase of 60% over Cat5e standard of 100 MHz.

These cables incorporate a patented design which provides complete quality control during the manufacturing process. This provides high quality cables that consistently offer improved channel performance and large cabling systems for all new cabling installations.

For more information on Cat5e cables, please log onto www.mayflex.com

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