I would like to know about the different types of cable and if essential CAT5e cable can support Gigabit Ethernet....
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
ANSI/EIA (American National Standards Institute/Electronic Industries Association) Standard 568 is one of several standards that specify "categories" (the singular is commonly referred to as "CAT") of twisted pair cabling systems (wires, junctions, and connectors) in terms of the data rates that they can sustain. The specifications describe the cable material as well as the types of connectors and junction blocks to be used in order to conform to a category. These categories are:
|Category||Maximum data rate||Usual application|
|CAT 1||Less than 1 Mbps||analog voice (POTS)
Integrated Services Digital Network
Basic Rate Interface in ISDN
|CAT 2||4 Mbps||Mainly used in the IBM Cabling System for token ring networks|
|CAT 3||16 Mbps||Voice and data on 10BASE-T Ethernet|
|CAT 4||20 Mbps||Used in 16 Mbps Token Ring
Otherwise not used much
|CAT 5||100 Mbps
1000 Mbps (4 pair)
|100 Mbps TPDDI
155 Mbps ATM
|CAT 5E||100 Mbps||100 Mbps TPDDI
155 Mbps ATM
|CAT 6||200-250 MHz||Super-fast broadband applications|
While longer connections for Gigabit Ethernet use optical fiber, the goal is to leverage the CAT 5 twisted-pair wiring most organizations already have in place for connections out to the desktop. (Four pairs of twisted pair are used.)
The two most popular specifications are CAT 3 and CAT 5. While the two cables may look identical, CAT 3 is tested to a lower set of specifications and can cause transmission errors if pushed to faster speeds. CAT 3 cabling is near-end crosstalk-certified for only a 16 MHz signal, while CAT 5 cable must pass a 100 MHz test.
The CAT 6 specification was not yet formally approved by the EIA as of March, 2001, although products are being offered that conform to a proposed specification. A CAT 7 specification is reportedly being considered.
Dig Deeper on Network Administration
Related Q&A from Amy Kucharik
Learn what network latency is in this expert response.continue reading
Learn what the true definition of a download is and whether going from one Web site to another falls under this category in this Q&A with Amy ...continue reading
Learn about Multiprotocol Label Switching in this Q&A with Amy Kucharik.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.