1000BASE-T is Gigabit Ethernet (1 gigabit is 1000 megabits per second) on copper cables, using four pairs of Category 5 unshielded twisted pair to achieve the gigabit data rate. 1000BASE-T can be used in data centers for server switching, for uplinks from desktop computer switches, or directly to the desktop for broadband applications. A big advantage of 1000BASE-T is that existing copper cabling can be used instead of having to rewire with optical fiber.

For Gigabit Ethernet, industry offerings include these types of wiring:

  • 1000BASE-SX (a short laser wavelength on multimode fiber optic cable for a maximum length of 550 meters)
  • 1000BASE-LX/LH (a long wavelength for a "long haul" fiber optic cable for a maximum length of 10 kilometers)
  • 1000BASE-ZX (an extended wavelength single-mode optical fiber for up to 100 kilometers)
  • 1000BASE-CX (two pairs of 150-ohm shielded twisted pair cable for a maximum length of 25 meters)
  • 1000BASE-T (four pairs of Category 5 unshielded twisted pair cable for a maximum length of 100 meters)

The 1000BASE designation is an IEEE shorthand identifier. The "1000" in the media type designation refers to the transmission speed of 1000 Mbps. The "BASE" refers to baseband signalling, which means that only Ethernet signals are carried on the medium. (Through repeaters, media segments of different physical types can be sometimes be used in the same system.)

The designation for "1000BASE-T" is also sometimes seen as "1000BaseT."

This was last updated in August 2006

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