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For Immediate Release - February 26, 2013

Siemon's Standards Informant Predicts Category 8 Confusion

Standards Informant

In its Standards Informant Blog, Industry Specialist Siemon has published a summary of the TIA's recent decision to adopt 'category 8' as the name for the next generation balanced twisted-pair cabling system currently under development and predicts confusion with the ISO/IEC's naming convention.

As the Standards Informant explains, the TIA TR-42.7 Copper Cabling Subcommittee has adopted 'category 8' as the name for the cabling system planned to support 40Gb/s transmission in a 2-connector channel over a distance shorter than 100 metres and tentatively describes transmission performance up to 2 GHz.

Traditionally, cabling categories are supersets of each other - meaning that a higher category of cabling meets or exceeds all of the electrical and mechanical requirements of a lower category of cabling and is also backwards compatible with the lower performing category. However, category 8 is expected to have a different deployed channel topology says Siemon's Standards Informant and will not be a performance superset of category 7A.

Furthermore, whilst ISO/IEC category 7A is currently specified to a bandwidth of 1 GHz, the nearly finalized IEC 61076-3-104, 3rd edition standard for category 7A connectors, is extending category 7A performance characterization out to 2 GHz. This could mean two cabling specifications specified to 2GHz says the Standards Informant, with the TIA's category 8 having much lower performance than ISO/IEC's category 7A.

The Standards Informant from Siemon is a guide to network cabling and data centre standards and includes sections for ISO/IEC, TIA and IEEE, allowing readers to hone in on the specific standard of most interest or to compare data from each for an industry-wide perspective. It publishes the latest standards news, white papers and technical reports, plus also provides an 'ask Siemon' facility for visitors to the blog site who seek specific information or guidance.

Commenting on the Standards Informant, managing director of Siemon EMEA, Steven Foster said, "We always aim to share our industry expertise and knowledge to support those in the industry to fully understand the technical landscape, the latest innovations and the standards that underpin our market. The Standards Informant demystifies the various cabling standards applied around the globe and gives an unbiased account of the latest standards activity. It is written by those sitting on the Standards committees and is a reliable and rapid information source, delivered in a straightforward style that is easy to assimilate."

For more information on the standards or to read the full category 8 account visit the Standards Informant at


About Siemon
Established in 1903, Siemon is an industry leader specialising in the design and manufacture of high quality, high performance low voltage infrastructure solutions and services for data centres, LANs and intelligent buildings. Headquartered in Connecticut, USA, with global sales, technical and logistics expertise spanning 100 countries, Siemon offers a comprehensive suite of copper and optical fibre cabling systems, cabinets, racks, cable management, data centre power and cooling systems and intelligent infrastructure management solutions.

With more than 400 patents specific to structured cabling, Siemon Labs invests heavily in R&D and the development of industry standards, underlining the company’s long-standing commitment to its customers and the industry. Siemon Interconnect Solutions (SIS) is a Siemon business unit comprised of a team of dedicated technical sales professionals supported by Siemon Labs, mechanical, electrical and signal integrity engineers committed to solving industry and customer driven interconnect challenges. Siemon provides custom network infrastructure solutions to OEMs, leading manufacturers, value-added resellers and system integrators.
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