R&M has completed its Cat 8.1 program. Cat.8.1 patch cords round off the cabling range for office cabling and data centres. R&M is one of the first manufacturers to be a single source of supply for all modules of a shielded Cat. 8.1 channel.
The company was the first manufacturer to have the cabling system certified for the most important applications. The independent German testing company GHMT confirmed in June that a Cat. 8.1 cabling system from R&M reliably transfers 25 Gigabit/s over 50m. This is the performance level required for the connection of WiFi 6 WAVE 2 and future WiFi 7 access points in office buildings, for example. GHMT tested on the basis of the standard ISO/IEC DTR 11801-9909. The R&M system fulfilled the corresponding requirements with outstanding transmission quality. This makes it suitable for use in data centres.
Cat. 8.1 is a connection and cabling technology for data transmission up to 40Gbit/s. Cat. 8.1 takes copper cabling to its limits and works with a bandwidth of 2,000MHz. R&M developed the Cat. 8.1 portfolio primarily for data transmission in data centres and for connecting upcoming WiFi and high bandwidth applications.
Data centres are immediately entering the 40-Gigabit era with the Cat. 8.1. This provides them with data transmission four times faster than that which has currently been possible to date, a maximum of 10 Gigabits. The main areas of use would be top-of-rack and end-of-row infrastructure. R&M specifies the Cat. 8.1 system for permanent links up to 24m when using 40Gbit/s. Channels of up to 30m can be set up with the new patch cords.
The Cat. 8.1 program is also suitable for use in challenging local data networks in office environments, functional buildings, media businesses and in the financial industry. It supports the current and upcoming Ethernet generations 10, 25 and 40Gbit/s. In other words, networks can initially continue to be operated with today’s 10Gbit/s Ethernet.
The Cat. 8.1 products are backwards compatible to existing installations, such as Cat. 6A cabling, thanks to their universal RJ45 connectivity. Users do not require additional adapters or transmission cables to accelerate their network at a later date. After installing a Cat. 8.1 infrastructure, they can seamlessly integrate faster switches and servers at any time.
Cat. 8.1 cabling planned with a view to the future can therefore be used for decades, providing the transmission links are taken into account. Cat. 8.1 cabling transmits 40Gbit/s over a 24m and 25Gbit/s over a 50m permanent link.
The standard 90m used in LAN planning can no longer be used as a basis. Nevertheless, the Cat. 8.1 system still allows around 60% of the cabling links commonly used in office environments to be implemented with at least 25Gbit/s. The locations of distributors, outlets, WLAN access points and other terminal equipment must be coordinated accordingly.
An extensive office landscape can be easily segmented into different power zones with Cat. 8.1 cabling. At dedicated points, in or near a server room, 40Gbit/s would be viable. WLAN access points within a 50m radius would be supported at 25Gbit/s. At peripheral workplaces at a distance of up to 95m, 10Gbit/s would be sufficient. R&M has developed sample plans for such scenarios.
WLAN is one of the main application areas of the Cat. 8.1. Coming WLAN generations such as WiFi6 WAVE 2 or WiFi 7 will require transmission speeds above 10Gbit/s and up to 30Gbit/s. The Cat. 8.1 fulfills the requirements and is suitable, for example, for connecting access points in the ceiling. The cabling system can be used for four-pair Power over Ethernet (4PPoE) to supply terminal equipment such as WLAN routers directly via the data cable.
The design of the charcoal Cat. 8.1 connection module is based on the Cat. 6A module. This RJ45 module set new standards across the industry and won the iF Design Award. The wires are connected in IDCs. Terminating and cutting the wires to length is a single work step for the installer.
Cat. 8.1 requires a precisely coordinated shielding, wiring and compensation technology. This is the only way to keep the high bandwidth of 2,000MHz and the signal quality stable. It is therefore recommended to choose a coordinated portfolio from one source when it comes to Cat. 8.1 cabling.