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Networks to run gigabits/second over cable

Posted: 06 Mar 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Gbps  Gigabit  cable  network  cat 6 

With ever-increasing requirements in reliability, security, performance and bandwidth in enterprise networks, the need for higher-end cabling solutions continues to drive product and technology development for network technology providers. The migration of LAN speeds from 100Mbps (100BASE-TX) toward 1,000Mbps (1000BASE-T) is driving demand for higher speeds at data aggregation points.

Considered one of the main drivers, data centres?in line with the boom of the Internet?have been experiencing a growing demand in terms of Web hosting. According to Systimax Solutions' recent report titled "Meeting the Network Connectivity Challenge," which focuses on global technology trends for the enterprise PHY layer, 53 per cent of the surveyed network managers and decision makers expect to be running 1Gbps over their horizontal cabling, while 30 per cent look forward to adopting 10Gbps cabling systems within five years. As for their backbones, 61 per cent expect to be using 10Gbps cabling systems, while 20 per cent anticipate 40Gbps systems in five years.

Kandasamy: 'We excited about our opportunities here, particularly in China and India.'
Kandasamy: "We excited about our opportunities here, particularly in China and India."
While majority of the respondents chose Cat 6 cabling, 30 per cent selected augmented Cat 6 cabling, showing a likely shift toward 10Gbps copper cabling, despite the fact that the development of Cat 6A cabling standards has only recently commenced and market awareness for it is fairly low.

The company is optimistic about the future of this new-generation cabling solution. According to Ispran Kandasamy, Systimax VP and managing director for the Asia-Pacific region, one of the main drivers for the development of the augmented Cat 6 or Cat 6A cabling solution is heavy bandwidth usage in enterprises.

Move to 10Gbps
As bandwidth-intensive applications continue to emerge, cable makers are busy developing products that can support Gb-speed data transfer rates. Systimax has released its GigaSpeed X10D?a 10GbE over copper/UTP solution?for high-bandwidth applications in data centres, banking and finance institutions, particularly for functions requiring high-resolution video, grid computing, distributed processing technologies, switch-to-switch or switch-to-server interconnections and support for storage area networks. The GigaSpeed X10D is said to meet or exceed all channel requirements dictated by the pending IEEE 802.3an standard, which is scheduled to be ratified in July 2006. The cabling solution is also said to provide guaranteed channel margins to ISO/IEC 11801:2002 "Class E" (1-200MHz) standards as well as the soon-to-be-draughted ISO/IEC 11801 Edition 2.1 "New Class E" (1-500MHz) standards, particularly in the area of alien crosstalk and insertion loss.

Widening Asian scope
On the Asian front, Commscope Inc., parent company of Systimax, recently began mass production of broadband cables and connectivity solutions in Suzhou in Jiangsu province, mainland China. Its production facility measures about 11,000m2 and will house manufacturing of broadband coaxial cables, primarily for the Asia-Pacific region. Kandasamy claims that the plant is the largest coaxial cable supplier in China.

On the other hand, Systimax's production facility in Brisbane, Australia, covers an overall area of 10,900m2. The plant, which focuses on four-pair Cat 6 and Cat 6A LAN cables, manufactures almost 47,000km of cables and more than 500,000 units of patchleads every quarter. The company supplies all copper-based UTP non-plenum data cable and Cat 6 patchleads to the Asia-Pacific region.

"Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing region for Systimax," says Kandasamy. "We are excited about our opportunities here, particularly in China and India." He adds that China has the largest business for Systimax outside of the United States.

The company is now considering tapping into the Vietnam market, which is also beginning to develop in terms of its industries and enterprises. Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines are also promising in the field of connectivity infrastructure business, according to Kandasamy.

- By Stephen Las Marias
&nbps;&nbps;EE Times




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