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Make copper functional at 10G

Posted: 12 Mar 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:optical cabling  10GBASE-T  RJ45 type connector 

Dependence on optical cabling for high data rate interconnects in data centres has been borne of existing electrical (copper) cabling's inability to provide a truly viable and interchangeable alternative.

The uptake of 10GBASE-CX4 has been low, mainly due to its cumbersome and proprietary connector sitting proud of the equipment face plate, but also a result of CX4's use of eight pairs of twin-ax copper cable creating a cable with highly limited bend radius.

10GBASE-T, using CAT5 copper cable, employs the ubiquitous but non-modular RJ45 type connector. The connector is also mounted on the face of the equipment, requiring all cable driver and interface electronics to be placed on the line card. This inflexibility together with the high power consumption of 10GBASE-T electronics (currently 4W or more), make this option unattractive for high-density switches and routers.

Two technology trends in particular, however, are challenging the interconnect status quo and are set to make optical and electrical cabling perfectly interchangeable at data rates up to 10G and beyond.

View the PDF document for more information.





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