R&M, the globally active developer and provider of cabling systems for high-quality network infrastructures, based in Wetzikon, Switzerland, is launching a universal Cat. 8.1 cabling system. It supports the fastest data transmission local networks with structured copper cabling achieve today: namely up to 40 Gigabit/s Ethernet. At the same time, the Cat. 8.1 cabling system is backward-compatible as it is based on the standard RJ45 plug-in format. That means Cat. 6Apatch cords used to date can still be deployed. Networks can still be operated with 10 Gigabit/s Ethernet which is standard today. Data centers and LAN operators do not need any additional adapters, transmission cables or fiber optic interfaces if they are soon migrating to the faster network generations 25 and 40 Gigabit/s Ethernet. After the installation of a basic Cat. 8.1 infrastructure, faster switches, and servers can be integrated seamlessly. 

Heart of the Cat. 8.1 cabling system from R&M: the connection module in the universal RJ45 format. It enables data transmission up to 40 Gigabit/s Ethernet.

The basic Cat. 8.1 infrastructure (Permanent Link) consists of two RJ45 connection modules and a shielded Cat. 8.2/8.1 S/FTP installation cable. The system complies with both standard families: ISO/IEC 11801, Class I, and ANSI/TIA-568.2-D. 

The original intent of use for this system was in data centers, particularly with regard to the top of the rack and end of row cabling. Here, Cat. 8.1 cabling is due to transmit up to 40 Gigabit/s Ethernet (40GBase-T) in the future. R&M guarantees the performance for the 24-meter permanent link and the up to 30-meter channel depending on the patch cords used. R&M bases its specification on the relevant standards of ISO/IEC and TIA. 

The second area of application is in buildings which require extremely fast local data networks. Here the Cat. 8.1 system from R&M supports the new performance level of 25 Gigabit/s Ethernet (25GBASE-T). The proposed 50m distance in the draft technical report ISO/IEC TR11801-9909 for this bandwidth thus covers roughly two-thirds of all typical link lengths in office buildings. Furthermore, the Cat. 8.1 cabling system is suitable for four-pair Power over Ethernet (4PPoE). 

The Cat. 8.1 connection module is based on the design of R&M’s Cat. 6A module – a top product which has won the iF Award. In the Cat. 8.1 module, the copper conductors are terminated using insulation displacement contacts (IDC). R&M supplies an optional termination tool. Installers can use it to produce enough strength to quickly and correctly press the wires into the IDC and at the same time cut off the overlength.