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Cable Technology Feature Article

January 22, 2009

New 10 GbE Cable System Delivers More For Less

By Vivek Naik, TMCnet Contributor

Superior Essex and Leviton Network Solutions recently introduced a new 10 Gigabyte Ethernet (GbE) transmission copper cable system called NextLAN 10GC AXi.
Superior Essex supplies the cables and Leviton the connectors, switches and signal distribution boxed circuitry. Together they deliver and guarantee the mandatory 4 decibel (dB) margin for alien crosstalk, thus eliminating its field testing, thinner 0.30 inch (0.762 millimeters, or mm) outside diameter cables and Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) connectors.
The AXi stands for Alien Crosstalk Isolation. Crosstalk occurs when a signal from one channel, or circuit, disrupts signals on other, invariably juxtaposed, channels, or circuits, and it is important to limit crosstalk to only 4dB. One way to do so is by using a full metallic shield. The innovative method used in the Essex cables, however, is by placing slivers of metal randomly within the plastic sheath at the time of manufacturing. This is also a type of fibre reinforced plastic, where the fibres are metallic. A layman’s example for the metal chips could be logs floating in a stream at the time of moulding and logs stationary in a frozen stream after moulding.
The Leviton physical connectorization locales achieve crosstalk containment by several methods. The connectors have a metalized shield forming a patented cone of silence, a patented male connector tine grip mechanism called Retention Force Technology (RFT), separation of conductors via a Pair Separation Tower (PST). The patch panels have proven gap isolation on the circuit boards while the patch chords use all the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) standard and recommended practices to contain crosstalk, within limits.
Even more value is added to the cabling system because it meets the requirements of international standard organizations including the copper cables supporting 10Gb/s up to 100 meters which is certified as cat6A. Also where act 6 is the performance criteria defined by  Telecommunications Industry Association (News - Alert) (TIA) and A is the class of cable as deemed International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Also, the link and channel pin assignment of connectors, balancing of the UTP systems, and auto-negotiation meet the TIA-568-B (News - Alert).2-10 and IEEE 10G BASE-T (802.3an) demands. It also complies with all the fire-retarding properties, wiring and safe installation, which include the elimination of grounding and bonding, as mentioned in UL 444 and in the US National Electrical Code (NEC (News - Alert)), the laws of which are in turn laid down by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in NFPA70, NPFA 262 for cables in air conditioning air-path zones, or plenum cables, and UL 1666 for cables placed between floors, or riser cables.

Vivek Naik is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Vivek's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi