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Category 5e, 6, UTP Cable Assemblies

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Our company offers UTP cable assemblies for computer networking, such as:

 UTP Cable, Category 5e
 UTP Cable, Category 6
 UTP Cable, Crossover CAT5e
 UTP Cable, CAT5 Stranded 8 Core (4 Pair)

About Category 5, Category 5E and Category 6 Cables

The limits of Category 5
Category 5 (CAT5) cabling is good, solid cable for 100-Mbps LANs. The Category 5 standard has been around since 1991, so it's well established. You'll find existing Category 5 installations everywhere. What can Category 5 cable do, and what can't it do?

If you still have a lot of 10-Mbps equipment, CAT5 cabling will serve your needs. It also handles 100-Mbps Fast Ethernet transmissions very well.

But if you're running up against the performance limits of a 100-Mbps network, you'll probably want to upgrade at least parts of your system fairly soon to Category 5e or higher.

Category 5e: the improved Category 5
Category 5e (CAT5e), also known as Enhanced Category 5, was ratified in 1999. It's an incremental improvement designed to enable cabling to support full-duplex Fast Ethernet operation and Gigabit Ethernet.

The main differences between Category 5 and Category 5e can be found in the specifications. The performance requirements have been raised slightly in the new standard (see the Buyer's Guide below).

CAT5e has stricter specifications for Power Sum Equal-Level Far-End Crosstalk (PS-ELFEXT ), Near-End Crosstalk (NEXT), Attenuation, and Return Loss (RL) than those for Category 5. Like CAT5, CAT5e is a 100-MHz standard, but it has the capacity to handle bandwidth superior to that of CAT5. With these improvements, you can expect problem-free, full-duplex, 4-pair Ethernet transmissions over your CAT5e UTP.

Category 6 Cables
The next level in the cabling hierarchy is Category 6 (ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.2-1), which was ratified by the TIA/EIA in June 2002. CAT6 provides higher performance than CAT5e and features more stringent specifications for crosstalk and system noise.

The quality of the data transmission depends upon the performance of the components of the channel. So to transmit according to CAT6 specs, jacks, patch cables, patch panels, cross-connects, and cabling must all meet CAT6 standards. (The channel basically includes everything from the wallplate to the wiring closet.) The CAT6 components are tested individually, and they are also tested together for performance. In addition, the standard calls for generic system performance so that CAT6 components from any vendor can be used in the channel.

CAT6 channel transmission requirements should result in a Power-Sum Attenuation-to-Crosstalk Ratio (PS-ACR) that is greater than or equal to zero at 200 MHz.

In addition, all CAT6 components must be backward compatible with CAT5e, CAT5, and Category 3. If different category components are used with CAT6 components, then the channel will achieve the transmission performance of the lower category. For instance, if CAT6 cable is used with CAT5e jacks, the channel will perform at a CAT5e level.


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