Category 5e

Category 5e cable is a 4-twisted pair cable for carrying signals. Class D channel and are used in structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet.

The cable standards provide performance of up to 100 MHz and is suitable for 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet), and 1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet). Category 5e is also used to carry other signals such as telephony and video.

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Category 6

Comparing to Category 5e, Class E channel and Category 6 cable specify more stringent requirement for crosstalk and system noise.

It is for performances up to 250MHz and suitable for 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX (100Mbs Fast Ethernet), and 1000BASE-T/1000BASE-TX (Gigabit Ethernet).

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Category 6a

Class EA (Class E Augmented) channel and Category 6a cable is designed for Gigabit Ethernet and other standard network protocols and can handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-TX, and 10GBASE-T.

Category 6a cable performs at up to 500 MHz, which allows 10GBASE-T to be run over distances of up to 100 meters.

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Category 7

Class F channel and Category 7 cable are backward compatible with Class D / Category 5e and Class E/Category 6. Class F features even stricter specifications for crosstalk and system noise than Class E.

To achieve this, shielding has been added for individual wire pairs and the cable as a whole. Besides the shield, the twisting of the pairs and number of turns per unit length increases RF shielding and protects from crosstalk. The Category 7 cable standard has been created to allow 10 Gigabit Ethernet over 100 m of copper cabling. The cable contains four twisted copper wire pairs, just like the earlier standards.

Category 7 cable is rated for transmission frequencies of up to 600 MHz

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Category 7a

Class FA (Class F Augmented) channels and Category 7A cables, introduced by ISO 11801 Edition 2 Amendment 2 (2010), are defined at frequencies up to 1000 MHz, suitable for multiple applications including CATV (862 MHz).
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Category 8.2

Within the draft standard ISO/IEC TR 11801-99-1 are the new standards with the classes I (Cat8.1) and II (Cat8.2) in development. This is offset by the draft standard TIA-568-C.2. with the Cat.8. Two new categories for 4-pair copper twisted pair cable with 2 connectors, with operating frequency up to 2.0 GHz.

Class I channel (Category 8.1 cable): minimum cable design U/FTP or F/UTP, fully backward compatible and inter-operable with Class EA (Category 6A) using 8P8C connectors.

Class II channel (Category 8.2 cable): F/FTP or S/FTP minimum, interoperable with Class FA (Category 7A) using 8P8C or TERA/GG45/ARJ45/BKS connectors.

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