Sidebar: The Right Cable for the Job

Twin-axial: Similar to coaxial cable, except that it contains two inner conductors. Used with midrange systems such as IBM's AS/400, it will be the first to support 10Gbit speeds.

Category 5e: In most common use, this twisted-pair-cable specification is rated for a higher maximum frequency of 100 MHz. It currently supports Gigabit Ethernet speeds, but its ability to support 10Gbit is in question.

Category 6: This developing twisted-pair cabling is physically similar to Cat 5 but is rated for a higher maximum frequency of 250 MHz (550 MHz for Cat 6e). The 10GBase-T specification will support Cat 6e.

Category 7: Still under development, this specification will be rated at up to 600 MHz, will be wrapped in metal-braid shielding and is likely to require a different physical connector than Cat 5 or 6.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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