R&M Unveils Cat. 8.1 Cabling System

Marking a significant advancement for the cabling industry, R&M, the globally active developer and provider of cabling systems for high-quality network infrastructures, today launches its universal Cat. 8.1 cabling system in the Middle East. The company’s new Cat. 8.1 connection module is based on the design of its Cat. 6A module – a top product which has won the iF Award. This solution for data centers and office LANs supports up to 40 Gigabit/s Ethernet (GbE) – the fastest data transmission rate that local networks with structured copper cabling can achieve today.

“Cat. 8.1 is an excellent, future-proof solution for current and upcoming generations of active equipment, with 10G and 40G. Network planners can make a cost-effective choice and reduce CapEx without increasing OpEx, and without sacrificing ease of use, flexibility, and reliability,” explained Nabil Khalil, Executive Vice-President of R&M Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.

“Outside of its obvious application in data centers, it is highly suitable to office cabling as well where it allows the introduction of three different speed zones depending on the length of the permanent link. And thanks to future-proofing, a Cat. 8.1 installation today serves as preparation for future demands with today’s usability thanks to the RJ45 format,” he added.

This backward-compatible of the Cat. 8.1 cabling system is possible because of the use of the standard RJ45 plug-in format. That means that Cat. 6A patch cords, which are still widely used, can be deployed, and networks built on the new Cat. 8.1 solution can still be operated with 10GbE which is standard today. R&M has ensured that 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 25 and 40GbE generations. After the installation of a basic Cat. 8.1 infrastructure, faster switches, and servers can be integrated seamlessly.

R&M expects the solution to be widely deployed in data centers, particularly in top-of-rack and end-of-row cabling. The Swiss cabling specialist guarantees 40GbE performance for 24-meter permanent links and up to 30-meter channel depending on the patch cords used. This is in line with the specifications of the ISO/IEC and TIA standards.

The solution is also ideally suited to buildings which require extremely fast local data networks. Here the Cat. 8.1 system from R&M supports the new performance level of 25 GbE (25GBASE-T). The proposed 50m distance in the draft technical report ISO/IEC TR11801-9909 for this bandwidth 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) and features R&M’s PowerSafe quality seal. R&M PowerSafe products exclusively feature IDC terminations and are specifically designed and tested to ensure they can continuously transmit high currents in local data networks.

The basic Cat. 8.1 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. In the Cat. 8.1 module, the copper conductors are terminated using insulation displacement contacts (IDC). R&M supplies an optional termination tool which installers can use it to quickly and correctly press the wires into the IDC and also cut off over lengths.


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