Starlight Cat8 cables for high speed media network applications are being previewed at ISE 2016. Starlight Ethernet is the first production cable that meets the proposed requirements for Cat8, claims Wireworld. This cable is also the first to incorporate Wireworld’s Tite-Shield technology, a new structure that the company says overcomes limitations of previous network cable designs.
Cat7 cabling was created to satisfy the demands of 10Gbit Ethernet. Even though most media networks now run below that speed, cables that support higher speeds have been found to improve the quality of audio and video streaming. Those improvements are possible because streamed signals suffer from data errors that cannot be repaired by the error correction systems that preserve file transfers. The proposed standard for future networks is Cat8, which extends network speeds to the staggering rate of 40 Gigabits per second.
One of the reasons why Cat7 cables do not meet the proposed Cat8 specifications is that they allow too much crosstalk (mixing) between the four signal channels. To control crosstalk, conventional cables use four twisted pairs of conductors with one foil shield on each pair. An overall two-layer shield reduces outside interference. The problem with twisting is that it makes lengths of the conductors uneven, which causes timing errors called skew.
The Tite-Shield design isolates the four channels with a three-layer shield on each conductor pair. Wireworld claims that these shields are so effective that twisting is no longer needed and conductor length differences are eliminated.
Starlight’s flat design provides greater separation between the four conductor pairs to provide lower crosstalk, supporting higher transmission speeds than conventional designs. The cable also utilises Wireworld’s proprietary Composilex 2 insulation to minimise triboelectric noise.