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Cat8 Cable for 25G/40GBASE-T Network

March 28, 2019

As you know, with the increasing bandwidth demands, choosing the right cabling is significant in future-proofing data centers, server rooms or other places for requirements that lie ahead. Nowadays, Cat8 cable is regarded as a new option for emerging 25GBASE-T and 40GBASE-T networks. Then, what is Cat8 cable? What are 25G/40GBASE-T and why choose Cat8 Cable for 25G/40GBASE-T network? Read this post to find answers to these questions.

Cat8 cable

Figure 1: FS Cat8 cable for 25GBASE-T & 40GBASE-T

What Is a Cat8 Cable?

Cat8, or category 8 is the next generation twisted-pair copper cabling standard specified by ANSI/TIA-568-C.2-1 in 2016. Cat8 cable operates at a frequency of 2 GHz (2000 MHz), which enables higher bandwidth and requires shielding. It allows a cabling distance up to 30 meters operating in a two-connector configuration. And its connector type can be Class I (RJ45) or Class II (Non-RJ45). Moreover, Cat8 patch cable is fully backward compatible with all the previous RJ45 cabling and equipment. Designed to support 25GBASE-T and 40GBASE-T applications, it is suitable for small or middle enterprise LANs, especially for data center switch-to-server interconnections.

Category Maximum Data Rate Shielding Type Maximum Distance Frequency Conductor Pairs Connector Type Gauge (AWG)
Cat8 Cable 25G/40G Shielded (S/FTP) 30 meters 2000 MHz 2 Class I: RJ45, Class II: Non-RJ45 28

Note: 28 AWG is the gauge of FS Cat8. 22, 23, 24 and 26 AWG are also available in the market.

25G/40GBASE-T Overview

25GBASE-T is developed by IEEE 802.3 Task Force 802.3bq, which is one of the IEEE standardized BASE-T technologies that all use twisted pair cabling to provide up to 25Gbps data transmission. It is backward compatible with existing 10GBASE-T systems and forward compatible with 40GBASE-T. Because BASE-T devices offer auto-negotiation to determine the capabilities supported by the other end of the link.

40GBASE-T (40 Gbit/s on 4-twisted pairs cable) is also developed by the IEEE 802.3bq Task Force. Actually, 40GBASE-T is ratified before 25GBASE-T. To meet the needs of bandwidth, 25GBASE-T has been incorporated into the IEEE 802.3bq (40GBASE-T) task force to produce a standard covering 25G/40GBASE-T specifications.

Why Choose Cat8 Cable for 25G/40GBASE-T Network?

25G/40G Ethernet has broad market potential in the server interconnect applications. Usually, twinax DAC assemblies, or fiber optic cables like OM3 and OM4, are used for 25G or 40G deployment. However, twinax DAC assemblies only fulfill the short transmission distance less than 5 meters, and fiber optic cables need other components such as fiber transceivers to connect, which is a little expensive when the link is less than 30 m. Then, the newly produced Cat8 Ethernet cable may be a nice alternative. The following will explain the advantages of using Cat8 network cable for 25G/40GBASE-T network.

Easy Migrations to Higher Bandwidth

As mentioned above, patch cords share the same RJ45 interface. This means upgrades could be performed one end at a time. Therefore, Cat8 patch cord allows quick and smooth incremental migrations of network speed from 1G to 10G, 25G, and 40G.

Simple Deployment

Belonging to BASE-T system, Cat8 cable is plug-and-play. And it can be terminated in the field like other cabling categories, which is simple to deploy.

Cost Saving

Due to the low cost of the copper channel, twisted pair copper cable has always been the most cost-effective solution for Ethernet network. Cat8 cable is no exception. So when deploying 25G/40GBASE-T network, Cat8 cable costs less than fiber cable for transmission distance less than 30 meters and saves more than twinax DAC for transmission distance less than 5 meters. What’s more, unlike the fiber cables, there is no need to buy additional hardware when applying Cat8 cable for 25G/40GBASE-T network. In addition, category 8 cable has limited distance up to 30 meters, which requires less power. Therefore, 25G/40GBASE-T network over Cat8 cable will not lead to cooling challenges, which also helps reduce cost.


Since the ever-increasing demand for higher bandwidth and the rapid development of network components, Cat8 cable is arousing more and more attention in wired networks. And it will play a major role in data centers upgrading to 25G/40GBASE-T. FS provides durable and cost-effective Cat8 patch cables, which 100% pass the Fluke Channel Test.

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