CAT 7 (Category 7) Networking cable

Category 7 (Cat-7) network cabling is used as a cabling infrastructure for 1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet, or GbE) and 10GBASE-T (10-Gigabit Ethernet, or 10 GbE) networks.  The Cat 7 standard provides performance of up to 600 MHz  (1000 MHz for the Cat-7a, or Augmented Category 7 standard) and can be used up to a maximum length of 100 meters.

Category 7 cable is able to achieve higher performance than preceding Ethernet standards such as Cat 5, Cat 5e and Cat 6 by requiring each of its twisted wire pairs to be fully shielded.  This is known as Screen Shielded Twisted Pair (SSTP) or Screened Foiled Twisted Pair (SFTP) wiring, and it almost completely eliminates alien cross-talk while significantly improving noise resistance.

It is published in 2002 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and is also known as Class F cabling.  While more expensive than Cat 5e and Cat 6 cabling, Cat-7 cabling does have a 15-year life-cycle (compared to estimated 10-year life-cycles for Cat 5e and Cat 6), which helps improve its overall return on investment (ROI). 

Classes of Networking Cables

The standard defines several classes of twisted-pair copper interconnects, which differ in the maximum frequency for which a certain channel performance is required:
Class A: up to 100 kHz using elements category 1
Class B: up to 1 MHz using elements category 2
Class C: up to 16 MHz using elements category 3
Class D: up to 100 MHz using elements category 5e
Class E: up to 250 MHz using elements category 6
Class EA: up to 500 MHz using elements category 6A (Amendment 1 and 2 to ISO/IEC 11801, 2nd Ed.)
Class F: up to 600 MHz using elements category 7
Class FA: up to 1000 MHz using elements category 7A (Amendment 1 and 2 to ISO/IEC 11801, 2nd Ed.)


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