Category 8 is being developed to support 25 and 40 Gbps speeds over short (up to 30 m) distances. ANSI/TIA 1152A, an update to the 1152 standard for field test instruments used to test balanced twisted-pair cabling, was approved for publication in October 2016, and provides specifications for instruments used to test Category 8 cabling. IEC 61935-1, the international equivalent of the testing standard, is also being updated.
In addition to a higher frequency range, Category 8 cabling requires tighter performance specifications in the tester, and new adapters capable of supporting that performance. Fluke Networks celebrated a major milestone in this effort with the development of a reference test plug (codenamed “Jupiter”) capable of testing Category 8 permanent links, which allows accurate characterization of links.
To learn more about the importance of the test plug download the White paper “Category 8 cable will play a major role in 25G and 40G data center Ethernet”, How the TIA and IEC committees created new standards for Category 8 cable testing devices