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The Argument for NBASE-T Adoption


September 11, 2017

1000BASE-T did a great job on corporate access networks for nearly a decade.

But it’s time is over. And now this old hand should retire.

That’s the word from Leonid Barash in a Computer Review article published earlier this month. The editor for the Ukranian media outlet says that 1000BASE-T tops out at 1 gigabits per second. That’s not enough capacity to support the bring-your-own-device trend, the growing number of rich media applications, and the arrival of the IEEE 802.11ac Wave 1 and 2 versions of Wi-Fi, he says. (In noting rich media applications he specifically mentions CAD/CAM, medical imaging, and media editing.)


Businesses, and the companies that provide them with networking solutions, may elect to break through the 1Gbps ceiling by adopting 10GBASE-T, he added. But that, he noted, requires installation of new Cat6a cables. And installing those cables is expensive, in part because such efforts can be destructive to a building.

A better choice is embracing solutions based on the IEEE 802.3bz NBASE-T Alliance standard, he said. NBASE-T, which was standardized last fall, supports 2.5Gbps and 5Gbps data rates, and works over Cat5e/6 cables.

He added that NBASE-T is not exclusively for business applications. NBASE-T interfaces also can be used in residential environments. For example, these interfaces can be added to home network servers.

More than 35 companies are involved in the NBASE-T Alliance, whose website said this technology has a reach of up to 100 meters. That includes enterprise network companies that offer access points, cables, computing, connectors, controllers, Ethernet switches, FPGAs, Power over Ethernet ICs, processors, and test equipment.

Aquantia, Cisco, Intel, Marvell, NXP, and Xilinx are NBASE-T Alliance leaders. Bel Magnetic Solutions, Broadcom, Cadence, CME Consulting, Commscope, Fluke Networks, Ideal Networks, Kinnex A, molex, Panduit, UDE, and the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory also contribute to the NBASE-T Alliance effort. And Amphenol, Aukua Systems, Cavium, Centec Networks, HPE’s Aruba, Microsemi, Netgear, Rohde & Schwarz, Spirent, Tektronix, Teledyne, and many others have adopted NBASE-T Alliance solutions.



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