Ethernet Hardware

Cabling

Single line

The first Ethernet topologies used a single cable line, to which all network nodes were attached. The main disadvantage is that a network breakdown at a single place can easily make the whole network unusable.

Both the 10BASE5 and 10BASE2 had the same problem that a single point of failure (break in any of the connections) could severely degrade or bring down the whole network.

Hubbed/Switched

When Ethernet hubs/switches were first available, they were quite expensive. As they become more common and therefore cheaper, more and more people replaced their existing network using hubs or even switches, which makes the network much more reliable. Today switches are very cheap, so single line Ethernets (using thin or thick cables) are only very rarely used.

Maximum cable length

The maximum cable (segment) length is depending on the cable and the transfer speed used.

Technology

Cabling

Max Cable Length

10BASE5

Yellow cable

500m

10BASE2

RG58 coax

185m

10BASE-T

EIA/TIA Category 3 UTP

100m

10BASE-FP

62.5 or 125 micron MMF

1km

10BASE-FB

62.5 or 125 micron MMF

2km

10BASE-FL

62.5 or 125 micron MMF

2km

100BASE-TX

EIA/TIA Category 5 unshielded twisted pair (2 pair)

100m

100BASE-T2

Cat 3, 4, & 5 UTP (2 pair)

100m

100BASE-T4

Cat 3, 4, & 5 UTP (4 pair)

100m

100BASE-FX

62.5 micron multimode fiber

400m half duplex, 2km full duplex

100BASE-FX

Single mode fiber

10km

1000BASE-CX

Shielded twisted pair

25m

1000BASE-T

Cat 5 UTP (4 pair, 100MHz)

100m

1000BASE-SX

62.5 micron MMF

275m

1000BASE-SX

50 micron MMF

550m

1000BASE-LX/LH

50 or 62.5 micron MMF

550m

1000BASE-LX/LH

9 micron SMF

10km

1000BASE-ZX

9 micron SMF

70km

1000BASE-ZX

8 micron SMF

100km

10GBASE-SR/SW

62.5 micron MMF

33m

10GBASE-SR/SW

50 micron MMF

66m or 300m (2GHZ)

10GBASE-LR/LW

9 micron SMF

10km

10GBASE-ER/EW

9 micron SMF

40 km

10GBASE-LX4/LW4

50 or 62.5 micron MMF

300 m

10GBASE-LX4/LW4

9 micron SMF

10 km

10GBASE-CX4

Special copper cable / connectors (8 pair)

15 m

10GBASE-T

CAT 6a (4 pair, 625MHz)

100 m

10GBASE-T

CAT 6e (4 pair, 500MHz)

55 m

Using repeaters between segments can increase the maximum length.

An Introduction to Auto-Negotiation provides an extensive overview of the autonegotiation process.

EthernetHardware (last edited 2008-04-12 17:50:41 by localhost)