With four new ISO/IEC and TIA cabling projects under development, it is more confusing than ever to cross reference the two groups’ cabling and component specifications.  This short primer should help.

In ISO/IEC Standards, structured cabling components (e.g. cables, connecting hardware, and patch cords) are characterized by a performance “category” and are mated to form a permanent link or channel that is described by a performance “class”.  In TIA Standards, components and cabling are both characterized by a performance “category”.  ISO/IEC and TIA equivalent grades of cabling, arranged in order of increasingly more stringent transmission performance, are shown below.

ISO
(cabling)
ISO
(components)
corresponds to TIA
(cabling and components)
Class D Category 5e Category 5e
Class E Category 6 Category 6
Class EA Category 6A Category 6A
Class I Category 8.1 Category 8
Class FA Category 7A No equivalent -
Class II Category 8.2 Class II*
* TIA  has substantial component-related work that needs to be done related to the specification of class II channels and the naming convention for components is unknown at this time.

 

Note that ISO/IEC class I/category 8.1 and TIA category 8 will not be electrical supersets of ISO/IEC class FA/category 7A.

 

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