IEEE 802.3bz “Standard for Ethernet Amendment 7: Media Access Control Parameters, Physical Layers and Management Parameters for 2.5 Gb/s and 5 Gb/s Operation” was developed by the IEEE P802.3bz 2.5/5GBASE-T Task Force and approved by the IEEE-SA Standards Board on September 22, 2016. Various implementations of IEEE Std 802.11ac-2013 based enterprise wireless access points can operate at 1.3 Gb/s, 2.6 Gb/s, 3.5 Gb/s and even higher theoretical maximum throughput speeds.  As a result, there is a need for optimized Ethernet speeds between 1 Gb/s and 10 Gb/s to support balanced twisted-pair uplink connections to these devices. This amendment defines two new Physical Layer (PHY) specifications for 2.5GBASE‑T and 5GBASE‑T and specifies optional Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) operation for the PHYs.

2.5G/5GBASE-T operates over “defined use cases and deployment configurations” of class D/category 5e and class E/category 6 cabling.  Neither 2.5GBASE-T nor 5GBASE-T are intended to operate over the entire installed base of class D/category 5e and class E/category 6 cabling. As a result, ISO/IEC is developing ISO/IEC TR 11801-9904 and TIA is developing TSB‑5021 to address the evaluation of installed category 5e and 6 cabling configurations for possible support of 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T. Extended frequency characterization( i.e. performance above 100 MHz for class D/category 5e cabling), signal to alien crosstalk assessment, and additional field test qualification measurements will be described in ISO/IEC TR 11801‑9904 and TSB-5021.

Siemon recommends that class EA/category 6A or higher performing cabling be specified for support of all new IEEE Std 802.11ac-2013 based enterprise wireless access point uplink connections, even if it is anticipated that 2.5GBASE-T or 5GBASE-T equipment will be deployed.

Features for 2.5G/5GBASE-T operation include:

  • Full LDPC PAM 16 encoding running at 200Ms/s is specified for 2.5GBASE-T
  • Full LDPC PAM 16 encoding running at 400Ms/s is specified for 5GBASE-T
  • Other parameters are scaled from 10GBASE-T electrical specifications

Goals and Objectives for 2.5G/5GBASE‑T operation:

  • Support full duplex operation only
  • Preserve the 802.3 / Ethernet frame format utilizing the 802.3 MAC
  • Preserve minimum and maximum Frame Size of current 802.3 standard
  • Support Auto-Negotiation (Clause 28)
  • Support optional Energy Efficient Ethernet (Clause 78)
  • Support local area networks using point-to-point links over structured cabling topologies, including directly connected link segments
  • Do not preclude meeting FCC and CISPR EMC requirements
  • Support PoE (Clause 33)
  • Support MAC data rates of 2.5 Gb/s and 5 Gb/s
  • Support a BER better than or equal to 10-12 at the MAC/PLS service interface (or the frame loss ratio equivalent)
  • Select copper media from ISO/IEC 11801:2002, with any appropriate augmentation to be developed through work of 802.3 in conjunction with ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 25/WG3 and TIA TR‑42
  • Define a 2.5 Gb/s PHY for operation over:
    • Up to at least 100m on four-pair class D (category 5e) balanced copper cabling on defined use cases and deployment configurations
  • Define a 5 Gb/s PHY for operation over:
    • Up to at least 100m on four-pair class E (category 6) balanced copper cabling on defined use cases and deployment configurations
    • Up to 100m on four-pair class D (category 5e) balanced copper cabling on defined use cases and deployment configurations

The IEEE 802.3 Next Generation Enterprise Access BASE-T PHY Call-For-Interest Consensus Presentation can be found here: http://www.ieee802.org/3/cfi/1114_1/CFI_01_1114.pdf

The Project Authorization Request (PAR), approved on March 26, 2015, can be found here: http://www.ieee802.org/3/bz/P802.3bz.pdf

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