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10GBase-T Compliance in Doubt

Claims by Ethernet adapter makers that they comply with the new spec for 10-Gbit/s Ethernet over copper may be premature, warn vendor and standards body sources. And until interoperability tests are completed at the University of New Hampshire's InterOperability lab in April, no one can really claim to support the specs, they add.

Members of the Ethernet Alliance consortium say the UNH plugfest, scheduled for an undisclosed date in April, will be followed by demonstrations at the alliance's booth at the Interop trade show in Las Vegas in May.

Until then, vendors such as Chelsio and Tehuti Networks may want to tone it down where claims of being "first" to support 10GBase-T are concerned, vendor sources say. (See More on 10GBase-T and 10GBase-T Adapters Debut.)

The 10GBase-T spec, ratified by the IEEE last year, requires devices like network interface cards to support links up to 50 meters on standard Category 6 copper cabling, and up to 100 meters on what's called Category 6a, a version of copper cabling augmented with wider diameters and other features to support faster data rates.

But Chelsio does not support those distances, apparently. While the vendor did not respond to queries at press time, their supplier of silicon claims they never intended to support distances like 100 meters.

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