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Best Paper Award @ DesignCon 2009

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The recent collaboration between Nexans and Penn State on a paper entitled “40/100 Gbps Transmission Over Copper, Myth and Realities” resulted in a best paper award at DesignCon 2009. The paper was presented in the category “High-Speed and RF Design.

The paper was presented by Ali Enteshari, a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Electrical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park. His faculty advisor Dr. Mohsen Kavehrad had been contracted by Nexans, more specifically, the Data Communications Competency Center of Nexans, to evaluate the theoretical possibilities of transmitting 40/100Gbps data rates over Category 7A cabling.


Cross-section of Category 7 cable


This paper focuses on assessment and design of transmission systems for distribution of digital signals over standard Category-7A copper cables at speeds beyond -10Gbps. The main contribution of the paper is on the technical feasibility and system design for data rates of 40 and 100Gbps over copper. Based on capacity analysis and rate optimization algorithms, system parameters are obtained and the design implementation trade-offs are discussed. The simulation results confirm that with the aid of Decision-Feedback Equalizer and powerful coding techniques, e.g. TCM or low-density parity-check (LDPC) code, 40Gbps transmission is feasible over 50m of CAT-7A copper cable. These results also assure that 100Gbps transmission can be achieved over 15m of the same copper cable.

MIMO capacity and R1 rate for 50m cable



The results of this paper confirm the technical feasibility of beyond 10Gbps high-speed transmission over standard Category 7A copper wire. The assessment has revealed that CAT-7A cables are, theoretically, capable of delivering data streams at a speed of 40Gbps over 50 meters thanks to their excellent shielding and engineering design. Also, based on our modeling and analysis, the maximum achievable rate over 20 meters of cable is well above 100Gbps. However, with various degrees of DSP, the objective of running 100GBASE-T over CAT-7Acable can be achieved with some effort by the silicon vendors, probably in the next generations of CMOS technology.

We conclude that 40GBASE-T is practical over 50 meters of CAT-7A cable, and this is within the realm of expectation of current objectives of IEEE 802.3 standards committee. 

Click here to read the award-winning paper:  40/100 Gbps Transmission Over Copper: Myths and Realities

Click here to visit the DesignCon site.

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