- Published on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 10:12
Hughes Electronics Research Team break through the ‘Attenuation Barrier’ in Aluminium based cables.
Attenuation, the major problem in aluminium based cables at higher performance ratings, has now been solved thanks to a simple idea developed by Hughes Electronics!
A new mix of materials brings aluminium based cable up to guaranteed Cat 6 performance and reduces costs significantly.
Greg Rymar Innovations Manager at Hughes Electronics explains…
‘Data transfer is a skin effect, transmission is not generally through the conductor material but over the outside of it. Undoubtedly copper is the best low cost material conductor around, but prices in recent years have increased (the price of communication cables) to eye watering levels.
The simple idea of copper clad aluminium (CCA) has been tried many times; it’s currently used in high frequency coaxial applications with a fair degree of success. Unfortunately the attenuation in lower frequencies makes it a nonstarter in terms of performance with UTP Cat5e and Cat6 cables.
The problem is that although the data signal generally travels along the skin, it permeates the cable to some degree as it travels, the lower the frequency the greater the permeation into the aluminium. Copper has better conductivity then aluminium and in CCA cables at lower frequencies that causes higher attenuation in the aluminium component.
We thought the answer was simple, increase amount of copper to match proportions of volumetric conductivity between copper and aluminium. The outcome is a new material mix with the conductivity on par with its pure copper counterpart and a performance that rivals copper but at a much better price’.
Jackie Wang, sales executive said ‘I’m really excited with our new product, like all the best ideas keeping it simple has paid off, our new innovation allows me to sell premium quality cable to our clients at discounts of up to 30%. That in turn allows them to be more competitive with their own products and services, and purchase more cable, it’s a win/win and that’s the way we like it here at Hughes.