Data cables are media for the transmission of signals. This can be done on an electrical and on an optical basis. A data cable consists of at least two metallic conductors, which can be arranged symmetrically or concentrically, depending on the cable type.
Copper twisted pairs for telecommunications
The symmetrical copper twisted pairs have always been used in telecommunications, improved variants with the best RF properties in the cabling of local networks. They have displaced concentric coaxial cables from this field.
The relationship between telephone transmission, telecommunication and data transmission resulted in the early adoption of DIN/VDE 0815 for data cables.
Since the requirements of the high transmission speeds of modern local networks were not sufficient for the low- frequency DIN specifications, new higher- performance data cables were developed.
Symmetrical data cables for data communication
In symmetrical data cables, two or four cores are stranded together at a time. Two-core stranding is referred to as TP cables, which stands for twisted pair, while four-core stranding is referred to as star quad. Both variants can contain several pairs of cores that are individually shielded or that contain an overall shield. These data cables have much lower attenuation and are available for bandwidths up to 600 MHz.
In modern TP cables, the structure, material and stranding essentially determine the transmission properties. The lowest tolerances in the parameters of impedance, capacitance and inductance are achieved through a homogeneous, symmetrical structure.
Fiber optic cables for long-distance traffic
In addition to cables with metallic conductors, there are also fiber optic cables, which are used for long-distance applications thanks to their low attenuation. For comparability, fiber optic cables are typified according to a predefined cable designation nomenclature. The designation indicates the area of application, the type of fiber, the sheathing, the bandwidth length product and the usable wavelength, as well as many other parameters.
In addition to the mentioned cable types, there are also combination cables, the hybrid cables, in which, for example, fiber optic cable and coaxial cable are in one sheath.