I don’t have to tell you that technology moves quickly.
Something new and exciting today is being upgraded and replaced before we even
get the chance to fully understand how to use it. Believe it or not, there is a
piece of technology that was developed in the 1980s that is still in use today
and will remain in use for quite some time – the RJ45.
Since the ISO/IEC
8877 was standardized in 1987, it has rapidly become the universal
ubiquitous user interface connector for data networking applications. It has
also played a pivotal role in our lives. This miniature modular connector, which
customers love, is driving the growth of LAN networks around the globe and has
had a huge impact in the way we work, play, and socialize with one another. The
magic of the RJ45 is in its ability to be re-invented to support ever
increasing data rates. From its initial specification up to 3 KHz, the RJ45 is
now specified up to 2GHz. This is an increase of more than 600,000 fold in
information carrying capacity. Since its inception, the RJ45 has stood the test
of time because of its many agreed benefits such asbackward compatibility, interoperability,
broad acceptance, universal interface andproven reliability.
One of the greatest benefits
of the RJ45 is that it is backward compatible to previous generations of the
connector. This works especially well for Ethernet BASE-T applications where
auto-negotiation using the RJ45 connectors enables customers to connect LAN
equipment operating at different speeds. This type of connection is only
possible with BASE-T using the RJ45 connectivity and is not possible with fiber
or twin-axial cabling. Backward compatibility with auto-negotiation allows customers
to evolve their network gradually with huge savings in CapEx and OpEx.
RJ45 mechanical, electrical
and interface specifications have been standardized in FCC, TIA and IEC
standards. This detailed level of specifications assures excellent interoperability
so customers can mix and match RJ45 cords and jacks from multiple
According to some market
surveys and individual company estimates, there are more than three billion
RJ45s in circulation in the global market place. If we line up all the RJ45
connectors that are out there, it would circle the globe almost twice. This
broad acceptance has improved the viability of LANs and the confidence of
customers to continue to invest balanced twisted pair cabling. Ethernet
implementations using balanced cabling with RJ45 connectors far exceed Ethernet
using any other media type.
Those who travel near and far
are often forced to carry power adapters to connect their equipment in
different parts of the world. Not so for communications using balanced twisted
pair cabling. The RJ45 connector is used all around the world as the universal
interface and people can connect to an outlet in the wall or at a work station
with a single RJ45 patch cord.
The RJ45 connector is probably
the most tested connector in the history of communications. It is made by several dozen
manufacturers around the world and tested for reliability in various
environmental conditions. There is a wealth of information that everybody can access to understand
the capabilities of the RJ45, making it easy to understand, easy to install,
easy to test, and easy to operate.
So the RJ45’s multiple benefits, along with help from the
standards groups, have enabled this 1980s technology to remain relevant and
play a key role in ushering in next generation technology.
To learn more about the RJ45 and its phenomenal growth during
the past 25 years, be sure to check out this informative