- Question 3: Are there any Limitations to CX4?
CX4 interconnects offer the advantages of low-cost, low-latency, and low-power consumption at the expense of range. The length limitation for CX4 is 15m (49ft) when using passive cable assemblies. Some novel solutions exist which use active signal boosters or fiber optics to achieve lengths beyond 15m, but these solutions negate the cost, latency, and power benefits inherent to CX4 technology. Fortunately, lengths beyond 15m are rarely needed, since most switches reside in close proximity within a wiring closet.
- Question 4: What do I Need to Integrate CX4 into my Network?
Depending upon your particular requirements, several upgrade paths exist to integrate CX4 into your network. Many switches from companies such as HP, Cisco, and Intel can be upgraded with a CX4 plug-in module. These CX4 modules are available in XENPAK, X2, and XFP configurations. Another option is to purchase a new CX4 capable switch. These high performance switches often feature a combination of CX4 ports and standard RJ45 ports for Gigabit Ethernet. Nearly all servers with PCI-Express slots can be upgraded with a CX4 enabled PCI-E NIC card. Finally, you will need quality CX4 Cables to connect to your gear.
Question 5: What Types of Connectors are used on CX4 Cables?
A properly designed CX4 cable should feature die-cast SFF-8470 InfiniBand type latching connectors. These connectors are easy to engage and will maintain continuity even if significant strain or vibration exists along the body of the cable. SFF-8470 thumbscrew style (i.e. SAS) connectors should be avoided since most equipment does not support them. Amphenol CX4 cables utilize the best connector on the market today, the Fujitsu microGiGaCN™. The microGiGaCN is the market’s original high-speed, differential-signal, copper interconnect for high-performance (data I/O) applications.
Question 6: How Does CX4 Compare with 10GBase-R & 10GBase-T?
CX4 has numerous advantages over 10GBase-R (Fiber) and 10GBase-T (Cat-6). An optical connection would require (2) 10-Gig optical modules and a fiber patch cord to function. This has significant cost and power budget implications. Running 10-Gigabit Ethernet over UTP cabling like Cat-6 may sound promising, but it is plagued by power consumption and latency issues. Today's 10GBase-T chipsets are power hogs, as they require several Watts just to separate out signal noise. Here's a comparison of how CX4 stacks up in terms of power-consumption in a 50-server datacenter. Essentially, CX4 consumes 6x-20x less power.
Question 7: What is SpectraStrip SKEWCLEAR Cable?
SKEWCLEAR® is a proprietary shielded parallel pair wire technology designed and built by Amphenol SpectraStrip. When transferring high-speed data over copper, signals will often arrive out of sync. This problem, known as skew, can lead to the complete collapse of signal integrity. SKEWCLEAR®,cable utilizes a novel manufacturing approach directed towards reducing within-pair and pair-to-pair time delay/amplitude-skew, critical for today's high bandwidth applications. All Amphenol CX4 cables feature SKEWCLEAR® wire.
Question 8: Why Choose Amphenol Brand CX4 Cables?
As one of the world's top three manufacturers of CX4 Cables, Amphenol is ready to meet the stringent demands of any potential 10-Gig network install, large or small. Assembling 10-Gig capable interconnects is often more of an art than a science. By using premium grade components and Amphenol-pioneered manufacturing techniques, Amphenol brand CX4 cables are simply the best cabling option on the market today. Best yet, Amphenol brand CX4 cables are always in-stock and ready for same-day shipping at CablesOnDemand.com.
Question 9: Are Amphenol CX4 Cables Compatible with InfiniBand?
Absolutely. Since CX4 cables share the same core architecture as InfiniBand cables, we took the liberty of dual qualifying our CX4 cables for both SDR and DDR InfiniBand. Therefore, Amphenol CX4 cables will function as drop-in replacements for InfiniBand applications. In addition to InfiniBand compatibility, Amphenol CX4 cables can be used in place of any competing CX4 cable from Gore, Tyco, Belkin, QLogic, HP, IBM, Cisco, and 3COM. Click below to download the Amphenol CX4 Cable Cross Reference Chart: