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Ethernet Cables Speed Data in Harsh Environments

April 7, 2021
SWaP reductions of up to 75% make these Ethernet cables a good fit in aerospace, industrial, military, and space applications.

This article appeared in Microwaves & RF and has been published here with permission.

Electronic designs for the defense sector have their own mobility and portability goals driven by size, weight, and power (SWaP) requirements. Ethernet cables have been one component that has been difficult to shrink without performance sacrifices, until now. TE Connectivity's new Raychem single-pair Ethernet (SPE) cables handle the harshest environments in aerospace, commercial, industrial, military, and space environments, providing critical interconnections in such applications as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

“The single-pair Ethernet cable allows commercial and defense customers to maintain data rates, while reducing size and weight by up to 75% when compared to existing Quadrax systems,” said Lynden Bajus, product manager for TE’s Aerospace, Defense and Marine division. “TE’s ability to ruggedize an automotive standard to help meet the harsh environment requirements in aerospace, defense, and marine markets has allowed us to focus on improving size and weight parameters for our customers while continuing to maintain critical data-rate needs.”

The compact, lightweight construction of the Raychem SPE cables supports 100-Mb/s or 1-Gb/s data rates through single-pair cable assemblies (see figure above). The cables are standardized under the ARINC 854 cabin equipment network bus standard and are available in both AWG 24 and 26 cable sizes. They're designed for operating temperatures from 65 to +150°C. By complementing the firm’s 369 shielded connectors, the Raychem SPE cables reduce termination time and simplify maintenance compared to standard eight-wire cables and rectangular connectors.

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