Twisted ribbon cables consist of a number of coloured wires laid out flat next to one another. They have alternate parallel and twisted pair conductor sections. The twisted pairs reduce cross talk, while the parallel conductors make termination easy. The cables are coloured individually to make them easier to distinguish from one another, which makes connecting the wires quicker and easier.
Twisted ribbon cables are most often used for internal peripherals in computer systems, for example in CD drives and hard drives, as well as in some audio and digital equipment. They are also useful for mass termination and are good as a space- and weight-saving measure.
Twisted ribbon cables mainly differ by the numbers of pairs that they have. The cables can be of different lengths and sizes, and they can have varying resistance to high and low temperatures. Finally, they can have different voltage ratings and capacitance.
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