Fiber Optic Cable and Connectivity Trends and Best Practices

A fiber-optic cabling system is an enabling technology for today’s as well as tomorrow’s most-advanced communications systems. A fiber infrastructure allows network owners to combine high speed and long distance in network environments such as data centers, customer-owned outside plant, and others. Fiber-technology development is ongoing, enabling multimode fiber-based systems to accommodate higher and higher data rates. At the same time, the basic but essential physical connectivity of fiber-to-fiber within these systems remains crucial to their ability to support such high-speed transmission. This webcast seminar, produced by Cabling Installation & Maintenance, explores some of the latest technological developments being made with optical fiber and fiber connectivity. It also describes the importance of employing practical, hands-on best practices when handling fiber links.

Presentation 1: A Next Generation of Multimode Fiber
The current top-of-the-line multimode fiber is OM4. With a minimum 4700 MHz·km EMB bandwidth and 3500 MHz·km OFL bandwidth at 850 nm, OM4 fiber can support higher speeds, to longer distances, than previous-generation multimode fibers. However, OM4’s information-carrying capacity is narrowly optimized near the 850-nm operating window. This optimization gives OM4 significant capability to support signals generated at or very near 850 nm, but does not make the fiber a good candidate for supporting the transmission of signals generated outside of that 850-nm window. Specifically, the optical transmission method called wave-division multiplexing (WDM) uses operating windows outside that 850-nm space. A new generation of multimode fiber currently under development is being created specifically to support all current 850-nm/OM4 applications, as well as WDM transmission schemes that operate outside of 850 nm. This presentation will explain how and why WDM technology can benefit environments like data center LANs and SANs, some of the transmission speeds that could be achieved over duplex multimode fiber links if WDM was employed, and the capabilities that a next-generation multimode fiber would need to exhibit in order to support WDM transmission.

Presentation 2: The Evolution of Multi-Fiber Array Connectivity
The MPO-style multi-fiber array connector is a mainstay of high-speed, high-density networks, particularly in data centers. As these connectors have grown in use over the past several years, fiber-optic system designers, integrators and owners have developed ways to maximize the efficiency of the 12 or 24 fiber positions within them. Today, technology developers also are working on connector designs that could increase the number of fibers in an MPO-style connector, from 12 or 24 to 16 or 32. This presentation discusses best practices for the use of current-generation 12- and 24-fiber MPO connectors, paying specific attention to the reality that many of today’s high-speed transmission schemes use fibers in multiples of 4 or 8. At the presenter’s discretion, the presentation also can take a look down the road at the potential usefulness of 16- or 32-fiber MPO-style connectors for next-generation high-speed applications.

Presentation 3: Fiber Cleaning—As Essential As Ever
For all the high-speed capability that a fiber-optic system offers, signal transmission will come to a halt if the physical connections between fibers are contaminated by dirt, dust, or other environmental debris. As transmission speeds and distances increase, the stakes also get higher for pristine fiber-to-fiber connections. This presentation describes how and why contamination is significantly detrimental to fiber transmission, then goes into detail on the hands-on techniques available to keep fiber connections free from such contamination. At the presenter’s discretion, the presentation can cover any connector types (MPO, LC, SC, ST) and cleaning agents.

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About Author: Shannon

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