Selecting appropriate media for a robust and reliable industrial Ethernet network is imperative. Three viable media types can be used: optical fiber, balanced twisted pair and wireless. This article addresses the different characteristics of each medium and helps to identify the correct choice for the industrial environment and its specific applications.
Three researchers from Corning, Dana Bookbinder, Ming-Jun Li, and Pushkar Tandon, who invented ClearCurve bend-insensitive optical fiber, will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) in Washington D.C. in May. They are among 22 inventors who will be inducted at that time. The announcement was made at the Consumer Electronics Show.
With optical fiber telecommunications firmly entrenched in the global information infrastructure, a key question for the future is how deeply will optical communications penetrate and complement other forms of communication (e.g., wireless access, on-premises networks, interconnects, and satellites).
Globalization, increasing competition, and changing customer behavior are impacting the fiber-optics market. This, coupled with the ever-growing numbers of specialized customers and the rising expectations with regards to the products and services they want to buy, is putting fiber-optics assembly houses in a challenging competitive spot. This article lays out the evolving needs of fiber-optics assembly houses and describes the main challenges in today’s business environment.
The development of optical fiber has been a key enabler for technology, from the planet’s largest and most complex machine to the latest quantum encryption. Connecting the elements of the internet together safely and reliably is a major challenge that engineers have been addressing over the last thirty years. All this comes from a quirk of nature, where total internal reflection allows a beam of light to travel hundreds of kilometres down a glass fiber or shorter distance down a plastic version. Here are five of the ways optical fiber has changed the world as we know it.
Sterlite Technologies introduced Stellar Fiber, billed as a ‘universal fiber’ at the India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2019. Stellar Fibre offers ITU-T G.657.A2 bend insensitivity — but with a mode field diameter the size of ITU-T G.652.D fiber, thereby offering bend insensitivity alongside compatibility with legacy fibers. The company claims that Stellar Fibre’s geometry ensures minimal splice loss and promotes proper installation. Simulations at the STL’s Centre of Excellence research facility suggest that use of the fiber can increase a fiber-optic networks lifetime by 10 years or more, thanks to its resilience to cuts and accidental bends.
How does fiber actually work? When a device like your computer has information to send, that data starts out as electrical energy. A laser in the computer converts the signals to photons – tiny particles of electromagnetic energy, otherwise known as light – and sends them in rapid succession down the core of the hair-thin fiber. Photons travel in waves through the inner core of the fiber. Because this core region has higher refractive index (i.e. light travels more slowly) than does the fiber’s outer cladding, the light signal is focused within the core and prevented from radiating out of the fiber. In addition, fiber cores are made from very high purity materials (typically Silica and Germania) to assure that the light energy is not absorbed or scattered by impurities. Radiation, absorption, and scattering are all forms of energy loss, also known as attenuation. By keeping such losses as low as possible, fiber allows light and the information it carries to travel great distances from the original source.