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The Advantages of Optical Fiber Cables

Key Takeaways

  • The data density per optical fiber is much greater than traditional conductor transmission and has more data packets. 

  • Optical fiber communication has advantages such as high-speed data transmission, data security, and data reliability.

  • Optical fiber cables have higher bandwidth than copper conductor cables.

 Optical fiber cables

The conversion from conductors to optical fibers marks the transition period of a communication transmission system to a high-speed, long-distance, reliable, and high signal integrity system. Optical fiber technology has innovated the speed of communication and introduced the fastest digital data transport system. 

The main advantages of optical fibers are that they help modern communication systems minimize signal degradation and electromagnetic interferences. Let’s take a closer look at these fibers and what makes them so advantageous.

Optical Fiber Communication

In optical fiber communication, data is transmitted as a single wavelength light source. The electrical signals converted to this light source can travel long distances with more power and less distortion. The data density per optical fiber is much greater than a traditional conductor transmission and has more data packets.

An optical fiber communication system converts input electrical signals into light at the transmitter end. This type of system only supports digital data. Analog data signals are converted into digital signals using a coder or converter circuit. The light source rapidly turns on and off on the reception of the digital signal and carries the same data as the input electrical signals.

At the receiving end, light detectors are employed to receive the light signals from the optical fiber. Usually, the receiver consists of electronic amplifiers with photodetectors. Silicon and germanium diodes are typical photodetectors in optical fiber communication. The digital signals from amplifiers are directly fed to the destination. If the target destination requires analog signals, decoders are utilized for conversion. 

The Advantages of Optical Fiber Communication

Internet communication, cable TV, and television broadcasting systems benefit from the use of fiber optics technologies in signal transmission. The advantages of optical fiber communications include:

  • High-speed data transmission
  • Data security
  • Data reliability

Optical Fiber Cables 

The most important element of optical fiber communication is optical fibers. These are transparent fibers made of glass that propagate light waves between the transmit and receiver ends. There are three types of fiber optic cables:

  1. Single-mode fiber optic cables - Single-mode fiber optic cables pass only a single wavelength through them. This type of fiber optic cable is used in transmission systems where low attenuation and low dispersion are required.
  2. Multi-mode fiber optic cables - In multi-mode fiber optic cables, multiple pathways allow multiple wavelength transmissions. The core diameter of multi-mode optic fibers is greater than single-mode fiber optic cables. The two types of multi-mode fibers are step-index multimode fibers and graded-index multi-mode fibers. Multi-mode fiber optic cables are usually employed for short-distance communication.
  3. Plastic-glass fiber - Plastic glass fibers are massive-sized, core-step index fibers made of glass. These cables are suitable for coupling light from multiple sources and their connection requires less precision. The plastic glass fibers are long-lasting and mostly seen in low-speed short-distance communication links.

The Advantages of Optical Fiber Cables

  1. Optical fiber cables have higher bandwidth than copper conductor cables. Single-mode fiber optic cables are the best, considering bandwidth. 
  2. Data security is an inherent property of optical fiber cables. 
  3. The electromagnetic immunity of optical fiber cables is excellent. There is no signal transmission interruption, crosstalk, or performance degradation in fiber optic communications. This advantage of optical fiber cables makes them suitable for electronic and industrial environments. 
  4. The high transmission capacity of optical fiber cables is equivalent to that of a hundred conductor transmission cables together. 
  5. Optical fiber cables are more durable, cheaper, and of lighter weight than traditional copper cables. 

The many advantages of optical fiber cables make them the most utilized communication and signal transmission technology. Cadence offers software to support the electronic/photonic design automation framework, which is helpful for optical fiber applications.

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