optical fiber

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Related to Optic fiber: fiber optic cable, sound barrier

optical fiber

[′äp·tə·kəl ′fī·bər]
(optics)
A long, thin thread of fused silica, or other transparent substance, used to transmit light. Also known as light guide.

optical fiber

optical fiber

A thin glass strand designed for light transmission. A single hair-thin fiber is capable of transmitting trillions of bits per second. In addition to their huge transmission capacity, optical fibers offer many advantages over electricity and copper wire. Light pulses are not affected by random radiation in the environment, and their error rate is significantly lower. Fibers allow longer distances to be spanned before the signal has to be regenerated by expensive "repeaters." Fibers are more secure, because taps in the line can be detected, and lastly, fiber installation is streamlined due to its dramatically lower weight and smaller size compared to copper cables.

Starting in the 1970s
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, telephone companies began to use fibers extensively to rebuild their communications infrastructure. According to KMI Corporation, specialists in fiber optic market research, by the end of 1990 there were approximately eight million miles of fiber laid in the U.S. (this is miles of fiber, not miles of cable which can contain many fibers). By the end of 2000, there were 80 million miles in the U.S. and 225 million worldwide. Fiber is also used to replace copper cable for LAN backbones.

Pure Glass
An optical fiber is constructed of a transparent core made of nearly pure silicon dioxide (SiO2), through which the light travels. The core is surrounded by a cladding layer that reflects light, guiding the light along the core. A plastic coating covers the cladding to protect the glass surface. Cables also include fibers of Kevlar and/or steel wires for strength and an outer sheath of plastic or Teflon for protection.

Enormous Bandwidth
For glass fibers, there are two "optical windows" where the fiber is most transparent and efficient. The centers of these windows are 1300 nm and 1550 nm, providing approximately 18,000 GHz and 12,000 GHz respectively, for a total of 30,000 GHz. This enormous bandwidth is potentially usable in one fiber. The only limitation is the electronic circuits that modulate the light waves to represent the data. Electronic ciruits have yet to come close to the frequencies of light.

Singlemode and Multimode
There are two types of glass fiber. For intercity cabling and highest speed, singlemode fiber with a core diameter of less than 10 microns is used. Multimode fiber is very common for short distances and has a core diameter from 50 to 100 microns.

Plastic Fiber Too
For short-distance runs such as within buildings, plastic fiber is also used, and their transparent windows are typically 650 nm or within the 750-900 nm range. Plastic optical fiber (POF) is easier to install than glass but requires repeaters for distances greater than 100 meters. See laser, WDM, fiber optics glossary and cable categories.


Fiber Strands
The fibers in this picture are being prepared for splicing in a wiring closet. These few strands can collectively transmit trillions of bits per second. (Image courtesy of Corning Incorporated.)







Fiber Vs. Copper
Not only does optical fiber offer enormous bandwidth, but it takes a lot less room. Any one of these copper bundles can be replaced with one fiber strand (center). (Image courtesy of Corning Incorporated.)







Fiber-Optic Cable
This Lucent fiber-optic cable holds 288 fibers, which was a record-high fiber count in 1996. Cables with more than a thousand fibers have since been developed.








Laying Optical Fiber
Embedding thousands of miles of fiber in the ground has been a Herculean feat undertaken by many companies. In time, all copper wires are expected to give way to fiber. (Image courtesy of Metromedia Fiber Network.)
References in periodicals archive ?
He added that the company's plan for 2016 and 2017 includes additional 25% coverage to the existing optic fiber network, therefore connecting more than 150,000 residential and commercial housing units or 50% of the populated areas in the Governorate of Muscatwith the network.
This 3rd agreement further strengthens the comprehensive framework of business co-operation between Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance Communications, following the inter-city optic fiber sharing agreement signed in April 2013, and the nationwide telecom towers infrastructure sharing agreement signed in August 2013.
Telecommunications companies are behind the delay in completion of the optic fiber because if it is executed, no one will use internet services of mobile phone companies", another resident of the city, Mohammad Ashraf, believes
The optic fiber projects are also being carried out in Sindh and Balochistan aimed at providing infrastructure for provision of basic telephony services in these provinces.
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The company is engaged in developing, producing, and selling optic fiber communication products.
Contract awarded for 1) 5001n078-24 fiber armoured optic fiber cable as per rdso spec.
ISLAMABAD -- Sub-Committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunications Thursday expressed satisfaction over the coverage of 4500 km long optic fiber in the Province of Balochistan and asked departments concerned to lay down remaining 1000 optic fiber without delay.
ISLAMABAD -- The 820-kilometer long Pak-China optic fiber cable project from Rawalpindi to Khunjrab would be completed at a cost of US$ 44 million by June 2018.
It's only been possible with the untiring efforts of the USF Board of Directors and USF that the USF Projects embodying the provision of basic telephony and data services, broadband in unserved urban areas, Optic Fiber to connect unserved tehsils and eservices are creating immense socioeconomic opportunities and playing a beneficial role in improving the lives of people all over the country.
During the meeting of the USF Board of Directors meeting, held recently, the PM was told that the broadband services have been provided in 260 2nd and 3rd tier cities and towns and that more than 4,250 km of optic fiber cable has been laid to connect unserved tehsils and towns under the optic fiber programme.
KABUL (PAN): Minister for Telecommunication and Information Technology Amirzai Sangin Thursday said that Kabul had been connected to Central Asian Republics (CARs) through optic fiber.