When it comes to the topic of fiber optic cables, one word that comes into your mind at first thought usually is speed—the kind of blinding speed needed in high-performance computing for within-box processing as well as between-box communications. Except being somewhat expensive, fiber optic cables have been widely utilized for high-speed connections where their advantages, such as large capacity and long distance, outweigh the cost. Nowadays, the growing higher-speed connectivity requirements are pushing fiber optic technology into more use, typically in servers and long-haul connections. Fiber optics has been adopted as the basic clay of the telecommunications and commercial IT industries, not to mention thousands of miles of high-performance optical networks currently connecting corporations and research institutions around the world.
Just from theory, optical system is simple. There is a light source at one end and a detector at the other. The light goes through the cable and it is not affected by electromagnetic noise like a wired connection. While there is signal loss, it is significantly less than a wired connection, making fiber the preferred method for long distance connections. Laser diodes or LEDs are the usual light source. Lasers include fabry-perot (FP), distributed feedback (DFB), and vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSEL). Detectors include silicon photodiodes and germanium or InGaAs (indium gallium arsenide) photodetectors.
Fiber optic cable is terminated with the same or different connectors, available in single-mode and multi-mode types, like LC LC multimode patch cord (image below). Often, single-mode fiber (SMF) has a smaller diameter than multi-mode fiber (MMF), and is normally used with a laser source supporting higher bandwidths and longer distances.
In consumer applications, fiber optic cables are usually the case where the connection quality and longer distances offset the cost. The typical connections include high-speed serial interfaces such as USB, Thunderbolt, and PCI Express. Fiber connections are also available for display technologies like DisplayPort and HDMI. In addition, fiber has been used in digital audio applications. S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format) jacks are common on audio boards and components, including amplifiers and HDTVs.
S/PDIF utilizes a passive fiber optic cable with the emitters and detectors embedded in the devices. Most other fiber-based systems employ an active cable with electronics at both ends.
In the past, fiber optic cables have been widely used in networking, especially in Ethernet. Other networking and storage technologies that support optical connectivity include FibreChannel and InfiniBand. Most of the network adapters and switches embed the transceivers in the hardware or provide a small form-factor pluggable (SFP) interface (image below). (Certainly, there are QSFP+ interfaces to handle 40 Gbit/s.). SFP modules include the optical transceivers and optical connections. Modules can support different passive cable connections including ST, FC, SC, and LC. This allows the cable lengths to be tailored to the installation.
Fiber optic cables use light to carry information. Light has a very high frequency that enables it to carry much more information at any given time. This makes fiber optic cables ideal for applications that use up a lot of bandwidth, like streaming music or video conferencing. Perhaps more importantly, fiber optic cables can carry data much farther than regular copper cables.
Besides, fiber optic cables are made of glass, which means they are not affected by electrical fields. These cables don't need to be grounded because they are not vulnerable to any type of electrical interference that can interrupt or interfere with signals. Fiber optic cables can even be used outdoors because they are immune to atmospheric conditions, including lightning. For those who may be a bit paranoid, another bonus advantage of fiber optic cables is that they can't be tampered with or tapped into as easily as copper wires.
Glass doesn't corrode, meaning that fiber optic cables can endure even the harshest conditions, like outdoors, under soil, or even near chemicals. There's virtually no chance of fire or shock in fiber optic cables because they don't use any electrical energy.
More and more requirements of high-speed connectivity are pushing fiber optic cables in both consumer and enterprise applications, as well as driving multiple fiber connections for building out the cloud to meet the demand for the Internet of Things (IoT). As a professional fiber patch cord manufacturer, Fiberstore provides various kinds of fiber optic cables for high-performance optical networks, LC fiber cable, SC fiber optic cable, ST ST fiber cable all included. You can visit Fiberstore for more detailed information about fiber optic cables.