APRIL 5, 2007 -- At the Optical Fiber Communications Conference last week in Anaheim, CA, NTT Photonics Laboratories unveiled a new optical fiber that functions as both multimode and singlemode fiber, thereby eliminating the need for expensive upgrades and reducing fiber management and ownership costs.
Until now, businesses have had to choose between singlemode or multimode optical fiber for their data transmission and data center needs. However, the dramatic growth in higher-bandwidth connections and transmissions for voice, data, and video from both business and consumers has caused many cable providers, carriers, and data centers to exceed the capacity of their multimode optical fiber. As a result, many have had to invest in major system upgrades to the faster, more expensive singlemode optical fiber system in order to support escalating demands.
NTT says its Dual-Mode Fiber eliminates the need for expensive system upgrades by functioning as both multimode fiber and singlemode fiber. At the outset, when businesses transmission demands are low, Dual-Mode Fiber can be installed and used as multimode fiber at a lower cost than a singlemode fiber system. When demand increases, Dual-Mode Fiber seamlessly transitions to functioning as singlemode fiber, without a complicated and time-consuming fiber-reinstallation upgrade, says the company.
The Dual-Mode fiber also can be used where multimode fiber has already been installed. The coexistence of both multimode and singlemode optical fiber leads to increasing fiber management and ownership costs as the system grows. Each fiber must be utilized for specific functions, and as the system grows and becomes more complicated, additional resources are required to manage the connections properly and avoid misuse. Dual-Mode Fiber is compatible with and easily interconnected with both multimode and singlemode fiber with low optical connection loss to either type, reducing management and ownership costs and eliminating misuse, claim company representatives.
"Dual-Mode Fiber is a unique solution within the marketplace," contends Dr. Hiromasa Tanobe, senior research engineer at NTT Photonics Labs. "It provides a highly adaptable, lower cost optical fiber solution for emerging companies who anticipate rapid growth of their data transmission needs. The solution also allows existing companies to simplify their fiber management process as they grow, significantly lowering cost of ownership," he says.
NTT says its Dual-Mode Fiber features a low splicing and return loss connection with conventional singlemode fiber (Typical connection loss: 0.01 dB @ 1.31 micrometer and 0.05 dB @ 1.55 micrometer, return loss: >50 dB) and multimode fiber (Typical connection loss: 0.02 dB @ 850 nm, return loss: >28 dB). The product also features a low bending loss of 5-mm radium (one turn) for singlemode and multimode transmission simultaneously. Dual-Mode Fiber has a cylindrically symmetric structure, which provides relatively flat transparent characteristics for the wavelength region between 1250 nm and 1650 nm (10 turns of 10-mm radium).
Both tough and flexible, Dual-Mode optical fiber is easy to work with and comes in a unique, easy to carry compact optical fiber reel, says the company.