Firecomms secures U.S. patent for OptoLock transceiver

JULY 31, 2009 -- The device uses a plugless interface for plastic optical fiber, intended to simplify consumer entertainment networks.

JULY 31, 2009 -- Firecomms Ltd. (search Lightwave for Firecomms), a developer of high-speed plastic optical fiber transceivers and vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), has received notification from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that a patent has been granted for Firecomms' OptoLock plastic optical fiber transceiver.

OptoLock, a plugless interface for plastic optical fiber, enables a simple fiber-optic link in consumer applications. Suitable for 100-Mbps Ethernet applications with stringent quality-of-service requirements such as IPTV gateways, set-top boxes, and residential gateway, the interface quickens and simplifies the connection of devices in communications and infotainment networks. The design of enables the fiber to be cut and terminated to the exact required length on site, allowing even a novice consumer to quickly and easily terminate bare optical fiber.

"Not only does this patent attest to the innovation of the design team at Firecomms, it positions this inventive product for even faster growth," says Declan O'Mahoney, chief executive officer of Firecomms. "As Firecomms has licensed OptoLock technology to several major partners, the patent will assist our partners in protecting their investments in OptoLock-based products."

Firecomms develops devices to drive plastic optical fiber, a low-cost optical alternative to copper cabling. Created for consumer, industrial, and automotive applications in which plastic fiber can be used more easily and at lower cost than copper or glass fiber, plastic optical fiber is now used in millions of small-area networks, such as those in many car models, and is gaining ground in home network and point-to-point interconnection. According to market research by Information Gatekeepers (search Lightwave for Information Gatekeepers), the plastic optical fiber market is estimated to be worth more than $1 billion per year by the end of 2009.

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