Arrayed Fiberoptics Corp. says it has developed a Non-Contact MPO (NC-MPO) fiber-optic connector, the first such version of the popular multi-fiber connector to reach the market.
The company says that typical MPO connectors require that all fiber end faces be in close physical contact at the same time to avoid air gaps that could degrade signal transmission. The most common way to achieve such contact is to have the fiber end face protrude from the surrounding surface, according to Arrayed Fiberoptics. In addition to the need for a large working pressure on the connector, this approach increases dust sensitivity and the chance of damage as well as poses several production problems, the company says.
The NC-MPO fiber connector design does not require such end face contact. While a small air gap does result, an anti-reflective coating on the fiber end faces removes the danger of multiple light reflections and the resultant degradation of signal transmission. The approach enables the fiber end face to be lower than the plastic ferrule surface, which Arrayed Fiberoptics says ensures that the mating fiber end face is not damaged. The working pressure on the NC-MPO connector is very small as well, and the fiber end face does not need to protrude. Such a design simplifies the polishing process and reduces test equipment costs, the company asserts.
Other benefits include a longer connector mating life (greater than or equal to 5,000 mating, the company says) as well as a reduction in sensitivity to dust. The fiber-optic connectors exhibit a typical insertion loss of 0.05dB and a single-mode return loss of ≥ 70 dB.
Arrayed Fiberoptics says it has developed both single-mode and multimode fiber versions of the NC-MPO connectors. The connectors are available for sampling.
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