IEC TC86 on fiber, components, systems

During the 66th general meeting of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and its Technical Committee TC86 on Fibre Optics held in Beijing last October, several issues, proposals, and developments were considered on fiber, components, systems, and subsystems.

Fiber. A new plastic optical fiber capable of gigabit-per-second transmission in the local network was proposed. Multimode test methods for gigabit-per-second applications are being developed. Methods and procedures are considered for four measurements of erbium-doped fiber, such as polarization-mode dispersion (PMD), hydrogen sensitivity, power conversion efficiency, and doping uniformity. A new dispersion slope compensating fiber was proposed. A new ITU-T S-C-L-band fiber will be incorporated into IEC documentation. A guide on measurement of polarization crosstalk will be developed. A test method was developed for Raman gain efficiency measurement.

Components. Test methods for amplitude characteristics of DWDMs will be published, and a round robin has started for comparing the proposed methods. Chromatic dispersion test methods are being developed. Harmonization of Telcordia GR-CORE-326 with IEC performance standards was discussed. The reliability qualification for passive components and connectors was submitted for publication. Drafts of performance standards covering passive dispersion compensators, fiber-optic filters, and wide WDM devices are being introduced.

Systems and subsystems. A compendium of PMD definitions and analyses of PMD phenomenon is being developed as a reference document. PMD measurement for installed links is being developed. Different models are also developed, including the statistical calculation of chromatic dispersion, calculation of dispersion penalty from chirp, and a Gigabit Ethernet model. Optical-amplifier classification, characteristics, and applications will be published. The maximum permissible optical power for the safe/damage-free use of amplifiers is being developed.

Dr. André Girard is responsible for international standards and represents EXFO (Vanier, Quebec) in ITU-T SG15, IEC TC86, and TIA FO-4. He can be reached at tel: 418-683-0211; fax: 418-683-2170; and e-mail:

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