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Fiber Optic Data Cables

The development of fiber optics is a direct result of the growing deman for fast data transmission between different terminals. Given its immunity to electromagnetic interference and its characteristics in terms of signal transmission, fiber optics are the ideal support for high-speed data transmission.

Definition

The optical fiber is a very thin glass cable transmitting light signals on which digital data is carried. The transmission factor for fiber optics, expressed in decibels (dB), gives its data-transmission quality.

Types of Fiber Optic
Single-Mode Fiber Optic

Single-mode fiber optic

The core is very thin and enables light to flow in what is practically a straight line. This type of fiber is frequently used for telecom services, connections over very long distances (several miles) and in backbones (a term used to refer to the "nerve centre" of a high-speed network).

Categories
OS1
Diameter
9/125 um
Throughput
>= 10 Gbits/s
Bandwidth
>= 25 Gbits.km
Multi-Mode, Step-Index Fiber Optic

Multi-mode, step-index fiber optic

The core is thicker than the cladding. This type of fiber is very effective over short distances, but is not often used.

Multi-Mode, Graded-Index Fiber Optic

Multi-mode, graded-index fiber optic

The core and the cladding form successive layers of glass. It is frequently used for medium distances, local networks and the main cable routes inside buildings.

Categories
OM1
OM2
OM3
Diameter
62.5/125 um
62.5/125 um, 50/125 um
50/125 um
Throughput
100 Mbits/s to 1Gbit/s
<= 1 Gbit/s
<= 10 Gbits/s
Bandwidth for 850 nm
200 MHz.km
500 MHz.km
1500 MHz.km
Bandwidth for 1350 nm
500 MHz.km
500 MHz.km
500 MHz.km
Components of a Fiber Optic Cable
Optical Cable Diagram

Optical waves spread along the optical core made of silica, melted quartz or plastic. The core diameter ranges from 50 um to 200 um.

The optical cladding ensures the optical waves remain in the core. The light ray spreads as it is repeatedly reflected against the barriers formed by the optical cladding.

The protective covering, usually a plastic layer with a thickness of between 25 and 1000 microns, gives the fiber excellent mechanical properties.

Optical Cable Diagram
Advantages

  • Most reliable and secure transmission method
  • Very high data transmission speed, up to 100 Gb/s
  • Low signal reduction: supports transmission over long distances (multi-mode fiber)
  • Immunity against electromagnetic interference
  • No electromagnetic radiation
  • Discrete, 100% secure link
  • Corrosion resistance