It has been roughly 50 years since Charles Kao and his
associates published their pioneering research on optical fiber communications,
which ultimately led to Kao receiving the Nobel
Prize in Physics in 2009.
Since then, fiber optics have found their way into nearly
every facet of communications including transmission fibers used in undersea,
terrestrial, metro and local area networks (LAN), to specialty fibers used in
amplifiers, lasers, sensors and more.
After several decades of commercial use, new optical fiber
types are in development to improve some aspect of communications. Improvements
in fiber have come in the forms of providing higher bandwidth, supporting
longer distances or − in conjunction with the optoelectronic devices at both
ends − reducing the overall cost of transport.
One such development in the LAN fiber world is
the development of wide
band multimode fiber (WBMMF). This
new fiber type expands the range of usable wavelengths from one to several, and
enables the use of shortwave wavelength-division
multiplexing in the range from 850 to 950 nanometers.
To learn more about WBMMF technology, the Telecommunications
Industry Association (TIA) and CommScope’s
Paul Kolesar will
conduct a free webinar on August 20 at
10 a.m. CDT. You can register for the webinar here.
As with all developments of new fiber types, standards continue
to play a key role. For optical fibers to achieve success in the marketplace,
they must comply with industry standards. Standardization activities are
underway in TIA discussing WBMMF.
To help keep up with these standards activities, CommScope publishes
Advisor, a quarterly report covering the latest initiatives in the
standards bodies. The latest edition, covering the second quarter of 2015, can be found here.