Fiber optics cable is replacing the good old days of using copper wires for long distance communication. Fiber optics cable is the fastest wide-area network available as of now and it can provide the maximum capacity of production compared to other network connections. The cables are very long and made of pure glass, such as a thin layer of human hair. Fiber optic communication systems are widely employed in applications ranging from major telecommunications backbone structure to Ethernet systems, broadband distribution, and data networking.
Fiber-optic communication uses very little light generated by small lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The center of the cable is known as the core, which allows the trail for light to travel. The core is enclosed by a layer of glass called cladding, which reflects the light inward to avoid loss of signal and allows the light to pass through bends in the cable.
Fiber optics are categorized into single mode and multi-mode fiber optics. Single mode fiber uses thin glass elements and a laser to generate light while multi-mode fibers uses LED. , Fiber optics is typically used for short distance, data and audio/video applications in LAN.
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The use of fiber optics cable is leading to the extinction of copper wires. The use of copper wire in phones is adequate, however, copper wire has a very less bandwidth, which is a drawback from fiber optics. On the other hand, fiber provides standardized performance up to 10 Gbps and beyond. The signals in fiber optics is converted to photons, whereas in copper it gets converted to electrons and photons travel a lot faster than electrons. The photons traveling through the fiber optic cable are just 31% slower than the original speed of the light. Hence, fiber optics is lot more advantageous than the copper wire. Two-fiber (duplex) transmission is an optical infrastructure used in today’s data center and commercial intra-building cabling is a recent innovation in the field of fiber optics technology. This application can use either a multimode or single-mode optical fiber. The arrangement has the benefit of low-cost optics that drives a lower overall system cost, compared with the more expensive single-mode optics that support long-distance communication. There are certain challenges associated with fiber optics technology as well. Every phone call, every text messages we send all around the world, all the movie downloads, and other Internet-based things we use, actually gets converted to photons that travels down a vast network of optical fibers. Driven by the largely unexpected developing applications and technologies, the network traffic has grown exponentially overtimes. Another factor limiting the fiber optics technology is its high cost. Distance communication also poses a challenge for fiber optics. In such cases, the connection needs to be stretched for the required distance, which makes it a complex form. Not only that, it needs to be re-amplified in an In-line Amplification Shelter (ILA). ILA provides security to the electronics and also provides the power required to keep the fiber active. This entire process is costly and requires huge maintenance.
As societies demand secure, fast, and reliable services across the world, fiber optics has set a vital example for them. Most importantly, its compatibility with other technologies and nearly unlimited bandwidth capacity will help it lead the industry, in developing the next generation communication.
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