Definition

optical fiber (fiber optic)

Optical fiber (or "fiber optic") refers to the medium and the technology associated with the transmission of information as light pulses along a glass or plastic strand or fiber. Optical fiber carries much more information than conventional copper wire and is in general not subject to electromagnetic interference and the need to retransmit signals. Most telephone company long-distance lines are now made of optical fiber. Transmission over an optical fiber cable requires repeaters at distance intervals. The glass fiber requires more protection within an outer cable than copper. For these reasons and because the installation of any new cabling is labor-intensive, few communities have installed optical fiber cables from the phone company's branch office to local customers (known as local loops). A type of fiber known as single mode fiber is used for longer distances; multimode fiber is used for shorter distances.

Learn more about Optical Networks
Optical-electrical network convergence primer: Optical-electrical network convergence will collapse network layers, reduce costs and cut management complexity for next-generation IP services.
Enabling technologies for 100G DWDM network transmission: As 100G DWDM optical network transport takes hold to speed optical channel rates, telecoms have to make hard choices to avoid slowing market development, as happened with 40G DWDM.
A short history of 100G DWDM optical network transport development: Review the history behind the interest in 100G DWDM optical network transport to increase optical channel rates and accommodate traffic growth as operators deploy 40G DWDM systems.
100G DWDM optical networking transport: The telecom industry prepares: Telecoms want to quickly develop 100G DWDM. Optical networking expert Ray Mota examines forces driving first-generation adoption and what will meet network operators' requirements.
The physics of fiber in optical networks: "Optical Fibers," Chapter 5, from The Cable and Telecommunications Handbook looks at the evolution of optical fibers and the impact of convergence on optical networks.

 

Contributor(s): Finisar Corporation
This was last updated in July 2007
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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