Manufacturers and data centers are spurring more and more changes in fiber optics technology as their data needs compound. With demand growing, everyone is working to increase transmission rates, lower costs and improve performance overall. New standards and improvements in fiber are continuing to enable this.
Multimode fiber (MMF) takes up nearly 80% of manufacturing and data center cabling needs for short-distance applications. Lower cost links and optical transceivers make it more cost effective than single-mode, which is better suited to longer range applications.
MMF advances in VCSEL and parallel transmission over multiple strands of fiber has supported growth to-date, but wideband multimode fiber (WBMMF) increases capacity fourfold. New WBMMF standards for OM4 are under TIA development, with IEC following up. Other wideband benefits include better support for longer distances, full compatibility with older apps as well as forward-compatibility.
There are a few other fiber innovations on the way, offering more efficiency in space and cost.
- Wavelength division multiplexing allows multiple wavelengths to travel down the fiber, each carrying data.
- Fibers with multiple cores could be a solution, if how to splice the fiber of hair-sized cores can be resolved.
- MicroCore fiber housed in data centers are always encased in trays and don’t need a bulky covering, which can cut cable size up to 75% and reduce installation costs.
As these technologies are released, certified fiber installers can evaluate and propose a solution that suits the demand and growth of your facility.