Corning SMF-28 Contour optical fiber aims to transform 5G, cloud operator networks

June 3, 2021
The Corning SMF-28 Contour optical fiber offers what the manufacturer contends is a "first-of-its-kind combination" of bend resilience, compatibility, and low loss characteristics.

Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) this week introduced its latest product innovation, the Corning SMF-28 Contour optical fiber, which the company says is especially designed to help telecommunications operators address "the ever-expanding number of connected devices, the build-out of 5G networks, and advances in cloud computing."

As observed by a Corning statement: "Networks perform at their best when errors are minimized during fiber installation and when existing infrastructure is used efficiently during upgrades. Corning engineered [the] SMF-28 Contour fiber to meet those needs. This groundbreaking product will allow customers to seamlessly upgrade their optical infrastructures, enabling the cost-effective deployment of future-ready networks," the company contends.

Corning asserts the SMF-28 Contour fiber offers superior bendability, designed to reduce the impact of errors during installation while optimizing reach in densely cabled environments where 5G networks are being deployed.

"The SMF-28 Contour fiber is an ITU-T G.657.A2 fiber that has 10 times the macrobend resilience of G.652.D fibers and seven times the macrobend resilience of G.657.A1 fibers," claims the company. Corning says the associated increase in microbend resilience enables dense, high-fiber-count cables needed to meet the demands of future high-capacity networks.

Corning adds that the SMF-28 Contour fiber also offers exceptional compatibility with legacy networks, while providing superior bend protection, which can mean up to 50% faster installation by minimizing corrective splice-loss work.

According to the company: "Other G.657.A2 fibers also provide bend protection, but with a compromised, lower mode field diameter. [The] SMF-28 Contour fiber does not compromise, providing both G.657.A2 bend protection and a matched 9.2-micron mode field diameter in the same product."

Further, Corning says the SMF-28 Contour fiber guarantees "wide spectrum and industry-leading low-loss transmission across all the wavelengths that constitute the communication systems of today and tomorrow."

The company adds:

First, SMF-28 Contour fiber’s industry-leading low attenuation delivers 10% longer reach in all networks and up to 20% wider access-network coverage. Second, SMF-28 Contour fiber’s bend loss protection enables up to twice the network reach in new long-wavelength fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) systems. Together, these features enable larger FTTH subscriber areas and greater revenue potential.

The SMF-28 Contour fiber is available in a standard 242-micron configuration and a smaller 190-micron configuration. Corning notes that smaller-diameter designs are increasingly important, because while bandwidth demands have grown, the space available for network infrastructure has not. The company says the 190-micron version of SMF-28 Contour fiber enables smaller cables with higher fiber counts, maximizing use of existing infrastructure.

“Corning’s revolutionary SMF-28 Contour optical fiber is the latest example of our ability to solve tough industry challenges,” concludes Dr. Bernhard Deutsch, vice president and general manager, Corning Optical Fiber and Cable. “Operators today are looking to deploy future-ready networks as efficiently as possible, often in densely cabled environments, and we’ve designed this new product to answer those needs. Fifty years after Corning scientists invented the first low-loss optical fiber, we’re proud to help drive a new era of industry growth and network transformation.”

Corning will highlight SMF-28 Contour fiber at the virtual OFC 2021 event, held June 7 - 11. Visit the SMF-28 Contour fiber product page to view detailed technical specifications.

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