March 3, 2008 -- At last week's OFC/NFOEC 2008 in San Diego, OFS demonstrated its EZ-Bend optical cable technology. According to the company, supporting multiple dwelling unit (MDU) and in-home wiring applications, the technology "addresses the critical need to speed and simplify installations by allowing cables to be bent and routed in ways never before feasible," using traditional optical drop cables to facilitate rapid deployment of fiber to and within the residence.
The company maintains that service providers require drop cables that support tight corner bends and stapling, and that the EZ-Bend technology enables in-residence optical cable installation with the same simple practices used for copper or coaxial cables. Cables using EZ-Bend technology can be stapled in place utilizing existing copper cable installation tools and routed around corners. The cables' bending loss performance represents up to a 100-fold improvement over conventional single-mode fiber (SMF) type cables, contends OFS.
The OFC demo showed a live video stream supported over optical cables using EZ-Bend technology bent around numerous corners and stapled, with no degradation in picture quality. In contrast, a conventional cable subjected to far less bending shuts down the video and "freezes" the screen. This is because the EZ-Bend technology enables negligible video signal loss (0.1 dB maximum at 1550 nm) for one turn at 5 mm radius, while conventional fibers under the same assumption lose nearly all the signal and shut down service to customers.
"OFS' EZ-Bend Technology integrates a new bend-optimized fiber design in a new cable construction," comments William Kloss, executive VP of marketing and sales, North America & CALA. "This innovative technology is the first to provide such performance using a solid glass fiber construction, while being fully splice and performance compatible with typical installed fibers."
OFS will provide the EZ-Bend technology in the V-Linx drop cables used in its V-Linx Spool & Play Solution for MDU deployments. The V-Linx drop cables are expected to be commercially available in the first half of 2008.