Non-contact fiber-optic connectors

May 2, 2012
Arrayed Fiberoptics Corp. (AFC) has launched its "non-contact" (NC) fiber-optic connector.

Arrayed Fiberoptics Corp. (AFC) has unveiled a new type of fiber-optic connector. AFC's patent-pending “non-contact” (NC) optical fiber connector eliminates physical contact between fiber endfaces.

The company notes that typical optical fiber connectors use a physical contact (PC), in which two optical fiber endfaces are pushed together to eliminate the air gap between them and suppress the light reflections at the glass/air interfaces. Contrastively, the company says that its NC connector includes an small, intentional air gap intended to prevent damage to the optical surfaces. The connector's anti-reflection coatings suppress light reflections at the glass/air interfaces.

Because the connector doesn’t require physical contact between the end faces that could cause wear with repeated use, AFC believes the NC connector will last much longer than traditional precursors, with no performance degradation even after many repeated connections. The company asserts that every existing PC or APC connector could be replaced with an NC or ANC connector counterpart; for example, LC/PC connectors would be replaced with LC/NC connectors, and angled SC/APC connectors would become SC/ANC connectors.

Key features of the NC optical fiber connector, according to AFC, include: insertion loss of less than 0.1 dB; return loss of greater than 65 dB; minimal insertion loss variation of less than 0.01 dB (a factor of 10x better than current products, AFC claims); exceptional durability i.e. thousands of repeated connections with no increase in insertion loss; low sensitivity to dust and contaminants; guaranteed intermateability among connectors; cost-competitiveness with existing connectors; and the same form factors as current connectors, as well as compatibility with the same connector adapters.

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Source: Lightwave Online

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