Corning unveils bend-insensitive fiber technology

July 24, 2007
July 24, 2007 -- Corning Inc. has developed a new optical fiber-based technology that resists bend-induced losses. The fiber will be aimed initially at FTTH applications.

July 24, 2007 -- Corning Inc. has announced the development of a new optical fiber-based technology that resists bend-induced losses. The fiber will be aimed initially at FTTH applications.

Corning's new trademarked "nanostructures" optical fiber design enables cabled fiber to be bent around very tight corners with virtually no signal loss, the company claims. These improved attributes will enable telecommunications carriers to economically offer true high-speed Internet, voice, and HDTV services to virtually all commercial and residential (apartment and condominium) buildings, Corning says. Current optical fiber installations lose signal strength and effectiveness when bent around corners and routed through a building, making it difficult and expensive to run fiber all the way to customers' homes.

"This is a game-changing technology for telecommunications applications," comments Peter F. Volanakis, president and chief operating officer at Corning. "We have developed an optical fiber cable that is as rugged as copper cable but with all of the bandwidth benefits of fiber. By making fundamental changes in the way light travels in the fiber, we were able to create a new optical fiber that is over 100 times more bendable than standard fibers."

Corning's newest fiber technology achieves this while maintaining compatibility with industry performance standards, existing manufacturing processes, and installation procedures, the company adds.

"So, customers don't have to sacrifice one benefit to get another," continues Volanakis. "There are more than 680 million apartment homes worldwide, including more than 25 million in the United States. The high cost of installation and difficulty in delivering fiber to the home made this market unappealing to most providers. We have been working closely with these carriers to create a solution that will make this more economically viable for them and for their customers."

According to a press release, one of the early proponents of this emerging technology was Verizon Communications Inc. In February of this year, Corning and Verizon commissioned a joint working team to solve the problems of multiple dwelling unit installation using this new fiber solution.

"Continued innovation in advanced telecommunications networks is critical to the long-term success of Verizon and our ability to provide our FiOS service on a mass scale in the United States," remarks Paul Lacouture, executive vice president of engineering and technology, Verizon Telecom Group. "We are working closely with Corning to solve the challenges of providing fiber solutions to high-rise apartment complexes across the United States. This fiber technology will enable us to bring faster Internet speeds, higher-quality high-definition content, and more interactive capabilities than any other platform which exists today."

Corning says that with its new nanoStructures design, the optical fiber maintains its signal strength when bent or curved, with performance results 100 times better than standard singlemode fibers. The new fiber also enables simpler and more aesthetically pleasing designs for the cable, hardware, and equipment used in the deployment, the company adds.

Corning will introduce a full suite of optical fiber, cable, and hardware and equipment solutions based on its nanoStructures technology platform this fall at the Fiber-to-the-Home Conference in Orlando, FL, September 30 - October 4.

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