NTT Photonics Labs unveils dual-mode optical fiber

April 3, 2007
April 3, 2007 -- At last week's OFC/NFOEC 2007, NTT Photonics Laboratories unveiled its Dual-Mode optical fiber, which functions in both multimode and singlemode optical wavelengths.

April 3, 2007 -- At last week's OFC/NFOEC 2007, NTT Photonics Laboratories unveiled its Dual-Mode optical fiber, which functions in both multimode and singlemode optical wavelengths, thereby eliminating the need for upgrades and reducing fiber management and ownership costs, according to the company.

According to NTT, heretofore, businesses have had to choose between singlemode or multimode optical fiber for their data transmission and data center needs; however, the dramatic growth in higher bandwidth connections and transmissions for voice, data, and video from both business and consumers has caused many cable providers, carriers, and data centers to exceed the capacity of their multimode optical fiber. As a result, many have had to invest in major system upgrades to faster, more expensive, singlemode optical fiber systems in order to support escalating demands.

NTT contends that its Dual-Mode fiber eliminates the need for upgrades by functioning as both multimode fiber and singlemode fiber. At the outset, when businesses transmission demands are low, the Dual-Mode fiber can be installed and used as multimode fiber at a lower cost than a singlemode fiber system. When demand increases, the new fiber seamlessly transitions to functioning as singlemode fiber, without a complicated and time-consuming fiber-reinstallation upgrade.

The Dual-Mode product can also be used where multimode fiber has already been installed, notes NTT. The coexistence of both multimode and singlemode optical fiber leads to increasing fiber management and ownership costs as the system grows. Each fiber must be utilized for specific functions and as the system grows and becomes more complicated, additional resources are required to manage the connections properly and avoid misuse. The Dual-Mode fiber is compatible with and easily interconnected with both multimode and singlemode fiber, with low optical connection loss to either type, reducing management and ownership costs and eliminating misuse, according to the company.

"Dual-Mode Fiber is a unique solution within the marketplace. It provides a highly adaptable, lower cost optical fiber solution for emerging companies who anticipate rapid growth of their data transmission needs," comments Dr. Hiromasa Tanobe, senior research engineer at NTT Photonics Labs. "The solution also allows existing companies to simplify their fiber management process as they grow, significantly lowering cost of ownership."

NTT's Dual-Mode Fiber features a low splicing and return loss connection with conventional singlemode fiber (Typical connection loss: 0.01 dB @ 1.31 micrometer and 0.05 dB @ 1.55 micrometer, return loss: >50dB) and multimode fiber (Typical connection loss: 0.02 dB @ 850 nm, return loss: >28dB). The product also features a low bending loss of 5 mm radium (one turn) for single- and multimode transmission simultaneously.

The Dual-Mode fiber has a cylindrically symmetric structure which provides relatively flat transparent characteristics for wavelength region between 1250 nm and 1650 nm (10 turns of 10 mm radium). Both tough and flexible, NTT says the new optical fiber is easy to work with and comes in a compact optical fiber reel.

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