TIA moving forward with wideband multimode fiber standard

The fiber being specified will accommodate wave-division multiplexing that will enable the transmission of 100G over one multimode pair.

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During its most recent meeting, held the week of October 6-10, the Telecommunications Industry Association’s (TIA) TR-42 Engineering Committee accepted a project request to initiate a standard document to specify a new performance level for multimode fiber. As we reported in late September, CommScope and partner companies are developing a multimode fiber that will support the transmission of 100G over one fiber pair. Such transmission will be possible because the fiber will support wave-division multiplexing (WDM) applications. CommScope is using the term “wideband multimode fiber”—or WBMMF—to refer to this in-development multimode fiber technology.

At its October meeting, TR-42 approved a request submitted by CommScope to initiate a project that ultimately will result in the publication of a standard specifying multimode fiber that can support WDM. The multimode fiber specified will enable transmission of at least 28 Gbits/sec per wavelength, totaling at least 100-Gbit/sec total transmission capability.

In an entry posted to CommScope’s blog shortly before the TR-42 meeting, the company’s engineering fellow, Paul Kolesar, explained, “Existing OM3 and OM4 multimode fibers have a rather limited ability to support high-speed transmission using wavelengths different than the 850-nm wavelength for which they are optimized. However, a new generation of multimode fiber greatly expands that ability while retaining support for legacy 850-nm applications.” The project approved by TR-42 will specify just such a multimode fiber.

We will follow the development process of this cabling standard and report on it as progress is made.

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