Fiber Optic cables or Optical Fiber Cable is different from the electrical cables, it contains strands of glass fibers, no thinner than a hair. A fiber optic cable transfers digital data signal in the form of light and since light travels faster than other things, long-distance transfer of data signals is done at a higher throughput rate.
Each of these fiber has a core glass, insulated by a layer also made of glass but this upper layer, called cladding, only keeps the data contained within the core and works as any other layer works on any other type of wire cable, to avoid leakage, but in this case, also the leakage of light. These fibers are immune to Electromagnetic Interference.
The use of optical fibers for communication was proposed in 1963 by Jun-chi Nishizawa who also invented Pin Diode and Static Induction Transistor. Both of these inventions contributed to the development of the optical fiber which was done by Charles K. Kao in 1966. Fiber optical was commercially used for the first time in 1997.
Types of Optical Fiber Cable –
- Single-mode Optical Fiber cable (SMF) – It consists of a single glass fiber strand with a diameter of 8 microns and has only one transmission mode with the transmission rate 50 times higher than the other mode. Only one wavelength of light can enter and pass-through this single-mode fiber and because of it, it has unlimited bandwidth. It has a small diametral core which allows only one mode of light to pass. Even though fiber optic cable has less attenuation, single-mode optic fiber has even a lower attenuation than the multi-mode optical fiber. It is also more expensive.
- Multi-mode Optical Fiber cable – Multiple modes of light and wavelength passes through it because of the larger diametral core of 62.5 microns but it has limited bandwidth. Also, the attenuation in multi-mode optical fiber cable is lower than the copper wire but higher still than the single-mode optical fiber cable. Data is transferred through it but this is made for the shorter distance data transmission as in a long-distance, the quality of the signal is reduced. This mode costs less.
Optic Fiber cables come in handy because their flexibility allows them to be bundled like a cable and can be easily used in computer networking and telecommunication. Fiber optic cables are steadily replacing copper wire because it doesn’t degrade the quality of data while transferring.
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