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Boost networks with Ethernet-over-POF

Posted: 16 Oct 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:plastic optical fiber? Ethernet? core/cladding dimensions? fiber-optic transceivers?

Plastic optical fiber (POF) has emerged as a low-cost alternative to traditional copper cabling in office, home and automotive networks. Continued growth for POF is estimated to be worth in excess of $1 billion per year by the end of 2008.

POF is lightweight, robust, cheap and easy to install. Even a simple pair of scissors can be used to cut POF, and the use of a 650nm red light makes it completely safe for the user and installer's vision. This safety feature brings additional benefits to the installer, since red can be easily seen by the human eye to diagnose if the link is good.

One of the biggest advantages in today's complex and congested world of networking is that fiber is totally immune to EMI and noise. It emits no radiation, which is a major benefit, given all the wireless networks present today in the home and office. This is important for video and voice streaming, where such noise can affect picture or service quality. Installation is further simplified as existing main cable ducting can be used to route the fiber without noise interference.

Industrial networks have been slower to adopt POF, in contrast to automotive manufacturers that have been keen to exploit such technology for connecting car infotainment systems and safety-critical applications such as airbags. Today's high-end cars are processor-intensive, supporting devices such as radio, CD, DVD, navigation systems, Bluetooth, telephones, TV tuners and gaming. In fact, next-generation car specifications can be easily predicted by observing trends in home networking. Consumers now expect and demand the same services in the office, home and car.

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