Single Mode and Multimode Fiber Optic Cable

In recent years fiber optic cable has become apparent that optical fibers are steadily replacing copper wire as an appropriate means of communication signal transmission. They span the long distances between local phone systems as well as providing the backbone for many network systems. Other system users include cable telecision services, university campuses, office buildings, industrial plants, and electric utility companies.

There are three types of fiber optic cable commonly used: single mode, multimode and plastic fiber optic. Although fibers can be made out of transparent plastic, glass, or a combination of the two, the fibers used in long distance telecommunications applications are always glass, because of the lower optica atenuation. Both multimode and single mode fibers are used in communications, if you need to transmit less data over longer distances, use single mode fiber optic cables. For a greater data capacity over shorter distances, go with multimode fiber optic cables, with multimode fiber used mostly for short distances (up to 500 m),Multi mode is often used for LANs and other small networks. And single-mode fiber used for longer distance links.

Single Mode Fiber: Single Path through the fiber

Single Mode cable is a single stand (most applications use 2 fibers) of glass fiber with a diameter of 8.3 to 10 microns that has one mode of transmission. Single Mode Fiber with a relatively narrow diameter, through which only one mode will propagate typically 1310 or 1550nm. Carries higher bandwidth than multimode fiber, but requires a light source with a narrow spectral width. Single Mode is also referred to as single-mode fiber, single-mode optical waveguide, mono-mode optical fiber and uni-mode fiber. Single-mode fiber gives you a higher rate of transmission, it also can carry the signal up to 50 times farther distance than multimode, at a slightly higher cost.Single-mode fiber has a much smaller core than multimode.

Single Mode fiber is used to connect long distance switches, central offices and SLCs (subscriber loop carriers, small switches in pedestals in subdivisions or office parks or in the basement of a larger building). Practically every telco’s network is now fiber optics except the connection to the home.

Multi Mode Fiber: Multiple Paths through the fiber

Multi-Mode cable has a little bit bigger diameter, with a common diameters in the 50-to-100 micron range for the light carry component (in the US the most common size is 62.5um).Typical multimode fiber core diameters are 50, 62.5, and 100 micrometers. Multi Mode fiber is used for shorter distances. Most applications in which Multi-mode fiber is used, 2 fibers are used. Multimode fiber gives you high bandwidth at high speeds (10 to 100MBS – Gigabit to 275m to 2km) over medium distances. Light waves are dispersed into numerous paths, or modes, as they travel through the cable’s core typically 850 or 1300nm. Long cable runs (Above 3000 feet 914.4 meters in length), the multiple paths of light are believed to cause signal distortion at the receiving end, resulting in lost packets and incomplete data transmission. IPS recommends the use of single mode fiber in all applications using Gigabit and higher bandwidth.

For more information about single mode fiber cable or multimode fiber cable, such as single mode duplex fiber, multimode duplex fiber optic cable, OM3 fiber optic cable, OM4 multimode fiber, waterproof cable, fiber patch cordsfiber optic pigtails and so on.

What is the Plastic Optical Fibers

Plastic optical fiber (POF cable) is an optical fiber made out of plastic rather than traditional glass. Traditionally PMMA (acrylic) is the core material, and fluorinated polymers are the cladding material. With its advantages including high transmission capacity, excellent noise resistance, light weight, and outstanding flexibility, plastic optical fiber is expected to play an important role in the high information oriented society.

Plastic fiber optic cables (POF cable) are constructed of a single acrylic monofilament and are most efficient when used with visible red status indicator light sources. Plastic fibers are generally more cost effective than glass fiber optic cables and are ideal for applications that require continuous flexing of the fiber. A wide range of fiber optic tips are available.

POF has been called the “consumer” optical fiber because the fiber and associated optical links, connectors, and installation are all inexpensive. Due to the attenuation and distortion characteristics of the traditional PMMA fibers are commonly used for low-speed, short-distance (up to 100 meters) applications in digital home appliances, home networks, industrial networks (PROFIBUS, PROFINET), and car network. The perfluorinated polymer fibers are commonly used for much higher-speed applications such as data center wiring and building LAN wiring.

In relation to the future request of high-speed home networking, there has been an increasing interest in POF as a possible option for next-generation Gigabit/s links inside the house. To this end, several Europen Research projects are active, such as POF-ALL and POF-PLUS. Several standardization bodies at country, European and WW levels are currently developing Gigabit communication standards for POF aimed towards Home networking applications. It is expected the release at the beginning of 2012. The future Gigabit POF standard is based on multilevel PAM modulation a frame structure, Tomlinson-Harashima Precoding and Multilevel coset coding modulation.

The combination of all these techniques has proven to be the most efficient way of achieving low cost implementations at the same time that the transmission theoretical maximum capacity of the POF is approached. Other alternatives like DMT, PAM-2 NRZ, DFE equalization or PAM-4 have inferior performance and lead to more expensive implementations.

For telecommunications, the more difficult-to-use glass optical fiber is more common. This fiber has a core made of germania-doped silica. Although the actual cost of glass fibers are similar to the plastic fiber optic, their installed cost is much higher due to the special handling and installation techniques required. With very large diameter, POF cable is easy to run along skirting boards, under carpets and around tight corners. It offers additional durability for uses in data communications, as well as decoration, illumination and industrial application.

  • Ideal for continuous flexing applications
  • Individual (transmitted beam) and bifurcated (reflective) fiber styles
  • Wide range of specialty fiber optic cable tips available
  • Teflon coated fiber optic cables for liquid level applications in caustic environments
  • Standard cable length of 2 m (78 in.)
  • 30 m (98.5 ft) unterminated fiber cable spools available
  • Maximum temperature rating of 15… 70 °C (-30…158 °F)
POF in short

1. PMMA and Polystyrene are used as fiber core, with refractive indices of 1.49 and 1.59 respectively.

2. Generally, fiber cladding is made of silicone resin (refractive index ~1.46).

3. High refractive index difference is maintained between core and cladding.

4. High numerical aperture.

5. Have high mechanical flexibility and low cost.

6. Attenuation loss is about 1 dB/m @ 650 nm.

7. Core/Cladding size 1 mm.

8. Bandwidth is ~5 MHz-km @ 650 nm.

FS.COM provides both simplex and duplex plastic optical fibers, we also supply fiber patch cords, fiber optic pigtails, loose tube cable and more.