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NTT Photonics Laboratories Unveils Dual-mode Optical Fiber

Apr 11, 2007 8:00 AM

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At the Optical Fiber Communications Conference last week in Anaheim, Calif., NTT Photonics Laboratories unveiled a new optical fiber that functions as both multimode and single-mode fiber, thereby eliminating the need for expensive upgrades and reducing fiber management and ownership costs.

Until now, businesses have had to choose between single-mode and 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 the faster, more expensive single-mode optical fiber system in order to support escalating demands.

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

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

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

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