NanoFinish Corporation
Fiber Optic Surface Finishing

Fiber Optic Basics

Fiber Optics

Fiber optic cable is being used to replace copper wire. Gigabits or billions of digital bits can be transmitted through a commercial fuber optic link. A number of other advantages of fiber optic are listed in Table I.

Table I. Advantages of Fiber Optic Cable vs. Copper Cable



High speed transmision (over 10 billion bits of data can be transmitted along an optical fiber)
Bandwidth Wider bandwidths allow for larger transmission capacity
Resistance Transmission is less sensitive to electromagnetic noise


Signals can be transmitted over greater length with less degradation of the signal

Single Mode Fiber - Single-mode fibers are most commonly used for longer distance transmissions. The primary application for single-mode fiber is for long-distance telephone line and multichannel television broadcast systems.

Multimode Fiber - Multi-mode fibers simple refer to the multiple paths that light can be transmitted through the fiber. Multimode fiber is used for short distance transmission and are commonly used for local area networks (LAN).

Connector Components

Although there are numerous types of optical connector designs, the most common are the FC, SC and ST types of connectors. Table II shows the characteristics of types of fibers.

Connector Insertion Loss Fiber Type Application
FC Connector 0.50-1.00 dB Single mode, mutimode

Telecom (widely used)

SC Connector 0.20-0.45 dB Single mode, mutimode Datacom, Telecom (growing in popularity)
ST Connector 0.40-0.50 dB Single mode, mutimode Datacom (most common), Telecom

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