September 15, 2016

What is optical fiber cable? What are the advantages of optical fiber cable?

Optical fiber cable:

An optical fiber cable is a cable containing one or more optical fibers that are used to carry light. The optical fiber elements are typically individually coated with plastic layers and contained in a protective tube suitable for the environment where the cable will be deployed. Different types of cable are used for different applications, for example long distance telecommunication, or providing a high-speed data connection between different parts of a building.

Figure: Optical Fiber Cable.

Advantages of optical fiber cable:

  • High Bandwidth Over Long Distances - Fiber optics have a large capacity to carry high speed signals over longer distances without repeaters than other types of cables. The information carrying capacity increases with frequency. This, however, doesn't mean that optical fiber has infinite bandwidth, but it's certainly greater than coaxial cables. 
  • Less signal degradation - The loss of signal in optical fiber is less than in copper wire. 
  • Data Security - Optical fibers are difficult to tap. As they do not radiate electromagnetic energy, emissions cannot be intercepted. As physically tapping the fiber takes great skill to do undetected, fiber is the most secure medium available for carrying sensitive data.  
  • Safety - Since the fiber is a dielectric, it does not present a spark hazard. 
  • Ease Of Installation - Increasing transmission capacity of wire cables generally makes them thicker and more rigid. Such thick cables can be difficult to install in existing buildings where they must go through walls and cable ducts. Fiber cables are easier to install since they are smaller and more flexible. They can also run along the same routes as electric cables without picking up excessive noise. 
  • Light, flexible and cheap - Optical fiber cable can be used in corrosive environments and is light, flexible and cheap. 
  • Non-flammable - Because no electricity is passed through optical fibers, there is no fire hazard.

Read More: What are the various kind of cables used for transmission?


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