Trends In Fiber Optic Communication Industry

Fiber optic communication industry has been enjoying amazing growth for nearly 20 years, which is driven by both technology advance and market demand. There are some obvious trends inside the growth and development of new technology and market. All-Optical Network and Multi-Terabit Networks could possibly be the first two.

All-Optical Network
All-optical network has become a top topic in fiber optic communication niche for over a decade. Its ultimate goal would be to process all signals in the optical domain with no conversion and controlling to electrical domain in any way.

However, most signal routing, processing and switching occur in the electrical domain up to now. Optical signals must be converted to electrical signal first, and then the electrical signals are processed, routed and switched to their final destination. Following your processing, routing and switching, the electrical signals will be converted to optical signals which can be then transmitted over long distances. This technique is called the O-E-O process.

But this O-E-O process severely limits the rate with the network. Why? Since optical signals can process data faster then today’s electronics. The O-E-O process is a bottleneck preventing us from achieving even higher data rates. This bottleneck results in a tremendous interest in all-optical networks where no electronics are required for signal processing, routing and switching.

The advantage of all-optical network is that since all signal processing, routing and switching occurs in optical domain, there is no need to switch the electronics when data rates increase. For instance, current fiber optic transmitters and receivers are equipped for just one single data rate, thus, they ought to be replaced if the data rate increases. But this won’t be necessary in a all-optical network.

Admittedly, all-optical network involves be trend of fiber optic communication. However, many obstacles still lie in our approach to make all-optical network a real possibility. Some functions for example reading headers about the optical signals, switching the optical signal on the fly in line with the header content and real-time wavelength switching are just a few of the serious challenges that should be solved before we are able to have a true all-optical network.

Multi-Terabit Networks
DWDM opens the door to multi-terabit transmission. The interest in developing multi-terabit networks is driven through the increasing accessibility to more bandwidth in fiber optic networks.


One terabit network was achieved by using 10Gb/s data rate combined with 100 DWDM channels, while four terabit network may be accomplished by combing 40Gb/s data rate with 100 DWDM channels too. Researchers move their target to even higher bandwidth with 100Gb/s systems. This kind of speed is extremely expensive for make and may just be justified on long-haul systems. However with the price reduction on fiber optic components, devices and systems, more bandwidth is not definately not us.

There are a few other major trends in the fiber optic communication industry too. The most important ones include expansion into mass markets (FTTx), miniaturization, new technology development, cost reductions and even more.

About the author:
Morph Sun is a fiber optic network expert in FiberStore(FS). FS is a best fiber optic products supplier who can offer most FTTx solutions including CWDM/DWDM modules, transceivers, fiber optic cables, patch cables and so on. For more information such as fiber cable price, figure 8 fiber optic cable and plastic optical fiber, please visit our website.

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