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Plastic Optical Fibres Considered to Use in FTTH Applications

The cost of plastic optical cable (POF) in high-speed short-distance communication transmission is as same as symmetrical cables, the transmission bandwidth up to several GHz within 100 metres, and with easy connection, good flexibility, easy bending and other advantages. Despite the current system performance is still in the early stage of research or application, but it is not to be ignored of its roles in the future short distance communication, from the advantage of price and performance, making it has a broad prospect in the whole fibre optic network of FTTH application.

Compared with quartz fibre, POF has the following advantages: low modulus, large core diametre (0.3-1.0mm), can use simple POF connectors when splicing, even if the 30μm deviation produced by optical fibre splicing centre alignment does not affect the coupling loss; large numerical aperture (about NA0.5), the acceptance light angle up to 60°and that of quartz fibre is only 16 °, availability of cheap LED, and high coupling efficiency;flexibility is good, easy to manufacture and use; a low loss window in the range of visible light; light weight; low cost and processing cost.

Compared with other transmission mediums in the LAN(Local Area Network) system, POF network also has obvious advantages: POF is not sensitive to electromagnetic interference, no radiation, attenuation constant in different data rates, error rate can be forecasted, can be used in electrical noisy environment; features long-size, can reduce the requirement of tolerance control in joint design, so lower the cost of net.

Plastic optical fibre as the ideal transmission medium for short-distance communication network, plays an important role in the data transmission of future intelligent household, office automation, industrial control network, the airborne communication network, military communication network.

Through the plastic optical fibre, we can realize the networking of intelligent home appliances (home PC, HDTV, telephone, digital imaging equipment, security equipment, air conditioning, household refrigerators, sound system, kitchen appliances, etc.), getting home automation and remote control management, improving living quality. Through the plastic optical fibre, we also can realize the office equipment networking, for example, computer networking can realize the computer parallel processing, can greatly improve the working efficiency of high-speed data transmission between the office equipment, realizing telecommuting and so on.

When the data rate is less than 100Mbps of low speed LAN, SI plastic optical fibre can realize the transmission within 100 metres and small numerical aperture POF can achieve the transmission in 150Mbps 50m.

At present, POF is also widely used in the manufacturing industry. Through the converter, POF can be connected with RS232 Ethernet Converter, RS422 Ethernet Converter, 100Mbps Ethernet, token ring and other standard protocol interfaces, thus providing stable, reliable communication lines in harsh industrial manufacturing environments. POF enables high-speed transmission of industrial control signals and instructions, avoiding the risk of communication interrupt resulted by electromagnetic interference with metal cable lines.

POF is lightweight and durable, can form a network of on-board unit communication network and control system, the micro-computer, satellite navigation devices, mobile phones, fax and other peripherals into the overall design of locomotives, passengers can also enjoy music, movies, video games, shopping, Internet and other services in the seat through the plastic optical fibre network.

In military communication, POF is being developed for high-speed transmission of large amounts of the third and confidential information, for example, using the POF characteristics of light weight, flexibility, quick connection, suitable for portable wear, for soldiers wearable light computer systems, as well as can be inserted into the communication network to download, store, send and receive mission critical information, and displayed on the helmet display.

With the development of POF manufacturing technology and raw material preparation technology, the production cost of POF will continuously reduce; from the current development situation of laser, optoelectronic integrated device and connector, with the continuous expansion of production scale, we believe that the cost of sending and receiving devices will decline significantly, so the POF has more advantage in access communication.