Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

Researchers Develop Error Free Plastic Optical Fibre Cables

Friday, September 24th, 2021 (11:16 am) - Score 1,176
router_with_fibre_optic_cables_on_top-gigapixel-very_compressed-height-1000px-cropped

A team of Japanese scientists working at Keio University have managed to develop a solution for “error-free” plastic (polymer) optical fibre cables, which can solve some of the cost, delay and heat generation problems that have tended to restrict their use. Data speeds of 53Gbps (Gigabits per second) were achieved.

Firstly, there’s nothing particularly new about creating fibre optic cables out of plastic, although glass (silica) fibre tends to do a better job. But the reason why you might want a plastic fibre is because such cables can be cheaper to manufacture, are easier to use (no special training require) and are more durable than glass, particularly with respect to bending and stretching.

As a result of all this you tend to find that plastic fibres, which can’t achieve the same sort of speeds as glass fibre, often end up being used for lower speed, short-distance style setups (e.g. they’re handy for use inside a home or office). Take note that “lower speed” is a relative term, since we’re still talking about multi-gigabit territory.

However, the researchers found they could improve polymer based optical fibre cables by “actively utilizing the mode coupling caused by light scattering in the cable, which resulted in much faster and largely “error-free” data speeds (i.e. 53Gbps via the Four-level Pulse Amplitude Modulation [PAM4] method, which is said to be the “next-generation standard for data centre communication“).

plastic-optical-fibre-very_compressed

The full press release for all this is written in Japanese and, sadly, online translators tend to struggle with scientific terminology, thus we’re hesitant to go into more depth for fear of reflecting mistakes from that translation. The key takeaway from all this is that faster fibre optic cables, based on plastic, now look much more plausible.

Statement from the Research Team (Translated)

“With the advent of the AI and IoT era, large-capacity and high-quality data communication is required for servers and computer devices, but it is becoming difficult to transmit data without error as the speed of signals increases. Many current communication systems use error correction functions such as FEC (Forward Error Correction) and waveform shaping circuits to correct erroneous data that occurs during transmission, but this signal processing consumes the communication system. Increasing power and communication delays have become a major problem.

The error-free POF developed [by this team] eliminates the need for error correction functions and waveform shaping circuits in the above communication systems, and can solve the problems of heat generation, delay, and cost of communication systems at once. This result not only saves power in data centers, but also paves the way for large-capacity real-time communication in automobiles, medical care, robotics, etc., and error-free POF will become a core technology in the next-generation information industry.”

As above, this remains an inherently short-range technology, which restricts its use to devices and environments (robots, homes, data centres etc.) where only shorter cables are required (often up to 100 metres). Further details of the results from this research will be announced at the International Conference on Plastic Optical Fibers (POF2021), which is due to be held in November 2021.

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Hungry Dog says:

    Brilliant! Toslink updated for its 40th

  2. Neil says:

    Hopefully this can drive even more innovation and maybe in the longer term some environmental benefits. Although one thing I couldn’t find was any reference to projected signal degradation over time vs glass fibres, in other words does the polymer itself degrade faster than glass? (I used Deepl for the translation which generally does a much better job than google)

  3. Nick Robertsjo says:

    A winner for the aviation and automotive industries ?

  4. Jonathan says:

    Firstly fibre is already as cheap as chips. Cheaper than copper, and terminating plastic is no easier. Second modern fibre is really rather robust, with bend radius of millimetres. Waste of time innovation IMHO.

    1. Anonymous says:

      This was meant for commercial uses, needless to say companies aren’t looking to compare prices with copper when buying fibre.

      A glass vs plastic cost comparison is more suitable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Vodafone £19.50 (*22.50)
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • NOW £20.00 (*32.00)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £20.00 (*25.00)
    Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: HYPERFALL21
  • Shell Energy £21.99 (*30.99)
    Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £22.00 (*38.20)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £70 Reward Card
Large Availability | View All
New Forum Topics
Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Gigaclear £24.00 (*49.00)
    Speed: 300Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £24.00 (*27.00)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Community Fibre £25.00 (*27.50)
    Speed: 200Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £25.00 (*35.00)
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: HYPERFALL21
  • Virgin Media £28.00 (*52.00)
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (3570)
  2. BT (3024)
  3. Politics (1943)
  4. Building Digital UK (1929)
  5. FTTC (1888)
  6. Openreach (1838)
  7. Business (1694)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1480)
  9. Statistics (1410)
  10. FTTH (1365)
  11. 4G (1278)
  12. Fibre Optic (1176)
  13. Virgin Media (1174)
  14. Wireless Internet (1163)
  15. Ofcom Regulation (1150)
  16. Vodafone (847)
  17. EE (837)
  18. 5G (772)
  19. TalkTalk (770)
  20. Sky Broadband (748)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact