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Group touts 10Gbps rates on plastic optical fibre

Mar 21, 20062 mins

* Industry group formed to promote 10Gbps on plastic optical fibre

If you’re still looking for another alternative to fiber optics or copper wiring for high-speed networking, a new industry group has something for you.

The group is called POF@ 10G, and its purpose is to promote the use of Graded Index Plastic Optical Fibre. Involved in the effort are fiber suppliers, cable and connector manufacturers and chip companies, the group says. The founding members are: Archcom Technologies, Asahi Glass Company, Chromis Fiberoptics, Nexans, Phyworks and Picolight.

The group recently announced that it has successfully transmitted data at rates of 10Gbps over 100 meters of Plastic Optical Fibre, using equipment that will be available this year.

The group argues that GI-POF is a “real alternative” to copper-based technologies operating at that speed, namely the IEEE’s 10GBase-T, which is currently on track to become an official standard this summer. The IEEE 802.3an Task Force plans to get a final draft together next month, with the final meeting of the group possibly in July.

The POF group says that Plastic Optical Fibre has low installation costs and a new connector technology (clip-on SC connectors) and semiconductor device capability that helps to minimize cable size. The group also says training for installation is minimal. Plus, GI-POF is resistant to interference.

The group says it achieved the 10Gbps of throughput this way: “using a low cost 850nm Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) and Receive Optical Sub Assembly (ROSA), together with an Electronic Dispersion Control (EDC) receiver, enabling an optical module with power dissipation of less than 1.5W.”