This plastic fiber optic goes where others can’t

Plastic fiber or POF is an advance in the world of fiber optics that has been underway for around a decade and is used in industries such as automotive, aviation, even the medical industry. The reduced diameter of these cables and their flexibility make them a more than interesting solution for wiring all types of installations. One of its greatest qualities is that it is completely immune to electrical noise.

To the advantage of its high flexibility we can add that its cost is reduced compared to the cost that the deployment of a glass fiber optic cabling may entail. Both can be damaged for different reasons, that is why there are several types of optical fiber on the market.

plastic fiber optic goes where others can't

The plastic fiber of the Japanese

Scientists at Keio University in Japan have built optical fibers from plastics that can transmit up to 53 Gbps using the PAM4 (Four-Level Pulse Width Modulation) method. As we explained previously, optical fiber is usually composed of glass with a high data transfer capacity, as is the case with submarine cables.

Professor Yasuhiro Koike from Keio University’s Institute for Photonics Research has announced that the polymer optical fibers they have created, in addition to carrying data at 53 Gbps while bending without breaking, also have lower direct error correction requirements than fiber optic fibers. conventional glass fibers. This means lower overhead for error correction allowing for more signal and less interference.

fibra óptica

Advantages of plastic fiber

The plastic fiber developed by Japanese scientists eliminates the need for error correction functions and waveform shaping circuits in older communication systems, and can solve heat generation, delay, and cost problems in communication systems. communication at the same time. This result not only saves energy in data centers, but also paves the way for high-capacity real-time communication in automobiles, healthcare, robotics, etc. On the other hand, they have detected that when trying to increase power, communication delays have become a major problem.

Polymeric fiber optics can be applied to an electric vehicle, an environment in which components are subject to a type of vibrations and shocks that are often the cause of problems with glass fibers. From Keio University, they mention the use of useful plastic fibers in the rotating limbs of industrial robots. The details of the results of this research will be announced at the International Conference on Plastic Optical Fibers (POF2021) to be held in November 2021.