Fiber optics or optical fiber cable (OFC) refers to the medium and technology related to transmission of data or information as light pulses along a glass, plastic strand or fiber. A fiber optic cable has varying number of glass fibers, from a few up to a few hundred. Surrounding the glass fiber core is present another layer of glass, called cladding. Buffer tube layer protects the cladding, and the jacket layer acts as the final protective layer for the individual strand.

Fiber optics working

Optical Fiber CableOptical fiber cable transmit data in the form of light particles and photons that pulse through the cable. Glass fiber core and the cladding each have a different refractive index that bends incoming light ray or photon at a specific angle. Light Signal travel in zigzag manner through cable by reflecting itself from cladding and core, following to a process called total internal reflection. Light signals cannot travel at the speed of light due to denser glass layers, instead traveling about 30% or low, slower than the speed of light.  In order to renew, or boost, the signal throughout the medium, fiber optics transmission needs repeaters at specific distant intervals to regenerate the signal by converting it into an electrical signal, then processing the electrical signal and retransmitting the optical signal to its destination.

Types of fiber optic cables

There are two basic modes of transmission in optical fiber cable, Multimode fiber and Single-mode fiber. Single-mode fiber is used for long distances due to small diameter of the glass fiber core, which reduce the possibility for attenuation of signal. While Multimode is used for short distances because the larger core opening allows light signals to bounce and reflect more along the way than the normal path. The larger diameter permits multiple light pulses to be sent through the cable at a time, so data transmission increase. This also means that there is more possibility for signal loss, reduction or interference.

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