Feeds

Siemens shows 1Gbit/s over plastic fibre

Alternative to glass and copper appears in a POF of light

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Siemens researchers have demonstrated a data rate of 1Gbit/s over plastic optical fibre, a speed ten times higher than is possible with current products.

Sebastian Randel, the Siemens project manager, said the team sent an IPTV signal at 1008Mbit/s over a 100m connection in the lab, without errors or any flickering on the TV screen.

The company claims this is a big breakthrough for plastic (or polymer) optical fibre - POF - a technology which proponents want to supplant glass fibres and copper wires in demanding environments such as factory and home automation.

POF's advantages include flexibility, robustness and ease of connection, all of which make it easier and therefore cheaper to handle - it can even be installed by us cack-handed end users. In particular, the optical core is much thicker than in glass fibre, so it is more tolerant of misaligned connectors, and it can be cut satisfactorily with a metal cutter, whereas glass needs a diamond cutter.

Its main disadvantage is that it has a much higher transmission loss than glass, so current POF technology tops out at 100Mbit/s - the speed of Fast Ethernet.

What the Siemens team has done is to use a different modulation scheme - in fact, it's quadrature amplitude modulation, as used in DSL and the latest Wi-Fi specs. Instead of simple binary, QAM has 256 signal states so each pulse can carry far more information, hence the ten-fold speed increase.

Its robustness means that POF cable is already used is some demanding areas, such as inside cars and high-speed trains, and of course in lighting. It is used in audio too, with connections based on the IEEE 1394 Firewire spec - like glass fibre, it is immune to electrical interference and doesn't generate noise or crosstalk.

Randel suggested that taking it to Gigabit speeds could also make it suitable for applications such as factory and medical networking, and for home LANs to support high-def IPTV.

He added though that this was just a demonstration, and said he could not quote dates or prices for possible Gigabit plastic optical fibre products. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Death by 1,000 cuts: Mainstream storage array suppliers are bleeding
Cloud, all-flash kit, object storage slicing away at titans of storage
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
VMware vaporises vCHS hybrid cloud service
AnD yEt mOre cRazy cAps to dEal wIth
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?