February, 2005

Previous Issues: 01/05, 12/04, 10/04, 9/04, 8/04, 7/04, 6/04, 5/04, 4/04, 3/04, 1/04, 12/03, 11/03 10/03 9/03, 8/03, 7/03, 6/03, 3/03, 10/02 , 8/02, 5/02


Intel Develops CW Laser In Silicon
Intel, building on the idea from UCLA described in our December Newsletter has shown a CW laser fabricated in silicon that appears capable of being used for FO communications. (Nature article) This is really a breakthrough, as it could allow lasers to be made on the same high volume production lines as microprocessors, memory and other more common - and cheap - integrated circuits. Current devices use optical pumping, so a device that uses electrical input will take more research, but developing a method to get CW lasing in silicon is considered a major breakthrough.

FOA Presents Proposals TIA-568 Standard Revision, Joins FO-4 Fiber Optic Committee
FOA presented several proposals for the third revision of the TIA-568 premises wiring standard at the recent meeting in Phoenix. Several of the FOA proposals were accepted at the meeting while others are being considered as part of the revision. The FOA board, members of which have over 20 years experience in fiber optics on the average, reviewed the 568B standard and discussed these issues at length, then produced a document with our recommendations. You can read the whole PDF document here.
In addition, Jim Hayes attended the FO-4 TIA Fiber Optic Committee meetings a week earlier to see if the FOA can provide assistance to this committee. Many of the issues of the FO-4 committee are new topics related to state-of-the-art technologies for FTTH and long haul transmission. But issues like bandwidth of multimode fiber and OTDR testing are still being considered, not much different from 20 years ago. The FOA will continue attending standards meetings to provide our technical input.

Corning & 3Com Team Up For Fiber To The Desk
Corning Cable Systems and 3Com are working together to promote fiber to the desk (FTTD). With Corning Cable Systems LANscape® Optical Connectivity Solutions and 3Com's newly released IntelliJack™ Switch NJ240FX, end-users have access to an economical FTTD solution with long-term reliability and future-proof connectivity.
3Com's IntelliJack Switch, a wall-mounted switch with an optical fiber uplink and four copper ports, leverages existing copper connections in desktop devices. By connecting an optical cable to the back of the IntelliJack Switch, end-users can turn a single Ethernet connection into four fully manageable ports, expanding the number of network connections at an end-user location. By using the 3Com® device with optical components from Corning Cable Systems, customers have a low-cost, simple method for deploying FTTD.
For more information: www.corning.com/cablesystems and www.3com.com

Fiber Optic's Big Market? Asia
According to IDC analyst Sterling Perrin quoted in fibers.org, Asia now represents a market for fiber optic products much larger than the North American market. Not surprising, since the NA market has been built up, overbuilt even, over the last 20 years. Now the focus swings to Asia where communications is being used as a way to expand industrialization and globalization. According to IDC, even Europe is a bigger market than the US.

Better Multimode Fiber Is A New Industry Focus
Multimode optical fiber is definitely making a comeback, primarily for high speed LANs using laser-optimized fibers. In Europe, some telecom companies are even looking at MM fiber for the last link in FTTH. For those using, MM fiber, we have some good news.
Yangtze Optical Fibre and Cable Company, Ltd. ( http://www.yofcsh.com) of Shanghai, has succeeded in lowering the attenuation performance of its multimode fiber. The new maximum attenuation specification of 62.5 multimode fiber is reduced to 2.65 dB/km at 850 nm and .60 dB/km at 300 nm. For 50-micron multimode fiber, the new attenuation specification is 2.25 dB/km at 850 nm and .60 dB/km at 1300 nm.
YOFC uses the Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition (PCVD) manufacturing process originally developed by Philips of the Netherlands. The PCVD process is widely recognized in the industry as the most effective process for making complex index profile optical fibers such as multimode and low water peak single mode fiber. Multimode fiber manufactured with the PCVD offers superior optical properties and uniformity compared to other manufacturing processes.
Network designers and installers will appreciate YOFC's low attenuation multimode fibers as they result in greater loss margins. This is particularly important in 1 and 10 GbE networks where the fiber attenuation, not bandwidth, can limit design flexibility and system performance.

The Third Edition of Fiber Optic Technicians Manual Is Coming
We've finsihed the third edition of the Fiber Optic Technicians Manual, and sent it off to the publisher. It's due out next summer. Updates include new material on fiber choices (e.g. laser-optimized fibers), termination processes, testing, high speed networks, etc. to bring it up to date as of the end of 2004.

Keep up with the latest news on FTTH at FTTHblog http://www.ftthblog.com/

Is The LC The New Standard Connector?

Last summer we proposed that the fiber optic industry again look at the idea of a "standard connector" - not a connector for every application, which is not realistic, but a small duplex connector for patch panel to equipment connnections. We have publicized the idea and gotten lots of interest. Mostly, we started a very valuable dialogue in the industry, focusing on the issue of too many connectors and the confusion it creates among end users.

But many responses we have received indicate that a new "de facto" standard already exists - the duplex LC. Practically all transceivers for gigabit and 10 gigabit networks already are in the LC format. Furthermore, the MT-RJ has termination and technical problems (like singlemode performance) plus is very hard to test, so it is fading. None of the other SFF connectors seem to have made any real impact on the US market either.

We are ready to declare the LC the new de facto connector standard!

New Tech Topics

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on General Topics and Testing

Fiber Or Copper? Making decisions, overview and LANs

What Happens When You Mate Mismatched MM Fibers?

NECA/FOA Installation Standard Published
NECA 301-2004, Installing And Testing Fiber Optic Cables, produced by The FOA in cooperation with NECA (The National Electrical Contractors Association), has been approved and published. This second revision of the document now is an ANSI-approved "American National Standard" of the NEIS (National Electrical Installation Standards" expands the original standard to cover much more detail, describing the installation and testing of fiber optic cable plants.
Users now have a reference document for defining the installation and testing of fiber optic cable plants in a "neat and workmanlike manner." Contract documents can be written simply to say:
"Fiber optic cables shall be installed in accordance with NECA 301-2004, Installing And Testing Fiber Optic Cables"
Copies of NECA 301-2004 can be obtained from NECA by calling the NECA Order Desk at 1-301-215-4504, fax to 1-301-215-4500, email orderdesk@necanet.org or online at http://www.neca-neis.org/

FOA Website Expands To Support Fiber Optic Educators

Instructors' Home Page And New Online Train-The-Trainer Program
The FOA has always focused on creating better educational opportunities in fiber optics - it's our charter: we're a non-profit educational organization. We've done two things recently to expand that commitment - both here on the FOA website.

We have over 120 schools and hundreds of instructors teaching at those organizations, and we'll notify them about these new web pages, but we invite any instructor interested in fiber optics to dig in and use these pages too.

First, we've created a home page for instructors where we'll cover topics just for them, like our TTT program and resources just for instructors. It's at http://www.thefoa.org/instructors/index.html

Secondly, we've put our TTT seminar online, in both PPT and PDF format at http://www.thefoa.org/instructors/index.html

Our online TTT program is the beginning of qualifying for the FOA CFOS/I Instructor Certification. Soon we'll have the program set up for instructors to register to begin qualifying for the certification.

Tech Puzzler
What splice is less expensive if you are making a large number of splices?
Answer below

FOA Certification Top Choice

The FOA CFOT and CFOS programs continue to gain momentum in fiber optics. Almost 14,000 CFOTs have been certified by over 120 schools as the FOA completes its 9th year. Since our founding in July, 1995, we have dedicated ourselves to promoting fiber optics and professionalism in fiber optics personnel, focusing on education and certification. We are continuing to add new schools and more CFOTs as users of fiber optics learn that a CFOT is the indication of a professional, well-trained fiber optic technician. Now with FTTH (fiber to the home) finally taking off, demand for CFOTs is rising and schools are responding by expanding programs rapidly.
The FOA now has approved programs at 114 organizations, welcoming new additions like Corning Cable Systems for their installation training programs and NASA's Goldstone Tracking Station. The complete list of FOA-Approved schools is at http://www.thefoa.org/foa_aprv.htm.

New Tech Topics

New PowerPoint Presentation Introduces Fiber Optics
The FOA has created a short PowerPoint presentation that introduces you to fiber optics and talks about job opportunities in the field. It was intended for instructors to introdcue studnets to the field, but it's a good introduction for anyone. It's about 3 meg file so it takes a while to download and you need PowerPoint to view it. See http://www.thefoa.org/ppt/

How Optical Fiber Is Made

Singlemode Fiber Nomenclature

Plastic Optical Fibers (POF)

Wavelength-Division Multiplexing

Fiber Amplifiers

Proposed Fiber Optic Cable Jacket Color Codes

The Effect Of Termination and Splicing on Bandwidth

FOCIS - Fiber Optic Connector Intermateability Standards

Calculating Link Loss Budgets

Specifications for Fiber Optic LANs and Links

EAI/TIA 568 B.3 For Fiber Optics

What Loss Should You Measure When Testing Fiber Optic Links?


Don't miss Eric Pearson's Newsletters - with some tests on connectors.

New sections of "Lennie Lightwave's Guide To Fiber Optics" covers loss testing of fiber optic cables and OTDRs.


Your Name, CFOT - It pays to advertise!

The FOA encourages CFOTs to use the logo on their business cards, letterhead, truck or van, etc. and provides logo files on this site for that purpose. But we are also asked about how to use the CFOT or CFOS certifications. Easy, you can refer to yourself as "Your Name, CFOT" or "Your Name, CFOS/T" for example.

Feel free to use the logo and designations to promote your achievements and professionalism!

Remember To Renew Your Certification !

Remember to renew your FOA certification. All current CFOTs have a ID Card with their certification data and we keep a database of current CFOTs to answer inquiries regarding your qualifications if needed. If you forgot to renew, use the online application form or the FOA online store to renew NOW!

Want To Get FOA Email?
We have been asked if we could send the FOA newsletter by email or post it on the website. We are looking into that and will definitely get one started soon. When you renew your certification, you will be asked if you are interested in email newsletters and if so, you will be asked to give your email address for us to use in a mailing list. If you want to get started now, send an email to info@thefoa.org with the subject "eMail List"
Note that The FOA never releases its mailing lists for any use! Your data is always safe with us.

To Contact The FOA:
The Fiber Optic Association
1119 S Mission Road, # 355
Fallbrook, CA 92028
Office Hours 10AM-5 PM Pacific Time
Telephone: 760-451-3655
Fax: 781-207-2421

Officers and
Board of Directors
Jim Hayes, President, Treasurer
Eric Pearson, Director of Certification
Tom Collins, Gateway Comm. College
Van Ewert, AESA
Bill Graham
Karen Hayes
FOA Staff:
Jim Hayes, newsletter, website editor
Karen Hayes, Administration

The FOA is managed under contract by:
1119 S Mission Road, # 355
Fallbrook, CA 92028
Telephone: 760-451-3655
Fax: 781-207-2421
email: info@vdvworks.com
FOA Board of Advisors
Elias Awad, Clerk, Director of Education
Tony Beam
Dave Chaney
F. Douglas Elliot, Past President
William H. Graham
Jim Hayes, President, Treasurer
John Highhouse, Past President
Danny S. Lyall
Eric Y. Loytty
Bob Mason
Eric Pearson
Paul Rosenberg, Past President
Dan Silver
Richard James Smith
Dominick Tamone
Tom Collins
Van Ewert
Elias Awad

Want to write for the FOA Newsletter? Send us articles, news, anything you think might be interesting to the rest of the membership!

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(C)1999-2004, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.


Tech Puzzler: Fusion splices. Although the splicing equipment is costly, each splice is cheap, while mechanical splices use low cost equipment but each splice is more expensive.