Table 2. The four types of ultrabend optical fiber.
Product Name Introduction Types Characteristics
ClearCurve 2007 Single- and Hundreds of times more bendable than
multimode fiber standard single-mode fiber; multimode
fiber can withstand bends below 10 mm
EZ Bend 2007 Can absorb 5-mm bend losses
In accordance with ITU G652
tions and for imaging in doctors’ and
Major optical fiber makers generally
separate the single-mode fiber operations
from multimode fiber production. For example, OFS makes single-mode fiber in
Atlanta as part of the former AT&T works,
and manufactures some specialty fiber in
Standard product types for multimode
fiber include 50 ; 125, 62. 5 ; 125 and
100 ; 140 μm. There are other, much
larger sizes as well, but these are the
standard sizes listed in most catalogs.
The 50- and 62.5-μm multimode fiber
is generally used for short-distance telecom and datacom applications – such as
for data centers – as patch cords and for
local area networks. Although there are
some datacom and telecom uses, larger-area diameters are used for more general
purposes, such as optical pumping and
beam delivery, closed-circuit TV and medical imaging, and for sending a fiber down
an oil refinery.
Specialty fibers with higher diameters
may be used to make fiber lasers.
mode fiber is higher in more industrialized
nations. In countries such as China, where
large amounts of single-mode fiber are
being installed for telecom and datacom,
the amount of multimode fiber used is
The amounts are still significant, however. In 2011, about 147 million kilometers of fiber were being installed. That
means that some 6 million kilometers of
multimode fiber were being installed. This
is a significant market share. Remember,
multimode fiber sells at a higher price
than single-mode fiber.
Specialized applications remain generally stable from year to year. The amount
of multimode fiber going for illumination,
for military uses and for sensing does not
vary much. Although fiber optic sensing
has been growing recently, along with the
amount of fiber that often enables it, this
is still a relatively small market.
The real growth potential is in data centers using VCSELs with multimode fiber.
Optical component vendors that can use
VCSELs to carry signals in duplex or
multistrand multimode fibers may find
a market in local area networks or the
growing number of data centers throughout the world.
There is a real need for transmitting
data short distances in data centers; e.g.,
large enterprise customers and data from
governmental agencies often are located
in proximity to carrier vendors in data
centers. These short-range links would
appear to be perfect for multimode fibers.
The data center owner, already strapped
by cooling and power expenses, will
welcome the price breaks that multimode
fiber systems afford.
The Market for Fiber Optic Components:
A Seven-Year Forecast is available in
print and as a digital download (pdf) at