Parallel or Serial Transmission in Fiber Optic Systems
As data rates have increased in response to more demanding applications, the market has gravitated to parallel optics. This trend is being supported by the consistent demand for MPO-based cabling, a datacenter staple for more than a decade. Using laser-optimized multimode fiber (LOMMF), serial optics can cost-effectively support speeds up to 10G. But as the 10G links give way to 25G or 40G, the only option with serial transmission had been to switch to costlier single-mode solutions. Parallel optics, however, provide a more cost effective solution for 40G and 100G Ethernet.
The switch to parallel optics is also helping to drive use of MPO connectors. However, the trend to parallel optics may soon reverse as more technologies—that make better use of individual fibers—are developed. A variety of new technologies such as PAM4 and WDM are expected to help lure more connections back to duplex in the future.
Written by James Donovan
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