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What is Fiber Optic Cable?

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Fiber optic cable, also known as optical fiber cable, is a type of Ethernet cable which consists of one or more optic fibers that are used to transmit data. It is an assembly similar to an electrical cable while it is used to carry light and the fiber optic cable price is much higher than that of copper cable. Designed to use light pulses, fiber optic cables support long-distance telecommunication and high-speed data transmission. Normally, fiber optic cable can run at a speed of 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps, and even 100 Gbps. Therefore, it is widely used in much of the world’s internet, cable television and telephone systems.

Optical Cable Types

Normally, optical cable comes in two types, namely, single mode fiber (SMF) and multimode fiber (MMF). Single mode fiber has a very thin core about 5-10 microns in diameter while multimode fiber has a core diameter of about 10 times of a single mode fiber. Generally, single mode optical fibers used in telecommunications operate at 1310nm or 1550nm wavelength while multimode fiber at 850nm and 1300nm. Compared with single mode fiber, multimode fiber has a limited transmission distance by model dispersion because it has a large core size and supports more than one light mode (from OM1 to OM5). Single mode fiber is suitable for long distance applications such as 100km between buildings while multimode optical fiber is used in short distance transmission within buildings such as computer network linking.

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