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North Carolina’s Research Triangle is recognized for solving mysteries, especially technical ones. That’s what happens when three tier-one research universities – North Carolina State University (NCSU), Duke, as well as the University of N . C . (UNC) at Chapel Hill – and cutting-edge tech companies for example optical fiber ribbon machine are inside the triangle.

I ran across SEL while researching IEEE’s 802.3ba 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s Ethernet fiber-optic standard. Why was I putting myself through that? Well, before too long every commercial data center on this planet can have areas of its fiber-optic network migrated to 40Gb/s or 100Gb/s to remain competitive business-wise. Finding the paper The Optical Fiber Ribbon Solution for that 10G to 40/100G Migration (PDF) published by SEL’s Bill Charuk, product manager, data center solutions, was especially fortuitous, as it answered several perplexing questions.

Ribbon-style cabling is needed because OM3 and OM4 – the sole multi-mode fibers within the 802.3ba standard – use parallel-optic transmission. In accordance with an article on the Cabling Installation & Maintenance site this means by design optical/electronic interfaces allow data to get transmitted and received over multiple fibers. It also means 40G Ethernet interfaces consist of four 10G channels on four fibers per direction, and 100G Ethernet interfaces use four 25G channels on optical fiber ribbon machine per direction as shown within the diagram below.

Main point here: parallel runs are widely used to increase throughput bandwidth using either multiple fiber-optic cables or multiple fibers inside a ribbon cable. To begin using a ribbon cable over individual cables Charuk writes, “Using ribbons provide for easier connectorization (less ability to cross fibers within an MPO connector), dexkpky80 perhaps furthermore, achieve easier polarization continuity whatever the polarity method selected for your system.”

“Ribbon cables have already been utilized in the telecom industry for more than 20 years,” writes Charuk. “These were unveiled in boost the fiber density within a given cable as well as reduce cable costs. Of particular importance is fiber density, as fiber counts increase in the information center, it is an attractive feature.”

Fiber-optic ribbon cables seem like a logical choice. “The entire blend of ruggedness in the ribbon design, fiber density, size, and relative cost points to ribbon to be best suited to both new and retrofit installations in the data center,” concludes Charuk. “Additionally, the ribbons in Optical fiber coloring machine work best designed for future expansion, because the transmission protocols progress to higher and better data rates.”