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Press Release

Sumitomo Electric Has Developed Single-mode Multi-fiber Lensed Optical Connectors

Products & Technologies

March 17, 2015
Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., a leading global developer and manufacturer of optical fiber, cable and components announces a newly developed next generation optical connector. The connector makes it possible for single-mode, super high density multi-fiber interconnection. It also has benefits of debris insensitive interface and easy connection. Sumitomo Electric will present this achievement and showcase 32-single-mode fiber connector at OFC 2015, which is taking place on March 24-26 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

The internet data center (iDC)*1 grows to a larger scale in accordance with explosion of data traffic. The optical fiber cables structured in iDC's are required to meet the demand for higher-speed, larger capacity and longer distance data transmission. There are two kinds of optical fibers. One is a single-mode (SM) fiber, which is suitable for long reach and high capacity transmission. The other is a multi-mode (MM) fiber, which is for short reach transmission. Although most of optical fibers used now in iDC are MM, adoption of SM fibers are expected to be increased due to the exponential data traffic increase.

The most popular multi-fiber connector used in iDC's is an MPO connector*2. Up to 24-fiber MPO connectors have already been commercialized for SM fiber interconnects. The connectors are designed based on physical-contact (PC) technologies to make fibers firmly contacted each other by applying certain pressing force. Physical-contact connectors require careful end face cleaning before mating because the beam diameter at the fiber end face is only 0.01 mm; accordingly sensitive to minute debris. Furthermore, as the fiber count increase, pressing force need to be increased to maintain PC connection for all fibers. As a result, easy mating capability will be impaired and mechanical reliability may become lower.

The newly developed SM multi-fiber lensed connector has flat surface lenses embedded at the end surface of the SM fibers and expand the beam from the SM fibers. The expanded beam allows the connector less sensitive to debris. Furthermore, as expanded beam interconnects require no PC connection between facing fibers, the mating force can be greatly reduced, which allows easy connecting even in high fiber count such as 32 or more.

The connector was realized by combining our state of the art precision molding technology and flat surface lens technology we have developed.

32-fiber single-mode lensed connector

Main features of the newly developed connector are as follows.

1. Less impact of debris

Since the beam from the connector end face is five times larger than the conventional connector beam, it is less sensitive to debris.

2. Easy-to-clean

The flat surface of the embedded lens allows the connector to be wiped more easily than a connector using convex lens.

3. Easy connection, less mating force

As lens embedded the connector requires no PC of the fiber, it greatly reduces mating force and gives us benefit of easy connection even in high fiber count.

*1 Internet Data center
An internet data center is a facility used to store and provide personal or corporate information data via the internet. It houses IT equipment such as internet servers, data storages and network equipment. These equipment are connected by huge amount of optical fiber cables each other, and transmit large-capacity data at high speed.

*2 MPO connector
MPO (Multi-fiber Push-on) connector is the most popular multi-fiber connector based on fiber physical-contact technologies.


Exhibition March 24-26, 2015
Place Los Angeles Convention Center, California, USA
Booth Number 1625
Official Website http://www.ofcconference.org/en-us/home/
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