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What is the Full Form of OFC

OFC: Optical Fibre Cable

OFC stands for Optical Fibre Cable. Optical fibre cables are made up of thin strands, or optical fibres, of either glass or plastic. One cable may have two or even hundreds. These optical fibre cables transmit information using light-based or optical technology between two locations. The light beams will emerge from the other end of the optical fibre cable (OFC) once they have travelled down from one end. Then, a photoelectric cell is required in order to convert the light pulses into electrical information so that the computer can understand it.

OFC Full Form

Light bounces off walls repeatedly as it travels down fibre optic cable. Because the beam of light hits the glass at very shallow angles, it doesn't leak from the edges. The light reflects back as if it were a mirror. This is known as total internal reflection. Cable structure is another factor that keeps it inside the pipe.

Fibre cable has many benefits, including higher bandwidth and greater reach. OFC or optical fibre cables are more popular than old copper telecom cables because they offer high-speed broadband service. Copper wires lose 94% of their signal, while optical fibre loses only 3%. Optic fibres last longer than copper wires which are less fragile. Copper wire is easy to tap, but optical fibres are much more difficult. Optic fibre has lower latency (the time it takes to transmit data) than copper wires.

Optical Fibre

Optical fibre is a hair-thin material made of glass. The diameter of optical fibre is generally 125 micrometers (mm). This is the actual diameter of the outer reflecting layer or cladding. Sometimes, the core, or inner transmitting tube, can have a smaller diameter (10 mm). Total internal reflection allows light rays to be reflected into the core's fibres. This can occur over great distances without any attenuation or reduction in density. The wavelength determines the degree of attenuation, but there is little attenuation in intensity.

What's the purpose of optical fibre cable?

Indian optical fibre cables are becoming popular day by day. The Indian government continues to invest in OFC network infrastructure development in various projects. This is driving the growth. By 2023, the Indian market for optical fibre cable (OFC) is expected to grow at 17% CAGR. Fibre-to-the-Home connectivity has seen an increase in adoption thanks to government initiatives like Digital India, Smart Cities, or Bharatnet. This growth will be further fueled by the increasing number of data centers located in India.

One of the main uses for optical fibre communication is in the telecom industry. Optical fibre communication is the only way to meet the growing demand for high-speed connectivity 24x7 and increased data traffic from services like voice, messaging, and downloads.

Indian OFC producers have endeavoured to meet the domestic demand, but now they require financial support for the sustainability of this industry. Initiatives like tax incentives, substantial grant subsidies, and financial support to R&D have helped domestic players flourish in many developed countries. Indian manufacturers have the capacity and capability. What they require is government support for the same.

STL Tech is a trusted, end-to-end manufacturer of optical fibres in India. It also has the only integrated silicon-to-software pipeline in the world. Their expertise includes manufacturing optical fibre cables for different applications and designing and installing integrated fibre optic networks. STL's innovative optical fibre products are used in large-scale applications like metropolitan, intelligent traffic networks, long-haul, and FTTx, among others. They offer a variety of optical fibre cable options, including ribbon, loose tube, and tight buffered, for both underground and aerial deployments.

STL has spent more than INR 1500 crores in expanding its optical fibre manufacturing capacity, from 30,000 to 50,000 km. The global optical fibre network covers 33 million km and caters to India as well as other international locations like the UK and the US. STL's global footprint includes next-generation optical preform, fibre, and cable manufacturing facilities, as well as interconnect subsystem manufacturing plants in countries such as India, Brazil, China, and Italy.

With its partnership with telecom operators, government organizations, internet service providers, infrastructure companies, public utility providers, and more, STL plans to deliver and install high-end, high-performance optical fibre networks in the coming future.

STL has partnered with various state governments in order to keep running the nation's national optic fibre network program, commonly known as BharatNet. Furthermore, the STL Centre of Excellence offers state-of-the-art basic study and research in fibre technology. It has also produced over 216 patents within the field.

What are the various types of fibre optic cables?

The optical fibre cable is classified on the basis of three aspects that are the refractive index, the type of material, and the method of light propagation.

The refractive index OFC is composed of two kinds:

  1. Step Index Fibres: It comprises an inner core that is surrounded by a layer of cladding. This has a single index of refraction.
  2. Graded Index Fibres: The refractive index in the optical fibre decreases as the distance radially from the fibre axis grows.

Based on the materials used, OFC is of two kinds:

  1. Polymer Optical Fibres: poly (methyl methacrylate) is utilized as a primary material to facilitate the transmission of light.
  2. Glass fibre cable: It is made of ultra-fine glass fibres.

Based on the method of propagation of light, OFC is subdivided into:

  1. Single-Mode Fibres: Used to transmit signals across long distances.
  2. Multimode Fibres: Used to facilitate signal transmission over short distances.

Single mode and multimode Fibre optic cable differ in the following ways-

Based on the type of product, the market is divided into single-mode fibre and multi-mode fibre. Single-mode optical fibre permits only one type of light mode to be transmitted at a time. However, multi-mode fibre cables can propagate multiple modes. Multi-mode optical fibre is utilized for short-distance runs, and single-mode fibre can be utilized for long-distance use.

This is why the single-mode fibre market is expected to expand more quickly in the coming years because of its applications for long distances and the low cost of installation in comparison to multi-mode fibre. Single-mode optical fibre's central size (9 um) is significantly less than the multimode fibre (50 um or 62.5 um). The typical diameter of the core is 9 inches. This allows the multimode fibre to be more efficient in its "light-gathering" capability and simplify connections. The cladding diameter for one mode or multimode fibre is approximately 125 um.

What are the methods by which fibre optic cables can be used?

Our lives are ever-growing in this digital world and demand high-speed connectivity across a wider range of areas, from business to society. There are many types of fibre optic deployments-

  1. Fibre to the home (FTTH) (also known as Fibre to the Premise (FTTP): The fibre cable stops at the point that the living space starts. For instance, the home's exterior wall has a box. This is a full fibre link.
  2. Fibre to the Building (FTTB): The optical fibre is terminated in the building's perimeter. Take, for example, the box that is located in the basement of an apartment.
  3. Fibre to the Node (FTTN): In this scenario, the fibre optic cable ends in the cabinet for street service and can be miles from the location of the customer. Coax is used to make the final mile connection.
  4. Fibre to the Curb or Cabinet (FTTC): The FTTC is like FTTN; however, the fibre cable is terminated close to the building but just a few hundred yards away. The connection for the last mile is made using copper wire.
  5. Fibres into an Antenna (FTTA): It is when an antenna receives a feed optical fibre; this happens (also called fibre backhaul) in order to meet the demands of bandwidth in 5G, fibre optics (5G) such as an FTTA architecture is required.
  6. Fibre to the Desk (FTTD): It is a term used to describe what is a typical commercial deployment of fibre optic cables. Like copper cable, fibre is a cable that is distributed from a telecommunications room to outlets for equipment and is terminated at an endplate.

Advantages and disadvantages of fibre optics

The use of fibre optic cables is mostly because of their advantages over copper cables. Benefits include:

  1. They can support greater capacity bandwidths.
  2. Light travels farther without the need for an increase in signal.
  3. They are less prone to interferences, like electromagnetic interference.
  4. They are able to be submerged in the water.
  5. Fibre optic cables are stronger, more flexible, and lighter than copper wire cables.
  6. Their maintenance cost is very low.

It is nevertheless important to remember that fibre optics come with disadvantages that consumers should be aware of. The main disadvantages of fibre optics are:

  1. The cost of copper wire can usually be less expensive than fibre optics.
  2. Glass fibre needs more protection inside an outer cable than copper.
  3. The installation of new cabling is labour-intensive.
  4. Fibre optic cables are usually more delicate. For instance, fibres may break, or the signal may be lost if the cable has been bent or curled to a radius of just some centimetres.

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