Gigabit POF transceiver brings high speed, low cost to optical fiber networks

Feb. 24, 2012
Cork, Ireland--Firecomms has started sampling a world-first gigabit-class plastic optical fiber (POF) transceiver that uses Firecomms' 650 nm LED technology.

Cork, Ireland--Optical components company Firecomms has started sampling its GDL1000 Gigabit POF transceiver: a world-first plastic optical fiber (POF) transceiver that uses Firecomms' Resonant Cavity 650 nm LED (RCLED) technology, which the company says is known for its excellent reliability in the industrial and automotive industries. Key features of the fiber-optic transceiver include a customized driver IC in the transmitter developed internally by Firecomms' new mixed signal IC design team, a new high-speed Resonant Cavity LED, and new receiver IC architecture to efficiently detect and convert the POF optical signals.

Traditionally, gigabit-class fiber-optic transceivers are based on 850 nm and higher wavelength light sources, precision mounted on complex optical assemblies, which couple into 200 micron and smaller core glass optical fibers. Firecomms’ new gigabit-class transceiver utilizes an eye-safe, visible 650 nm (red) RCLED packaged in a transparent plastic moulded package with integrated lenses for easy coupling into 1 mm core POF. In the near future it is expected the GDL1000 will be housed in the very popular LC connector, soon to be ratified by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for POF applications.

"This latest development breakthrough from Firecomms will allow use of Plastic Optical Fiber in higher end optical communication markets which have been dependent on expensive and difficult-to-use glass optical fiber technology," says Hugh Hennessy, Firecomms VP of sales and marketing. "The GDL1000 transceiver enables equipment manufacturers to exploit the simplicity of POF--its ease of use and simple, robust terminations--at Gigabit speeds. With overwhelming feedback from our Beta customers in the LAN/SAN, medical, industrial and home networking markets, we look forward to rolling out the product across our global customer base."

By removing the significant additional costs associated with glass fiber, Firecomms GDL1000 POF transceiver unleashes an enormous opportunity for several markets. Utilizing Plastic Optical fiber for installations where glass has been the only alternative removes the need for costly splicing or fiber processing equipment. Moreover, because the installer can cut the fiber to the required length and insert into the plugless OptoLock, expensive pre-assembled glass fiber patch cords are made obsolete.

Firecomms will demonstrate the GDL1000 transceiver on the POF Technology and Applications Pavilion (booth #2733) at the upcoming OFC/NFOEC 2012 Exposition ( on March 6-8, 2012. During the expo, Firecomms CTO John Lambkin will discuss RCLED-based gigabit devices for POF communications at his talk in the POF Symposium on March 7.

SOURCE: Firecomms;

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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