Category Archives: Fiber Optics

A Little Queueing Math

Introduction Queues arise naturally in many circumstances and networking products are no exception. We use queues for many tasks in our networking products and this post discusses our need to store packets while we wait to be granted access to … Continue reading

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Frogs Love Fiber Optics -- At Least in the Winter

I was doing some installation inspections when we disturbed the following creatures in two different fiber optic enclosures. Winter is coming and everyone wants to find a nice, warm place to wait it out. plains leopard frog tree frog  

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Turning a Nonlinear Solution Into a Linear Solution

Quote of the Day Life is a long preparation for something that never happens. - William Butler Yeats Introduction I have been reviewing some software used to calibrate an analog video receiver. While IP video is becoming more common, many … Continue reading

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Powering Telecom Gear Using Energy Scavenging

I am seeing a lot of discussion in the electronic press about energy scavenging lately. I would argue that all the work I have done with powering fiber optic interfaces from solar power is part of that effort. There are multiple potential sources for this scavenging (see Figure 1). Continue reading

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Cost of Optical Fiber Versus Kite String

I try to help customers develop some perspective as to the cost of deploying fiber optic cable. Each cable can carry multiple fibers (see Figure 1). Customers will frequently ask about the incremental cost of adding an additional fiber to a cable they are about to deploy, which is often called the marginal cost of a fiber. Continue reading

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Sharks a Hazard For Submarine Cables

Quote of the Day There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. — Niccolo Machiavelli … Continue reading

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Massive Bandwidth to Come From Wavelength Division Multiplexing and Coherent Communications

I was just reading an article on the FASTER project, which is a submarine cable project that will deliver an initial information capacity of 60 Terabits Per Second (Tbps) between the US and Asia. This is substantially more than the 4 Tbps we typically see today in these systems (example). It does this by extensive use of Wavelength-Division Multiplexing (WDM), with each wavelength carrying 100 Gigabits per second (Gbps) over a six-pair cable. Continue reading

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ITU 100 GHz Frequency Grid Math

A physicist in my group and I were having a discussion about how the wavelengths (i.e. colors) for lasers are specified by an international standard and I thought this discussion would provide a nice example of a differential approximation. The widespread deployment of fiber optic cable (see Figure 1, Wikipedia) is a game changer for networking and may be our most important new infrastructure -- remember that high-speed wireless depends on cell towers interconnected with fiber optic cables. Continue reading

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The Biggest Ball Lens I have Ever Seen

Quote of the Day The most important thing in the world today is that England and the United States speak the same language. — Otto Von Bismarck We use tiny ball lenses all the time to mate our fibers up … Continue reading

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More Bugs in My Optics

I had another optical failure related to bug intrusion. I do not yet understand how the bugs do it, but somehow they increase my optical loss enormously. This particular optical node was not properly sealed and box elder bugs got … Continue reading

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