Autumn 2019 - Optical Connections Magazine



There is no question that our world is increasingly interconnected. High-speed wireless networks make it possible to instantly access and use data-intensive apps on billions of smartphones and tablets globally while the IoT (Internet of Things) allows millions of devices to connect and interact with one another over the internet. The amount of data crossing networks to support this need for high connectivity is staggering and steadily increasing, writes Jay Tourigny , senior vice president, MicroCare.

O ne way that giant data- focused companies like Amazon and Google manage their massive data traffic and reliably deliver their services to their billions of customers is through the use of hyperscale data centres. These enormous centres include buildings that span hundreds of thousands of square metres with millions of servers operating together via a high-speed network. Supporting the servers are thousands of metres of fibre optic cables and hundreds of thousands of optical connections. However, the demand for increased bandwidth and computing speed is not limited to just these hyperscale behemoths. Many other companies with smaller enterprise data centres are also feeling the pressure to meet the data expectations of their customers. Many are requiring faster wireless speeds to manage high-level or high-volume tasks like video streaming, image rendering or

managing their high-traffic web sites. Many data centres, whether hyperscale or smaller enterprise, are upgrading to 25 gigabit speeds to keep pace. They are also moving toward all-fibre infrastructures because fibre optic cables will typically carry more data, and carry the data faster, than copper cables, especially over long distances. Rapidly changing fibre optic cable construction is also helping to improve bandwidth capacity and provide faster transmission speeds. Recent developments are enabling fibre optic cable manufacturers to pack thousands more single mode optical fibres into a single cable. The result is ultra-high- fibre count (UHFC) cables that can carry double or triple the data at faster speeds. Only a few years ago, an 864-fibre cable was considered a huge trunk. Today, typical fibre counts are 1,728, 3,456, and 5,184. A next generation UHFC with 6,912 fibres was just recently

introduced into the industry and a 7,776-fibre version is on the horizon. UPDATED FIBRE OPTIC CABLE CONNECTORS Typically, the higher the fibre count of the cable, the more vulnerable the connectors and end faces are to damage and contamination. Therefore, to get absolute reliability and uninterrupted service from any UHFC network it is imperative that all connectors are cleaned and inspected to meet IEC 61300-3-35 standards prior to installation. This helps avoid potential fibre network problems such as insertion loss (weakened signal), back-reflection (signal is diverted back to its source) or a complete system shut down. There are three newer types of connector options used with ultra- high-fibre-count cables that are gaining traction across the industry. These are the CS duplex connector system for the next-generation QSFP-DD transceivers, the 16 fibre-array MT-based connector,


| ISSUE 18 | Q3 2019

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