Definitions for terms commonly used with fiber applications

Fiber Cable Definitions

Multimode Fiber – Fiber that supports multiple modes and has a core size of 50μm or 62.5μm. Generally used for up to 1000m transmission distances.

Patch Cable – A pre-terminated fiber cable that connects two systems. The connectors can be the same, such as two SC connectors, or different, such as an LC connector to an SC connector.

Simplex Cable – A fiber cable with a single jacketed fiber included in the cable construction.

Single-Mode Fiber – Fiber that supports a single-mode and has a core size of ~9μm. Generally used for long haul transmission distances > 1km.

Duplex Cable – A fiber cable with two separately jacketed fiber cables included in the construction.

Optical System and Component Definitions

Active Optical Cable (AOC) – A cable that converts an electrical signal to an optical one for transmission over optical fiber and then back to the electrical signal at the receiving end. Most AOCs use multiple fibers and cannot be cut to length or field terminated.

Active Optical Adapter – A module that converts electrical signals to optical or optical signals to electrical with a detachable, pluggable optical fiber.

Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing (CWDM) – Optically coupling light of different wavelengths onto a single fiber for simultaneous data transmission, with each channel using a different color (wavelength) of light.

Data Rate – Number of bits of data transmitted in a given time period from a transmitter to a receiver, usually given in bits/sec (bps) or kbps or Mbps or Gbps.

Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) – A small, generally low-power, semiconductor laser with a vertical emission plane, used as a light source in many optical transmitters.

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