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Arrayed Fiberoptics Announces Breakthrough Non-Contact Optical Fiber Connectors
SUNNYVALE, Calif. - May 2, 2012 - Arrayed Fiberoptics Corporation (AFC) announced a major breakthrough in optical fiber connectors, which are fundamental building blocks of all modern optical fiber communications systems. Called the "non-contact" (NC) fiber connector, it is the next generation of optical fiber connector.
The predominant optical fiber connectors for commercial applications use physical contact (PC), in which two optical fiber end faces are pushed together to eliminate the air gap between them and suppress the light reflections at the glass/air interfaces. The new NC connector eliminates the physical contact between fiber end faces. It includes an intentional small air gap to prevent damage to the optical surfaces and uses anti-reflection coatings to suppress the light reflections at the glass/air interfaces.
To understand the significance of the new fiber connector technology, we make the following analogy. The NC connector is to the current PC connectors what the compact disk (CD) was to vinyl records. Vinyl records relied on a stylus physically contacting the vinyl surface to read the music signal, and the records were invariably damaged after repeated uses. CDs, on the other hand, rely on a laser beam to read the music, so there is no physical contact, giving it very long lifetime with consistent quality. Likewise, the new NC connector is expected to last much longer, with no performance degradation even after many repeated connections. And just as the CD brought significant performance improvements besides durability, the NC connector brings major advancements in optical performance compared to current PC fiber connectors, and at comparable cost.
This patent-pending NC optical fiber connector features: