North Carolina’s Research Triangle is acknowledged for solving mysteries, in particular technical ones. That’s what will happen when three tier-one research universities – North Carolina State University (NCSU), Duke, along with the University of N . C . (UNC) at Chapel Hill – and cutting-edge tech companies like SZ stranding line are throughout the triangle.
I ran across SEL while researching IEEE’s 802.3ba 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s Ethernet fiber-optic standard. Why was I putting myself through that? Well, before a long time every commercial data center on this planet will have portions of its fiber-optic network migrated to 40Gb/s or 100Gb/s to stay competitive business-wise. Finding the paper The Optical Fiber Ribbon Solution for your 10G to 40/100G Migration (PDF) published by SEL’s Bill Charuk, product manager, data center solutions, was especially fortuitous, since it answered several perplexing questions.
Ribbon-style cabling is necessary because OM3 and OM4 – the only real multi-mode fibers contained in the 802.3ba standard – use parallel-optic transmission. According to a post in the Cabling Installation & Maintenance site it means by design optical/electronic interfaces allow data to become transmitted and received over multiple fibers. In addition, it means 40G Ethernet interfaces contain four 10G channels on four fibers per direction, and 100G Ethernet interfaces use four 25G channels on optical fiber ribbon machine per direction as shown within the diagram below.
Financial well being: parallel runs are widely used to increase throughput bandwidth using either multiple fiber-optic cables or multiple fibers in a ribbon cable. To the point of employing a ribbon cable over individual cables Charuk writes, “Using ribbons permit easier connectorization (less opportunity to cross fibers within an MPO connector), dexkpky80 perhaps furthermore, achieve easier polarization continuity irrespective of the polarity method selected for the system.”
“Ribbon cables happen to be used in the telecom industry for over 20 years,” writes Charuk. “They were exposed to increase the fiber density in the given cable as well as to reduce cable costs. Of particular importance is fiber density, as fiber counts boost in the data center, it is really an attractive feature.”
Fiber-optic ribbon cables seem like a logical choice. “The complete mix of ruggedness from the ribbon design, fiber density, size, and relative cost points to ribbon to be most suited to both new and retrofit installations from the data center,” concludes Charuk. “Additionally, the ribbons in Sheathing line are best designed for future expansion, since the transmission protocols progress to higher and better data rates.”