Fiber Optics Cable, is a high-speed data transmission medium, it contains tiny glass or plastic threads that carry light beams. Because fiber optic cables transmit data via light waves, they can transfer information at the speed of light. Not surprisingly, fiber optic cables provide the fastest data transfer rates of any data transmission medium.
The optical fiber elements are typically individually coated with plastic layers and contained in a protective tube suitable for the environment where the cable will be deployed. All optical fibers use a core of hair-like transparent silicon covered with less refractive indexed cladding to avoid light leakage to the surroundings. Due to the extreme sensitivity of the optical fiber, it is normally covered with a lightweight and high-strength protective material such as Kevlar.
What makes up a fiber-optic cable?
Fiber optic cables are made up of anywhere from two to several thousand strands of pure glass, thinner than a human hair. These long glass threads are bundled into an optical fiber cable with several distinct parts:
The core is the main part of the cable, it houses the glass fibers and is the pathway light signals travel along.
The cladding is made of a different type of optical glass than the glass fibers, and it reflects light pulses back inside the core. This material allows the single mode signals to travel long distances without losing strength or quality.
A protective plastic coating wraps around the glass cladding.
Strengthening fibers (made of the same material used to create Kevlar vests) and a final polyethylene layer protect the optical fibers from moisture or physical damage.
Multimode vs. single-mode fibers
There are two types of fiber-optic cables: single-mode fiber and multi-mode optical fiber. Both rely on a light source to convert electrical information into pulses.
Single-mode fiber uses lasers to create the light pulses that travel long distances along a narrow core measuring nine microns in diameter.
While multi-mode optical fiber uses LEDs as its light source and has a core with an average diameter of fifty microns to accommodate larger glass fibers. The amount of light signals passing through a multi-mode core is greater than in single-mode, allowing more information to be transmitted at one time. Multi-mode fiber optics are best suited to shorter distances and connect networks within one building. As a result the multi-mode fiber is more commonly used than single-mode fiber options.