411 on Near-Field Communications (NFC)

September 6, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

In this wild world of wireless technology, more and more short range communications standards are being introduced to support all of those wireless devices. As the name suggests, short range communication standards transmit over shorter distances than long range technologies, but they are still quite capable and are ideal for specialized applications. One standard in this short range category is near-field communications (NFC), used for communication between devices and secure payment applications like Apple Pay. In this post we’ll explore all you need to know about NFC and how it might replace your wallet.

 

NFC It is an ultra-short-range technology created for contactless communication between devices. It can be used with phones, tablets and laptops to share data with other NFC-enabled devices. It allows two-way communication without the use of Wi-Fi, 3G, LTE or any other wireless connection. Developed from radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, NFC is similar in that it uses radio waves, but is limited to approximately 4 inches of communication distance, which is largely viewed as a security benefit and is helping to boost the popularity of NFC. One of the most popular uses is for secure payment applications, like Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay, which transmit mobile payments that are dynamically encrypted.

 

NFC operates on the 13.56 MHz ISM frequency and unlike other short range communications like Bluetooth, NFC doesn’t require any device discovery or pairing to begin transferring data. With NFC, a connection is immediately established when another NFC-enabled device is within the 4-inch operating range. Once a contactless transaction is initiated, the NFC reader and device pass encrypted information back and forth to complete the process in mere seconds – making it not only easy, but much faster than conventional payment and data transfer options.

 

In addition to secure payment applications, there are other uses for the technology too. NFC can be used to transfer lots of other data between NFC-equipped devices. This includes sending a phone number, picture or document, sharing directions, launching an app on someone else’s phone and connecting with NFC tags (small, physical tags that contain NFC chips).

 

With the ease of use and convenience of NFC, soon we might need cash, cards or a wallet much less than we do now, if at all. Even more convenient is the fact that NFC is already installed in many smart phones. For a complete list of NFC-equipped devices, check out this list from NFC world.

  

The Mighty MPO Connector

August 30, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

Imagine a connector that can save you time, save you space and still perform – there you have the mighty MPO connector. Multi-fiber push on (MPO) connectors have gained popularity and are the primary multiple fiber connector used globally for high-speed data and telecom communications networks. These mighty connectors come in an array of options and make life easier while delivering the fast speeds needed for today’s technology. Here, we’ll take a look at what makes the MPO connector so mighty.

 

First, let’s look at the design. MPO connectors are designed to combine many fibers in one connector, which reduces the amount of time needed for splicing and connecting fibers, and also saves space. Each connectors has a key on one side. A “key up” position has the key on top, “key down” position has the key on the bottom. Each fiber in the connector is numbered left to right (P1, P2, etc.) and there is a white dot on the connector body to show where position 1 is located.

 

Originally, MPO connectors were only offered as single-row, 12-fiber connectors, but now there are multiple variations available. Today, there are 8 and 16 single-row options that can then be stacked to create 24, 36 and 72 fiber connectors with multiple precision ferrules. Mating these connectors is made simple through the IEC 61754-7 and EIA/TIA-604-5 (FOCSI 5) standards that ensure all MPO connectors meet performance and mateability requirements. Though, keep in mind that the wider connectors and stacked ferrules are susceptible to greater insertion loss and reflection problems because holding the outer fibers alignment tolerances is challenging.

  
 

Now, let’s look at how these mighty connectors perform. As mentioned above, MPO connectors are a popular choice for high-speed telecom and data communications. They have been utilized in duplex 10 Gig fiber applications as a means to ease cable management, save money, speed-up installation and take-up less space. Twelve-fiber MPO connectors can supply six-10 Gig transmit fibers and six-10 Gig receive fibers. Eight-fiber MPOs are capable of 40 Gig speeds and 24 fibers deliver 100 Gig speeds. With connectors able to be combined and stacked to increase speed and capabilities, MPO connectors can deliver the performance specs to keep up with future increased data requirements.

 

As a diverse connector option with great flexibility and ease of use, MPO connectors are a mighty powerful and mighty fine option for many connecting needs and are sure to remain a viable option in the fiber optic marketplace for a long time to come.

 

Next Generation PoE - What You Need to Know

August 23, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 
What’s better than Power over Ethernet? More Power over Ethernet (PoE), of course – and that is exactly what PoE++ is delivering. PoE++ expands upon the traditional PoE benefits of delivering data and power over a single Ethernet cable, it increases power capabilities and extends PoE’s reach into new industries and applications. Here, we’ll tell you exactly what gives PoE++ those two extras plus signs.
 
First, let’s look at a numbers comparison. The first ratified PoE standard 802.3af supports 15.44 watts of power, but power dissipation usually lowers that number to a reliable 12.95 watts. Then PoE+ was introduced and bolstered power to 30.8 watts with the 802.3at standard, though power dissipation usually takes its toll and lowers power to 25.5 watts. PoE++ (the 802.3bt standard) will be capable of supplying more than 3 times the power of PoE+ with up to 100 watts (Type 4) of DC power and the ability to support 10 Gbps connections.
 
Traditionally, PoE has been used in networking applications. With PoE++, the technology’s reach is extended to include healthcare, point of sale, financial and surveillance industry applications. PoE++ utilizes all four twisted pairs of an Ethernet cable for optimal power transmission. It consists of Mode A and Mode B, and combines them to reach higher voltage levels. Mode A is also referred to as Type A, Type 3 or 4-pair PoE. It is specified for 60W, 50W reliable, and is able to support technology such as access controls, point of sale readers, IP cameras and nurse call devices. Mode B is also known as Type B, Type 4 or higher-power PoE. It is designed for 100 watts of power, 80 watts after power dissipation, and increases the capabilities to also include support of videoconferencing systems, laptops, desktops and televisions.
 
PoE++ is slated to bring more power, more conveniently to more devices than ever before. With all of the speed, convenience and capabilities that this new technology offers, it’s no wonder that PoE++ earned those extra plus marks.

802.3bv - The Power of Plastic Optical Fiber

August 16, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

In the realm of IEEE standards, 802.3 is bringing a lot to the table for today’s newest innovations. This standard includes several iterations that support ground breaking technology, including 802.3at and 802.3bt that support Power over Ethernet (PoE), 802.3bz that delivers 2.5 and 5 Gbps speeds over copper and now we can add 802.3bv to that list. 802.3bv was developed to support Power over Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) and it’s slated to deliver groundbreaking speed and performance.

 

First, let’s take a look at plastic optical fiber and all of its capabilities. It is a large core, step-index optical fiber capable of speeds of up to 1 Gbps. It is easy to install, cost effective, durable and is an ideal choice for networks reaching 80 meters with infrastructure that connects to switches and/or wall plates. POF will be able to meet the higher bandwidth demands of developing technology and can be used in new applications for home, industrial and automotive networks. Thus, there has been a push for the development of 802.3bv to support all of the possible POF applications.

 

The IEEE 802.3bv standard is an amendment to the 802.3 standard that allows 1000 Mb/s speeds, allowing POF to meet the increased bandwidth needs of those automotive, industrial and home network connectivity applications. 802.3bv delivers Gigabit Ethernet operation over POF and defines physical layer specs for home, industrial and auto industries. With 802.3bv, POF Ethernet networks will have the support of a robust and reliable media option. Automotive applications will have operation over a minimum of 15 meters with 4 POF connections, and distances of at least 40 meters with zero POF connections. Home and industrial applications will be able to achieve lengths of at least 50 meters with one POF connection.

 

There are three physical layer specifications in this amendment, specifically designed for the industries targeted. All use 1000BASE-H encoding over duplex POF cable and red light wavelength transmission.

 

  • ·        1000BASE-RHA – 1000 Mb/s speeds for home network and consumer applications 

 

  • ·        1000BASE-RHB – 1000 Mb/s made for industrial applications

 

  • ·        1000BASE-RHC – 1000 Mb/s rates designed for automotive applications

 

With the development of 802.3bv, yet another layer of power and possibility has been added to the realm of IEEE standards, ensuring that the world of technology has no intention of slowing down.

 

USB 3.1 Gen 1 vs. Gen 2

August 9, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

Not sure of the difference between USB 3.1 Gen 1 (aka SuperSpeed USB) and USB 3.1. Gen 2 (aka SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps or SuperSpeed+)? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. USB has rebranded and restructured how it differentiates between the two, leaving many scratching their heads as to which is which. Have no fear though, we’ve got it all figured out and are here to clear it up for you.

 

If you were impressed by the super speeds brought to you courtesy of USB 3.1, then you’re going to be over the moon for USB 3.1 Gen 2. This iteration of USB technology bolsters speeds and delivers additional benefits sure to please all users. As its name suggests, SuperSpeed+ USB increases the data transfer rate from 5 Gbps to 10 Gbps, making it twice as fast as USB 3.1 Gen 1 and on par with first generation Thunderbolt technology. USB 3.1 Gen 2 also uses more efficient data encoding, which not only increases throughput, but also improves I/O power efficiency.

 

Though the maximum cable length is shortened from 5 meters to 1 meter, USB 3.1 Gen 2 maintains the capability of data plus power over one cable and it can support multiple cameras and the USB3 Vision standard. Plus, USB 3.1 Gen 2 increases the power delivery level from 4.5 Watts to an astounding 100 Watts. This standard will also support USB Type-C, USB DisplayPort over Type-C and USB Power Delivery.

 

USB 3.1 Gen 2 is fully backward compatible with existing USB 3.0 software and devices, 5 Gbps hubs and devices as well as USB 2.0 products. In case there’s still some lingering confusion, here’s a handy chart to help compare these two side-by-side.

  

 

USB 3.1 Gen 1

USB 3.1 Gen 2

Data Rate

5 Gbps

10 Gbps

Power Delivery

4.5 W

100 W

Max Cable Length

5 m

1 m

Multiple Cameras

P

P

USB3 Vision

P

P

Data + Power

P

P

 

 

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