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

 

 

Evolution of the Data Center

August 2, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

Just as computers, phones and everything else in our world has made advancements over the years, so have data centers. Data centers play a critical role in networking and have evolved to allow businesses better access to their data with improved usability while being easier to manage. Traditionally, data centers were only as good as the physical space they took up, they were restricted by server space and having enough room for hardware to be stored. With today’s technological advancements, they are less space-centric, and more focused on the cloud, speed and flexibility. Here, we’ll take a look at the evolution of the data center, from inception to the realm of future possibilities.

 

The Early Days

 

The earliest data centers were large rooms filled with computers that were difficult to operate and maintain. These primordial behemoths needed a special environment to keep the equipment running properly – equipment that was connected by a maze of cables and was stacked on racks, cable trays and raised floors. Early data centers also used a large amount of power and generated a lot of heat, so they had to be cooled to keep from overheating. In 1964, the first supercomputer, the ancestor to today’s data centers, was built by Control Data Corporation. It was the fastest computer of its time with peak performance of 3 MFlops, sold for $8 million and continued operating until 1977.

 

1970s

 

The 1970s brought the invention of the Intel 4004 processor which allowed for computers to be smaller. And in the 1973, the first desktop was introduced, the Xerox Alto. Although it was never sold commercially, it was the first step toward eliminating the mainframe. The first LAN was brought to life in 1977 in the form of ARCNET, which allowed computers to connect to one another with coax cables that linked to a shared floppy data storage system.

 

1980s

 

The personal computer (PC) was born in 1982, with the introduction of the IBM model 5150. This new, smaller computer was a far cry from the expensive and expansive mainframes that were hard to cool. PCs allowed organizations to use desktop computers throughout their companies much more efficiently, leading to a boom in the microcomputer industry. Plus, in 1985, Ethernet LAN technology was standardized, largely taking the place of ARCNET. 

  

1990s

  

The 1990s started with microcomputers working as servers and filling old mainframe storage rooms. These servers were accumulated by companies and managed on premise, they were knows as data centers. The mid-90s saw the introduction of the Internet, and with it came a demand for faster internet connections, increased online presence and network connectivity as a business requirement. To meet increased demands, new, larger scale, enterprise server rooms were built with data centers that contained hundreds or thousands of servers working around-the clock.  In the late 1990s, virtualization technology originally introduced in the 80s was revisited with a new purpose in the form of a virtual workstation, which was comparable to a virtual PC. Enterprise applications also became available for the first time through an online website.

 

2000s 

 

By the early 2000s, PCs and data centers has grown exponentially. New technology was quickly emerging to allow data to be transmitted easier and faster. The first cloud-based services were launched by Amazon Web services, which included storage, web services and computation. There was also a growing realization of the power required to run all of these data centers, so new innovations were being introduced to help data centers be more energy efficient. In 2007, the modular data center was launched. One of the most popular was from Sun Microsystems, which has 280 servers in a 20-foot shipping container that could be sent anywhere in the world. This offered a more cost effective way for corporate computing, but also refocused the industry on virtualization and ways to consolidate servers.

 

2010s

 

By the 2010s, the Internet had become engrained in every part of day-to-day life and business operations. Facebook had become a main player and began investing resources in trying to find ways to make data centers more cost and energy efficient across the industry. Plus, virtual data centers were common in almost 3/4 of organizations and over 1/3 of businesses were using the Cloud. The focus then shifted to software-as-a-service (SaaS), with subscription and capacity-on-demand being the main focus, instead of infrastructure, software and hardware. This model increased the need for bandwidth and the creation of huge companies providing access to cloud-based data centers, including Amazon and Google.

 

Today, the Cloud appears to be the path we are headed on, with new technology being introduced and the implementation of the IoT becoming more of a reality every day. We’ve definitely come a long way from the first gigantic mainframe data centers, one can only imagine what the next 60 years of innovation will bring.

 

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