It can boggle the mind how quickly technology moves, and how things that were once a part of our everyday lives have rapidly become obsolete. Some people today might be as perplexed by items that were essential to recent generations as they would be by a tool from the Bronze Age. So what is causing this accelerated pace of obsolescence?
An Ever-Lasting Evolution
Moore’s Law states that processing power in integrated circuits doubles every two years. This is why it is widely cited as the reason behind the rapidly evolving pace of technology. The driving force of evolution for electronics is to become faster, more capable, and less expensive. Other technologies don’t get quite as much of the spotlight as integrated circuits, but they have also made significant contributions to the rapid change rate.
Fiber optic technology is a perfect example.
Fiber’s Critical Role
Fiber helps make it possible to move incredible amounts of information around the globe at increasingly lower costs. Optical fiber, along with the equipment it interconnects, helps make bandwidth affordable and accessible. Without fiber optics, the Internet as we know it would not be possible.
Even though fiber optic communication systems were first deployed nearly 40 years ago, new innovations continue to increase bandwidth while minimizing costs. Data centers, which rely more on fiber to connect servers, switches, and storage, have moved beyond 10 Gigabit per second (Gb/s) fiber connectivity. 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s interconnects are becoming commonplace, and standards are now being set to achieve 400 Gb/s transmission. To accommodate this bandwidth trajectory, new fiber technology is being developed that greatly increases bandwidth while maintaining backward compatibility with existing fiber and applications.
A Newer, Better Solution
The newest fiber optic innovation is known as wideband multimode fiber (WBMMF). Whereas conventional multimode fiber was designed to optimally support a single wavelength, WBMMF is designed to evenly accommodate multiple wavelengths. Think about how white light appears when viewed through a prism; individual wavelengths appear as different colors. WBMMF technology enables these multiple colors or wavelengths to simultaneously travel along a single fiber strand that previously could support only a single color or wavelength.
As fiber optic transmission equipment becomes more precise, additional wavelengths or colors now flow through the same fiber strand. This increases data capacity (i.e., one data pathway vs. multiple data pathways with the same fiber strand) and makes WBMMF an incredibly cost-effective solution.
Technology That Can Match the Future
New generations of fiber optic solutions further prove how fast technology is evolving. Businesses looking to invest in advancing their data center and network capacities will increasingly rely on wideband multimode fiber. Its robust design makes it capable of managing multiple wavelengths, which reduces the number of fibers and enhances total channel capacity. This cost-effective technology is ideal for increasing network bandwidth in times of growing data demands.
The opinions expressed in this piece are solely CommScope's. They do not necessarily represent WESCO’s views.