Archive for June 2014

Sales of wireless optical transceivers will exceed $500 million in 2014 says LightCounting

The top line numbers for the optical component and modules sales were almost flat in 2013 and this market is projected to grow by just a few percentage points in 2014, according to market research firm LightCounting (see “LightCounting: Datacom market flew in 2013, telecom lagged”). However, there is a lot of action under the surface of these steady top-line numbers, the company says.

The firm’s latest market update report highlights one of the hot spots for optical components and modules: deployments of wireless broadband access systems around the world, which are making an early and direct impact on the optical components and module market.

Sales of 3-Gbps and 6-Gbps optical transceivers connecting base stations with antennas have been growing very rapidly since 2011, but their overall sales were relatively modest. LightCounting’s January 2014 Market Forecast report projected 75% growth in this market during 2014, with total sales reaching close to $500 million. The market research firm now says its latest data suggests that this was an underestimation and this market will “easily” surpass the $500 million mark this year.

Final data on Q4 2013 transceiver shipments came in slightly higher than expected, but it is the guidance for the first half of 2014 offered by several suppliers that is well ahead of earlier expectations, says LightCounting. In addition to increasing sales of 3G and 6G transceivers, shipments of 10-Gbps modules for wireless applications ramped quickly in late 2013 and will lead the market’s growth in 2014.

Aggressive 3G/4G network deployments by China Mobile are clearly part of this story, but not the whole story, LightCounting asserts. The company gathered reports of demand for “wireless optics” in Brazil, India, Korea, and several other countries in Asia and Latin America.

“Connecting antenna towers with optics is a great long-term investment, but the main problem for operators, particularly in developed countries, is dealing with right-of-way issues for fiber installations,” LightCounting said in a statement. “Mobile operators in the U.S. rely heavily on microwave connectivity for antenna towers and probably look with envy on China Mobile’s massive deployments of optics. There is no question that fiber optics can deliver much higher bandwidth than microwave connections and 10G is just the beginning of the ‘wireless optics’ story.”

The longer term impact of wireless broadband on optical networking is the overall growth in traffic. The latest financial report from China Mobile offers an encouraging data point. Wireless data traffic increased by 48.1% in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period of last year, when mobile data traffic increased by 83.8% compared to the same period of last year.

LightCounting says its latest Market Update Report combines analysis of the publicly reported revenue of equipment vendors with confidential sales data on optical components and modules, collected by LightCounting, to create a unique insight into market dynamics. The quarterly sales database, offered with the report, includes sales data on more than 100 product categories covering the period from Q1 2012 to Q4 2013 for SONET/SDH, Ethernet, Fibre Channel, CWDM, DWDM, FTTx and wireless infrastructure transceivers, as well as high speed optical interconnects, including active optical cables and embedded optical modules. The report also offers market guidance for the first half of 2014 and discusses potential changes to LightCounting’s market forecast published in January 2014. Data for the report was provided by more than 25 leading module and component vendors.

For more information on 100G/200G DWDM Module and other optical components, visit


OFS expands FOX Solution fiber cabling platform

At the recent FTTH Conference, held in Ft. Lauderdale, OFS introduced three new products to its FOX Solution line of deployable fiber-optic network cabling and components for homes or businesses.

Firstly, OFS announced the FDH64, Ideal 45-163 a new 64-fiber distribution hub for the fast growing multiple dwelling unit (MDU) market. The company says the compact FDH64 easily connects fiber-optic building cables with OFS’ direct connect low loss splitters through a pivoting patch panel, helping to save space while easing fiber management and provisioning.

Also introduced, the new EZ-Bend Toneable drop assemblies announced today build on the success of OFS’ EZ- Bend ruggedized 4.8 mm drop cable. The plug and play factory terminated cables feature EZ-Bend fiber with a ruggedized 4.8mm jacket, enabling the cable to be routed from the outside into the home or building and stapled around corners. fiber optic cleaning kit A new integrated toning wire allows for easy location detection.

Finally, the OFS PowerGuide DT All-Dielectric, Self-Supporting (ADSS) cable, fiber optic tools also announced at the conference, expands the span length range of OFS’ PowerGuide DT ShortSpan gel-free ADSS cable.  As a gel-free design, the PowerGuide DT ADSS cable is up to 15% lighter than OFS’ gel-filled designs and can provide significant time savings during cable prep and installation, notes the company. The PowerGuide DT cable is available with OFS’ AllWave ZWP family of single-mode fibers.

The FDH64, EZ-Bend Toneable assemblies, neoclean and PowerGuide GT ShortSpan gel-free ADSS cable were presented along with the company’s FOX Solution Home and Business portfolio at the FTTH Conference, held in Fort Lauderdale, FL June 23-25. fiber optic microscope Designed and manufactured by OFS, the company says the new products reinforce its position as a “trusted solutions business partner” for enterprises and contractors.

“OFS continues to innovate and develop its FOX Solution Home and Business portfolio, being responsive to customer needs and supporting them with complete solutions,” concludes Pierre Marty, vice president of global marketing and sales for OFS.

AFL unveils long-reach singlemode OTDR, plus event analysis software

AFL has extended its M-series line of optical time domain reflectometers (OTDRs) with the M710-40. The new OTDR features the company’s recently announced TruEvent Technology event analysis capabilities.

The company describes the M710-40 as its longest-reaching singlemode OTDR, covering fiber-optic network links in excess of 200 km. The instrument offers an integrated optical power meter and visual fault locator. It also integrates with the company’s Test Results Manager (TRM) Certification Reporting Software to create reports compliant to TIA/ISO guidelines.

Like other members to AFL’s M-series, the M710-40 OTDR supports live fiber detection, pass/fail reporting, and front-panel check and inspection capability. The new OTDR also supports Full Auto, Expert (manual), and Real-Time OTDR test modes, multi-wavelength testing and visual inspection using the DFS1 Digital FiberScope. Users can store thousands of OTDR test results as standard .SOR files internally or on the supplied USB drive. Test results are transferable via USB to a computer for analyzing with the supplied Windows-compatible TRM software.

“Fiber networks can be long or short, have many connections and splices or very few. Combining high dynamic range performance and superior event analysis makes the M710-40 OTDR a powerful test solution for many applications,” comments Lee Kellett, director of product marketing for AFL’s test equipment division.

Notably, the M710-40 OTDR incorporates AFL’s new TruEvent Technology software, designed to provide event analysis in conjunction with the company’s M-series OTDRs. The company says the software improves event analysis accuracy and reliability in a wide range of test and measurement applications, from data centers to long-haul applications.

The software is designed to aid technicians who need to test new fiber cable installations and locate faults in deployed fiber-optic networks using either multimode fiber or singlemode fiber. AFL’s OTDRs display a trace of the link under test and report pass/fail results for optical losses that can be caused by such factors as imperfect splices or fiber-optic connectors as well as micro- or macro-bends in fibers. Fiber length is reported along with location and loss of detected events.

“The introduction of TruEvent Technology provides industry-leading event analysis that makes AFL’s newest models the most accurate OTDRs in the market,” adds AFL‘s Kellett. “Our research focused on developing software that reported all events accurately, while not reporting false events. More accuracy translates into faster, lower-cost troubleshooting and data you can count on.”

AFL says that several additional M710 OTDR models with the TruEvent Technology will be available by mid-year.


Lucintel Anticipates Global Connector Industry to Reach $65.7 Billion by 2019

Irving, TX, May 28, 2014 –(– The global connector industry is expected to reach an estimated value of $65.7 billion by 2019. The major drivers of connector industry are growing 3C applications (computing, communication, and consumer electronics), miniaturization of electronic devices, and increasing electronic content in devices. Rapid technological advancement has encouraged the demand for compact and reliable electronic devices. Products which provide convenient and better connectivity along with high speed are in demand that will drive the connector industry.

Lucintel, a leading global management consulting and market research firm, has analyzed the global connector industry by segments and region, and has come up with a comprehensive research report “The Global Connector Industry 2014-2019: Trend, Profit, and Forecast Analysis.” This report provides an analysis of the global connector industry including analysis of the market trend, the competitive landscape, company profiles, mergers and acquisitions, emerging trends, and key drivers of industry growth. The study also includes global trends and forecasts for connectors through 2019, segmented by four regions and by applications such as transportation, consumer electronics, computer and peripherals, industrial, telecom/datacom, and others (aerospace, defense, business and office equipment, medical equipment, etc.).

On the basis of its comprehensive research, Lucintel forecasts that connector industry will grow significantly during 2014-2019. Consumer electronics and industrial connector segment will witness strong growth during the forecast period. Increasing internet traffic, development of high density, and micro miniature technologies are the major driving factors for these segments. Research and development activities have become an indispensable part of the manufacturer’s strategy for this industry growth. Growing consumer demand forced the market towards quality upgradation of electronic products. TE Connectivity Ltd., Amphenol Corporation, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., Hirose Electric Co. Ltd., and Delphi Connection Systems are among the major suppliers of connectors for different applications. Rapid technological advancement has encouraged the demand for compact and reliable electronic devices. As weight and cost savings have become essential for high-reliability products, connector manufacturers are focusing on developing smaller, lighter, and higher-power connectors. Regular innovation of products is very important for companies to sustain their successful position in the market.

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NEOCLEAN Reel Type Optical Connector Cleaner

Optical Connector Cleaner NEOCLEAN wipes away contaminants from optical connector end face with ease. Just as with our previous products, the cleaning tape does not produce dust, and provides special cleaning strength while resisting foreign particles to mix into the tape. The main body also is made from anti-static material.

The tape advance mechanism has been simplified, reducing the number of assembly parts to a minimum resulting in cost reductions for both manufacturing and assembly.


Neoclean-R2-Before.jpg—>  Neoclean-R2-After.jpgNeoclean-R2-After.jpg

Model ATC-NE-R2
# of Cleanings More than 400 times (tape cannot be replaced)
Dimensions W 115mmm × H 55mm × W 25mm

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Corning announces availability of USB 3.Optical cables

Compatible with most USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices, USB 3.Optical Cables by Corning quickly and easily extend data transmission beyond the 3-meter limitation of comparable copper cable. Enabled by Corning ClearCurve VSDN optical fiber, the USB 3.Optical Cables by Corning are up to 50 percent thinner and up to 80 percent lighter than comparable copper cables, qualities that enable convenient transport. With a “zero-bend” radius, they can withstand bending, squeezing, and tangling without damage or loss of function, making them ideal for routing through the harsh environment of a crowded workspace.

“With longer, thinner, and lighter cables, USB 3.Optical Cables by Corning give users the freedom to max out data connection speeds for a more enjoyable creative workflow,” said Bernhard Deutsch, vice president, product line management, Optical Connectivity Solutions for Corning Optical Communications. “Imagine having your computer at your workstation and the whir of back-up hard drives, printers, and other noisy peripherals in an entirely different room – and still benefiting from unbelievable transmission speeds.” USB 3.Optical Cables by Corning are ideal for connecting today’s USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices, including digital cameras and camcorders; storage drives; digital signage and point-of-sale systems at retail locations; zero-client computing; smart boards in educational institutions; and remote consoles in healthcare and industrial automation settings. “Our cables aren’t just for the creative community,” Deutsch said. “There are a host of commercial applications that can benefit from the increased length, strength and flexibility of USB 3.Optical Cables by Corning.” “For example, restaurants can connect order-entry stations to USB-equipped printers located in both the bar and kitchen areas. The system then splits out the orders, printing food tickets in the kitchen and drink orders at the bar, resulting in faster service and happier customers.” USB 3.Optical Cables by Corning currently come in lengths of 10 meters with “A-to-receptacle-A” connectors for maximum flexibility to connect devices with different USB connector form factors, such as B or Micro B with short adapters. They are now available online through Accu-Tech and Amazon, starting at $109. They will also be available in cable lengths of 15 and 30 meters later this year.

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Contamination Beware: Cleaning 101 for Fiber Optics

Over the past decade, the use of fiber optics in the medical industry has steadily increased. From extensive medical
applications, including light therapy, arthroscopic surgery, x-ray imaging, ophthalmic lasers, and lab and clinical diagnostics, to simple communication processes, such as transmitting patient information, fiber optics help medical professionals conduct procedures that were previously not possible.

Maintenance of the connector endface is imperative for the fiber optic instrument to work correctly. It is an exacting job: the microscopic termini that create a connection must meet at an exact place, and the glass cores need to be perfectly aligned in order to have signal transmitted to and from the device. In addition, the termini endfaces must be completely clean of contaminants to ensure minimal signal loss. One of the most basic and important procedures for the maintenance of fiber optic systems is to clean the fiber optic termini.

Contamination Challenges

Like many medical devices, cleanliness is crucial to the performance of fiber optic instruments. Any contamination on the termini endface can cause failure of the component or the system as a whole. Even microscopic particles on the endfaces can cause a variety of problems for optical connections. One of the biggest challenges of contamination is that it cannot be seen with the naked eye, and one must typically use a specialized 200x or 400x inspection scope to determine the cleanliness of the endface. A close inspection of the connector is critical to identify that particles and residue are completely eliminated, thereby ensuring that connections work to their full potential.
A variety of serious, undesired outcomes could occur if a contaminated fiber optic connection is being used, from deteriorated performance levels to ruined instruments. A dirty fiber optic endface will significantly degrade signal transmission and can result in blocking the signal all together. Even if a particle is only situated on the ferrule or the edge of the endface, it can cause an air gap or misalignment in the termini between the cores. This can result in back reflections, instability in the laser system, signal attenuation or even a system shutdown. Another potential issue is a scratched surface as a result of dust particles trapped between two termini endfaces. What’s more is that some fiber optic instruments, such as those using high-power Class IV lasers, generate a significant amount of heat, which, when in contact with contaminants, can spark a violent reaction or fire.

One of the biggest challenges related to cleaning fiber optic termini is finding a process that works. Improvising a cleaning process will almost certainly lead to failure, as previously outlined. The best advice is to inspect, clean, and inspect again. Repeat this process until you are absolutely sure the instrument is clear of all contaminants. Spending the time to clean it right the first time saves time and money in the end.

Cleaning Methods 101

Materials used to clean the endfaces must be pristine; otherwise you could make it worse by adding contamination. It may be intuitive to wipe the endface on your gown or a cloth, but under a typical fiber optic inspection scope, those items carry a large variety of contaminants that could soil the connector. Even touching the termini with your finger will cause it to be significantly dirtied with skin oil. To avoid further contamination, make sure to use a product that has been specifically manufactured for cleaning fiber optics. Always wash your hands prior to using cleaning materials to minimize the transfer of skin oil onto the cleaning surfaces.

There are two primary methods available to properly clean fiber optic termini: a specialty wipe for male connectors and a swab for female connectors. Particulates, oils, and salts are the three basic types of contaminants found on the endfaces, all of which require their own cleaning methods. Particulates are solids that are held on the endface by a static attraction. The best way to clean these types of contaminants is by dissipating the static charge that both attracts and holds them in place, which can usually be done with a specialty cleaning fluid. Cleaning fluids are also used to dissolve oils found on the fiber. Salts, on the other hand, are not necessarily fully removed by cleaning fluids alone. While cleaning fluids may quickly rinse away the oils, they tend to leave salt remains behind in the form of a white residue that can be very difficult to remove. Mechanical action that a wipe or a swab provides is usually combined with a cleaning fluid to fully eliminate oil and salt left on the termini endface.

Buyer beware, it’s fair to say that some fiber optic cleaning products on the market can leave the endface dirtier than when you started. To avoid this situation, look for products that offer engineered solutions formulated to rid the termini endface of particulates, oils, and salts. Avoid using aqueous (water-based) cleaning solutions or pure isopropyl alcohol (IPA), as violent reactions could potentially occur. Aqueous products are slow to dry and can leave moisture on the endface. In cold ambient temperatures, the moisture may actually freeze on the endface and alignment sleeve. If the moisture is not completely removed before the fiber is connected in the sleeve, the laser-energized fiber will instantly vaporize the remaining liquid into a gas, causing an explosion through sudden expansion of the vapors. As with water-based cleaners, IPA may explode or catch on fire when left on a highly energized fiber endface. Adding insult to injury, IPA also frequently leaves a hazy film behind when it dries. What you should look for is a fast-drying, high-purity fluid engineered specifically for cleaning fiber optics.

High-purity cleaning fluids can and should be used with both wipe and swab applications. However, beware of presaturated cleaning materials. fiber optic presaturated wipes and fiber optic cleaning swabs often contain microscopic contaminants drawn from the plastic packaging, which will transfer to the endface during the cleaning process and result in further contamination problems. Instead, carefully apply a small amount of high-purity cleaning fluid on the corner of a dry wipe or the tip of the swab and then apply to the fiber optic termini. A well-engineered cleaning fluid will not only dissolve oils found on the endface, but will help to eliminate the electrostatic charge generated when the applicator is pulled out of its packaging. Be sure to not touch the area of the wipe or swab you will be using with your finger or your clothing. Should you touch this area or drop it on the ground, discard the wipe or swab and start over. Once the cleaning process is complete, discard the wipe or swab and inspect the endface to make sure all contaminants have been eliminated.

Bottom Line: Performance Critical Cleaning

As fiber optics usage continues to grow in the medical industry, it is imperative to clean the termini endfaces properly the first time around with the right products the proper way. The consequences of an unclean fiber optic can be detrimental to your business operations. Medical professionals can’t afford to have a blocked connection, a fire, or a complete system shutdown when there is a patient on the table. Use the correct cleaning solutions and closely inspect the endface to avoid these costly mistakes. Investing the time, energy and money into the cleaning process at the beginning will end up saving you in the end.

Jay Tourigny is vice president of operations at MicroCare Medical. He has 25+ years of industry experience and holds numerous U.S. patents for cleaning-related products that are used in medical, fiber optic, and precision cleaning applications. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts stocks a variety of fiber optic cleaning supplies, from one click cleaner to fiber optic cleaner, from fiber optic cleaning wipes to fiber optic cleaning kit – everything you need for fiber optic cleaning jobs, BUY NOW and get FREE SHIPPING on most items!

Sales of active optical cables for data centers to reach $1.5B says CIR

The market for active optical cables (AOCs) for the data center will produce $1.5 billion in revenues by 2019, according to the latest report from Communications Industry Researchers (CIR).

The report “Active Optical Cable Markets – Data Center Applications,” is part of a two-volume set.  CIR has also recently published an analysis and forecast of the market for AOCs for applications in personal computing, fiber optic tools consumer electronics and digital signage.

Mobile broadband and video applications are flooding data centers with content and this creates a growing incentive to shift to fiber in at least part of the data center, according to CIR. It is becoming increasingly difficult for data center managers to avoid fiber optics in these increasingly high-bandwidth scenarios; fiber optic cleaning kit AOCs offer an excellent entry point for fiber optics to all but the most structured-cabling savvy network managers, the market research firm says.

The market is well established and Chinese AOC suppliers are getting in on the act. neoclean They can now compete with the best US, European, and Japanese AOC suppliers, says CIR; they are able to supply 40-Gbps cables with ease and a few are offering 100-Gbps AOCs.

The Chinese AOC challenge will require a strategic response from established AOC firms, CIR warns. This could take the form of better branding, improved supply chains or upgraded products. For example, the TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL) line was upgraded in 2011 with 40-Gbps products that offered reduced power consumption and lighter-weight cables, and CIR expects other leading AOC firms to react.

“We also expect to see more activity in AOCs that use the highest-performance modules,” said CIR in a press release. “Such AOCs are not easy to make and this presents barriers to entry into the data center markets for smaller, less able AOC firms, providing market protection for the largest suppliers. The markets for such high-end AOCs are also not inconsiderable.”

CFP and CDFP together are expected to generate $190 million in revenues by 2019, the analyst says. fiber optic microscope Indeed, he believes that the proverbial “next big thing” in the AOC space will be CDFP AOCs and expect to see such products prominently displayed at the OFC, ECOC and SC trade shows in 2015. For now, the three companies to watch in this space are Finisar Corp. (NASDAQ: FNSR), Molex Inc. (NASDAQ:MOLX), and TE Connectivity, all of which have already introduced CDFP AOCs.

Nonetheless, throughout the period considered in this report, the “workhorse” QSFP and CXP AOCs will be the biggest revenue earners, with combined sales of $1.3 billion in 2019.  These MSAs support both the Ethernet and Infiniband protocols that are core to any data center and at data rates that are likely to be the ones most used in data centers over the next decade. The earliest QSFP AOCs catered to the 10-Gbps market, but the QSFP AOC business is now centered around the 40-Gbps opportunity. CXP can support 100 Gigabit Ethernet or three 40-Gigabit Ethernet channels. Ideal 45-163 At this point almost every firm offering a range of AOCs includes CXP options, the firm says.

CIR’s report identifies and quantifies opportunities for selling AOCs for the data center (including Ethernet, InfiniBand, Fibre Channel, and SAS), and provides detailed nine-year forecasts of data center AOC markets, with breakouts by end-user application, interface standard, cable lengths, type of cable and wavelength.  Forecasts are provided in units shipped and revenue terms. The new CIR study also assesses the product/market strategies of the leading AOC suppliers.