Two Types of Fiber Optic Splitters Classified by Manufacturing Technique
With the rapid growth of FTTx worldwide, the requirement for larger split configurations (1×32, 2×64, etc.) in these networks has also grown in order to serve mass subscribers. Due to its performance benefit of larger split configurations, the PLC splitter is more commonly used in the network where the split configuration is larger than 1×4.
With the fast development of optical network, more and more experts attach great importance to the fiber optic splitter, and try to optimize its function as much as possible. As a result, the fiber optic splitters becomes diversiform with different design aims, which can be used in different applications. fiber-mart.com provides a variety of fiber optic splitters which suit for many applications, all of them are tested in-house prior to shipping to guarantee that they will arrive in perfect physical and working condition. We also guarantee the fiber optic splitters to work in your system with a lifetime advance replacement warranty. Your choice is our motivation. Welcome to fiber-mart.com.
On the basis of different manufacturing technique, the fiber optic splitter can be divided into two types, which are popularly used nowadays. One is the traditional fused type optical splitter, fused biconic tapered (FBT) splitter, which features competitive prices; and the other is planar lightwave circuit (PLC) splitter, which has compact size and suits for high-density applications. Both of them have the advantages and can be used in different applications.
Fused Biconic Tapered (FBT) Splitters
The FBT splitter is fabricated by the traditional technology with over 20 years history. Its manufacturing technique is relatively mature and the manufacturing cost is lower than PLC splitter, so that the FBT splitter can be deployed in a cost-effective manner in today’s fiber optic market.
In the manufacturing process of FBT splitter, there are two or more fibers placed closely together, typically twisted around each other and fused together by applying heat while the assembly is being elongated and tapered. The fused fibers are protected by a glass substrate and then protected by a stainless steel tube. Meanwhile, there is a signal source controls the desired coupling ratio to meet the requirements in applications.
Nowadays, FBT splitters are widely used in passive optical networks, especially in the network where the split configuration is not larger than 1×4. In fact, there is a slight drawback of FBT splitter, the split configuration. Detailedly, if more than four splits are required, multiple FBT splitters can be spliced together in concatenation to multiply the amount of splits available, like a tree splitter. By using this design, the package size increases due to multiple FBT splitters and the insertion loss also increases with the additional splitters. Therefore, if high split counts are needed, small package size and low insertion loss are also required, you are suggested to choose a PLC splitter, instead of the FBT splitter.
Planar Lightwave Circuit (PLC) Splitters
With a more recent technology, the PLC splitter (See Figure 3) provides a better solution for applications with larger split configurations. Clearly different from the manufacturing technique of FBT splitters, in the manufacturing process of PLC splitters, the waveguides are fabricated by using lithography onto a silica glass substrate, which allows for routing specific percentages of light. As a result, the PLC splitter offers very accurate splits with minimal loss in an efficient package.
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