Plastic fiber works in the same manner as glass optical fiber but uses plastic instead of glass and usually makes a much larger core area.The large core area and easy -to cut and terminate properties of plastic optical fiber have long held the promise of a low cost, painless to install a communications medium that offers all the benefits of Bulk Fiber Optic Cable with the ease of termination of copper.Unfortunately elastic fiber is not yet proven to be cost competitive or to exhibit sufficiently high bandwidth or low enough attenuation to make it a serious rival to either glass fiber or copper cable.Plastic fiber continues to be developed, however, and has found some applications in the automotive field and may yet offer a viable product for short- distance, lower -speed data communications, perhaps in the small office, home office, or SoHo arena.
Synthetic fiber available today is a step index, which by its very nature limits the bandwidth available.Contemporary designs are based on a material called PMMA, poly methyl methacrylate.Type index plastic optical fiber, or SIPOF, today has a best bandwidth of 12.5 MHz, km and an attenuation of 180 db/km.Compare this to the 500 MHz.Km and 1 db/km attenuation available from 50/125 glass optical fiber.
Fiber Optic Manufacturers is thought to be about the same as for conventional glass optical fiber, but SI-POF currently sells at a premium compared to glass or all-silica fiber.The thermal stability of PMMA is also questionable.Elevated temperatures coupled with high humidity can raise the attenuation of the fiber significantly.
Today Plastic Optical Fiber Cable are mostly used for illumination or very short distance communication systems, such as in a car.The main advantage of plastic fiber is ease of conceptualization but is has yet to prove itself in terms of cost, bandwidth, attenuation and long -term thermal stability.
General Motors and Daimler-chrysler are developing plastic fiber based automotive audio, video and data distribution systems such as aircraft may well opt for plastic fiber for seat-back video distribution.Any use of optical fiber in an aircraft offers massive weight savings over the equivalent copper cable solution.