The Plastic Optical Fiber Trade Organization strives to actively promote the proliferation of Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) systems serving both data communication and non-data markets.

Is the Toyota Recall a Sign of Things to Come in the Automotive Wire Harness Business?

logoThere are a number of theories floating around concerning the largest automotive recall by Toyota in history. The sticking of the gas pedal, the conversion from a mechanical to electrical accelerators, floor mats getting caught in the accelerator pedal, electronics and software, computers and electromagnetic interference (EMI). Whatever the problem, it will bring a lot closer monitoring by the regulators than ever before.

It is a fact that the amount of electronics in an automobile is increasing at a fast rate. Auto manufacturers have to scramble to keep up to date with developments in the consumer electronics field. Estimates are that up to 40% of the cost of a car is in the electronics.

In the late 1990’s the European auto manufacturers started to consider the next generation of wiring for “infotainment systems”. They concluded that in order to meet the demands of increased electronics and computers in the auto, the trend to digitalization, and increased levels and sensitivity to EMI, that the transmission media should be optical in a ring architectures. In this way, electrical functions could be electrically isolated from one another.

This resulted in the MOST Standard and by 2009, there were over 70 models of European autos on the road consisting of over 70 million optical nodes. Acceptance of the MOST Standard, however, has been slow by the U.S and Japanese auto manufacturers. The Korean manufactures have just started to install MOST.

It is interesting to note that Toyota went to the MOST Cooperation and recommended a copper based version of MOST. The MOST Corporation agreed to the copper based version if Toyota developed the standard and had it approved by MOST. How many cars in the recall have copper based MOST is not known, however, it is reasonable to expect that the regulators will be looking into aspects of automotive electronics and the interconnection thereof.

The development of the MOST system is covered in the "Plastic Optical Fiber Market & Technology Assessment Study” from Information Gatekeepers. A table of contents of the report can be seen here.

Electronic Links International Announces US Type Wall Plates for Plastic Optical Fiber

logoBinghamton, NY – February 24, 2010 - Electronic Links International, Inc. today announces the introduction of two US type wall plates with integrated duplex POF adapters. The first adapter is intended to receive bare Plastic Optical Fiber in the back and then in the front of the wall plate. The second adapter is intended to receive a terminated plug in the back and in the front. The wall plates are offered with single or double adapters. The plugs are also available from ELII and can be field terminated or are available already terminated. In both cases the loss is about 2 dbs and the maximum length is 100 meters. The Optical Fiber has a core diameter of 1 mm with an overall diameter of 2.2 mm.

According to Francesco Liburdi, the Managing Director of the company, “these wall plates should facilitate the direct connection to POF embedded plug less connectors or sockets, mounted on products such as home gateways for fiber-to-the–home networks for home entertainment or similar applications”.

Samples will be available at the upcoming POF Symposium @ OFC/NFOEC 2010

IEEE Photonics Technology Letters: Single-Mode Perfluorinated Polymer Optical Fibers With Refractive Index of 1.34 for Biomedical Applications

logoThe January 15th issue of IEEE Photonics Letters contains a great POF-related article entitled, "Single-Mode Perfluorinated Polymer Optical Fibers With Refractive Index of 1.34 for Biomedical Applications" and co-authored by Zhou, G. Pun, H-Y. Tam, A.C.L. Wong, C. Lu, P.K.A. Wai of the Photonics Research Centre, The Hong Kong, the Polytechnic University of Yanshan University, Hong Kong, Hebei Province, China.

The full text is available here to Photonics Letters Subscribers. From the abstract:

We demonstrate a technique for the fabrication of single-mode perfluorinated polymer optical fiber (PPOF). The PPOF preform is composed of poly-methyl-methacrylate (PMMA)-based outer cladding and a graded-index multimode PPOF as the core. A photosensitive graded-index single-mode PPOF with a core diameter of about 6.6 $ mu{hbox {m}}$ and cladding diameter of 400 $ mu{hbox {m}}$ was fabricated. The fiber has a cutoff wavelength of 854 nm and exhibits single-mode characteristics at wavelengths of 1310 and 1550 nm. The transmission loss is less than 0.2 dB/m in the wavelength range of 1410–1540 nm and less than 0.5 dB/m for wavelengths up to 1610 nm, significantly less than the typical transmission loss of $sim$100 dB/m for PMMA fiber. Another important feature of the PPOF is its low refractive index of 1.34, close to aqueous solution of biomaterials, permitting strong optical coupling for biomedical applications.

OptoLock Powers New Line of POF Products Designed by NYCE Networks and Offered by SMC

logoAustin, Texas - February 17, 2010 - Firecomms, a leading supplier of high speed optical components, is pleased to announce today a collaboration with SMC, a specialist in providing high-quality, reliable customer premise equipment to broadband service providers, and NYCE Networks, a leading provider of innovative Plastic Optical Fiber to copper Ethernet products, in which its OptoLock® Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) transceiver will power the first of an innovative product line of POF-based customer premise equipment.

Through the collaboration that will result in accelerated innovation and manufacturing efficiencies within the Plastic Optical Fiber products market, Firecomms will supply OptoLock plugless Fiber Optic Transceivers for SMC’s line of fiber optic products, which are developed by NYCE Networks. The first product in the line, the SMCEPM-2, is an innovative copper to POF media converter switch that allows broadband service providers to quickly and easily create Ethernet POF networks for their residential and business class customers.

“Many of our valued broadband service providers need a copper to fiber product to create a high speed Ethernet network for their residential and business class customers that have outdated wiring and cabling. The SMCEPM-2 enables quick installation of POF networks and is the fastest, easiest, and most inexpensive to deploy,” says Todd Babic, vice president of Sales, Broadband Business Development for SMC. “Our collaboration with Firecomms and NYCE allows us to bring a highly valuable POF product to market quickly to meet our customers’ needs.”

Only millimeters thick, plastic optical fiber is highly durable and flexible, easy to cut, and is much easier to install and conceal than traditional CAT-5/5e/6cabling. POF also is highly immune to cable electrical noise and provides a higher Quality of Service (QoS) than traditional CAT-5/5e/6 electrical cable networks. This means that POF experiences minimal network congestion that is common from bandwidth-intensive applications like VOIP, IPTV, and online gaming.

“These innovative POF devices by SMC and NYCE Networks will enable operators, installers and consumers to connect their IPTV and home networking nodes using a high quality, interference-free link with the simplicity of a home speaker wire connection,” says Firecomms' vice president of sales and marketing for the Americas, Lawrence Thorne. “SMC's reputation within the operator community as a provider of highly reliable, cost effective customer premise equipment further validates the increasing interest in the deployment of POF networking solutions that will enable broadband service providers to guarantee network reliability, reduce subscriber installation costs, and maximize ARPU (average revenue per user).”

OptoLock®-Enabled Genexis Fiber Termination Unit Supports End-to-End Fiber-Powered Home Networking

OptoLock®-Enabled Genexis Fiber Termination Unit Supports End-to-End Fiber-Powered Home Networking

logoCork, Ireland- February 18, 2010 - Firecomms, a leading developer of high-speed Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) transceivers, is pleased to announce that its OptoLock plugless fiber optic transceiver has been embedded in the first POF-enabled Fiber Termination Unit to offer seamless end-to-end fiber optic networking. Offered by Genexis, the POF-enabled FiberXport® Fiber Termination Unit, which will be shown at the 2010 FTTH Council Europe Conference next week, enables a true end-to-end fiber network by converting the glass fiber network into a plastic optical fiber Ethernet home network.

Genexis new CPE is the first POF-enabled product to provide a seamless fiber-powered home network, says Hugh Hennessy, vice president of sales and marketing for Firecomms. By bridging the gap between glass fiber and an Ethernet home network, this new product based on Firecomms popular OptoLock technology successfully deploys fiber directly to the set top box.

The design of OptoLock enables the fiber to be cut and terminated to the exact required length on site, enabling even the most novice consumer to quickly and easily terminate the bare optical fiber. This means that OptoLock enables all the advantages of optical fiber to be brought into the home with do-it-yourself simplicity and costs. The benefits of this simple, robust high-speed interface will be significant as high-speed services like 100 Mb IPTV are delivered into the home.

Our relationship with Firecomms allows us to bring a highly valuable POF product to the market to meet our customers needs, says Luuk Pals, vice president new business development for Genexis. With its unlimited bandwidth, our POF-enabled CPE is a logical step for Genexis as it gives customers a solid, reliable and very fast in-house infrastructure. This technology prepares our customers for new services like entertainment, healthcare, e-learning, and home automation.

The 2010 FTTH Council Europe Conference will be held on February 24 and 25 in Lisbon, Portugal. The Genexis POF-based Fiber Termination Unit with OptoLock will be shown on stand S28.

Firecomms leads the development of devices to drive POF, a low-cost optical alternative to copper cabling. Due to its ease of use, large core tolerances, and low costs, POF is enjoying substantial growth in home network and point-to-point interconnection. The annual worldwide POF market is estimated to be worth over $2.5 billion in 2011, according to market research by Information Gatekeepers.

Firecomms Products Comply with New ETSI Specifications for POF-Based Networks

logoCork, Ireland - January 20, 2010 - Firecomms is pleased to announce that its POF products comply to the new specifications for POF cabling systems and networks recently published by ETSI, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI TS 105 175-1, "Plastic Optical Fibre System Specifications for 100 Mbit/s and 1 Gbit/s"). The specification defines system requirements for both Fast- and Gigabit-Ethernet based networks and covers POF cables, connectors and transceivers.

Firecomms' Fast Ethernet transceivers, including OptoLock®, are compliant with the specifications, which enable operators and installers to guarantee network interoperability between POF-based CPE and networking solutions. The company's patented OptoLock plugless transceiver also satisfies the preferred termination technique outlined in the specification. OptoLock's unique design enables the fiber to be cut and terminated to the exact required length on site, so all the advantages of optical fiber can be brought into the home with do-it-yourself simplicity and costs.

"For several years European operators have striven to find the optimum wired in-home network solution," says Angelantonio Gnazzo of Telecom Italia's Home Network and Handset Innovation department. "The publication of this new standard for POF systems paves the way for operators and installers to overcome the disadvantages associated with traditional wired technologies. For example, because POF can be installed in power ducts, it is an ideal solution for residential structured cabling solutions in brownfield sites where it is difficult to use unshielded twisted pair cables."

Firecomms has serviced network operator requirements by working closely with the vendor community to develop the broadest variety of POF-based networking solutions. Moving forward, the publication of a clear specification for POF-based networks will enable any vendor to offer products compliant to these specifications.

"Several European operators are now deploying POF-based networking solutions in the home," says John Lambkin, CTO and joint founder of Firecomms. "The publication of this specification, in which Firecomms participated, validates their vision in recognizing the merits of POF deployment to guarantee network reliability, and reduce installation and customer maintenance costs."

Firecomms leads the development of devices to drive POF, a low-cost optical alternative to copper cabling. Due to its ease of use, large core tolerances, and low costs, POF is enjoying substantial growth in home network and point-to-point interconnection. The annual worldwide POF market is estimated to be worth over $2.5 billion in 2011, according to market research by Information Gatekeepers.

POF Directory 2010 Ads & Listings

logoPOFTO plans to distribute 5,000 copies of the 2010 Edition of the POF Directory at trade shows and through direct mail to qualified end users and design engineers in the computer, audiovisual, consumer, automotive, industrial control, medical and home networking fields.

Two listing types are available, a basic listing (consisting of company name, contact information and a 25 word product description) or a one page ad. The one page ad option includes a B&W image of the company's logo or product as well as a listing of any additional sales offices.

Full page color inserts, inside and back cover ads are also still available. New listings and materials must be received by February 28, 2010 for inclusion.

Click Here to Reserve Your Listings and Ads Today!
Significant discounts are available to POFTO member companies, as listed.

Free Jan. 14th Webinar: Preview of "Active Optical Cables Market Report 2010" from IGI

01/14/2010 1:00 pm

Tom Rossi

Independent Consultant & Author

Information Gatekeepers, Inc. has announced a free webinar to preview the new "Active Optical Cables Market Report 2010." The webinar, with report author and AOC expert Tom Rossi, will discuss core AOC cable OEMs as well as their underlying material suppliers (i.e., fiber-optic cable, VCSELs, optical detector/PIN diodes, and connectors) and customers, outline the changes in projections from last year's report, as well as display new projections and new technologies on the market.

The Active Optical Cables Market Report 2010 is available for pre-publication purchase at a 20% discount. This years report is now expanded to include Intel's new Light Peak initiative! As with our previous reports, we provide a wealth of information and illustrative charts covering many aspects of the active optical cable business. Readers will find plenty of details related to:

  1. Overall market revenue as well as breakout by covered application and interface segments

  2. Total number of cables by segment, including changes in relative rank over the five-year period covered in this report

  3. Optical element (light source and detectors) volume and breakout by speed, both in individual application segments and across the overall market

  4. Similar information related to the other key elements such as optical fibers, cable jackets, and connectors.

The collection of details in this report will be useful to both the cable OEMs and their core suppliers. Certain sectors that are strong in the earlier years covered by this report will give way to newer segments that develop greater volumes in years 3-5. The bus interface focus has been modified slightly from last year. InfiniBand, HDMI, USB, and DisplayPort are still included in the analysis. The report includes new markets such as SAS and CXP. Forecasts for DisplayPort AOC have been reduced dramatically, due in part to overall sluggishness reported by other research companies by the major PC OEMs supporting this alternative to HDMI for computer display links. Light Peak, the new Intel optical initiative announced at their San Francisco Developers Forum in September and supported by Sony, has been added to the overall report mix, and is expected to be a core part of our reports over the coming years.

Portugal Telecom and Firecomms Trial POF for IPTV Home Networking Applications

logoLisbon, Portugal & Cork, Ireland--December 10, 2009--Portugal Telecom, Portugal's largest telecommunications provider, and Firecomms, a leading provider of Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) Ethernet transceivers for home networking applications, today announce trials of IPTV installations based on Firecomms' optical fiber networking (OptoLock®) technology.

Firecomms' OptoLock technology and Mitsubishi Rayon's new OPTOHOME™ Plastic Optical Fiber for home networking applications will form the backbone of the trials, which will include lab trials with technical analysis followed by field installations in test homes across Portugal. OptoLock-enabled IP set-top boxes provided by Cisco and home gateways provided by Thomson are key components in the trials. Other OptoLock-based products, including Homefibre multiport POF switches and NETGEAR media converters, are part of the trials.

"Portugal Telecom is focused on the delivery of high-quality and dependable IPTV installations. Therefore, we are keen to explore the merits of Plastic Optical Fiber and Firecomms' OptoLock technology," says Ashok Bhagubai, senior director at Portugal Telecom.

"We are pleased to see the first devices with integrated OptoLock ports being used in these trials," says Declan O'Mahoney, CEO of Firecomms. "Our experience with operators who have deployed POF has consistently shown extensive savings in installation times as well as an improved customer experience. This directly translates to reduced operational expenses for the operator."

OptoLock, a widely deployed plugless interface for Plastic Optical Fiber, enables a simple to use Fiber Optic link in consumer applications. Ideal for 100 Mb Ethernet applications with stringent quality of service requirements such as IPTV gateways, set-top boxes, Residential gateways and ONTs (Optical Networking Terminals), OptoLock significantly quickens and simplifies the connection of devices in communications and infotainment networks. The innovative design of OptoLock enables the fiber to be cut and terminated to the exact required length on site, allowing even the most novice consumer to quickly and easily terminate bare optical fiber.

Firecomms leads the development of devices to drive POF, a low-cost optical alternative to copper cabling. Due to its ease of use, large core tolerances, and low costs, POF is enjoying significant growth in a wide range of applications. Created for consumer, industrial, and automotive applications in which plastic fiber can be used more easily and at lower cost than copper or glass fiber, POF is now used in millions of small area networks, such as those in use in many car models, and is rapidly gaining ground in home network and point-to-point interconnection. According to market research by Information Gatekeepers, the POF market is estimated to be worth over $1 billion per year by the end of 2009. About Portugal Telecom Portugal Telecom ("PT") is a leading telecommunications provider with more than 65 million customers in 13 countries, namely in Brazil and Africa. In Portugal, where it retains a clear leading position, the company provides a full range of fixed and mobile telecommunication services, including voice, broadband and television, and covers all segments of the market: consumer, residential, SMEs, corporate and wholesale. Its international investments, which are focused on the mobile segment, account for more than 80% of its customer base and circa 50% of its revenues. It is seen as the Portuguese company which has the biggest national and international projection and has a diversified business portfolio where quality and innovation are decisive aspects, along side the most advanced international companies in this sector. Portugal Telecom is listed on the Euronext and New York Stock Exchange. Information may be accessed on the Reuters under the symbols PTC.LS and PT and on Bloomberg under the symbol PTC PL.

Now Shipping: Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) Selected Reprint Series - Volume 1

logoThe objective of the "POF Selected Reprint Series" is to provide a low cost and up-to-date introduction into a specific area of "Plastic Optical Fibers". A major impediment to the development of the POF market has been the lack of awareness of POF components and subsystems by design engineers. Some of the typical questions being asked include:

  • What components are available?
  • Who makes the components?
  • How are they used?
  • What standards are available?
  • What is the market for POF products?
  • Who is using POF?

It is hoped that "POF Selected Reprint Series" will serve the purpose of providing information on POF components, design and application at a low cost. Information Gatekeepers, inc. has developed twenty-seven volumes covering a wide spectrum of subjects covering POF applications, technology, components, standards and others:


01 - POF & 1394

02 - POF & Automobiles

03 - POF & the Consumer

04 - POF & Cables

05 - POF Connectors

06 - POF Design Cookbook

07 - POF Couplers

08 - POF Data Applications

09 - POF Environmental Tests

10 - POF Fiber Brag Gratings

11 - POF Fibers

12 - POF Grin Lens:

13 - POF & the Home

14 - POF Interconnects

15 - POF Manufacturing

16 - POF Measurement Tech.

17 - POF Optical Amplifiers

18 - POF Organizations

19 - POF Premise Wiring

20 - POF Research Topics

21 - POF Sensors

22 - POF Sources & Detectors

23 - POF Standards

24 - POF Test & Measurement

25 - POF: Theory, Modeling & Cal

26 - POF Waveguides

27 - WDM Components

28 - POF Trends

Click here to order any of these selected titles from Information Gatekepeers, Inc.

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