Why Choose HP Compatible SFP+ Transceivers?

In optical communication networks, optical transceivers are some of the most fundamental pieces of hardware for a smooth network. Nowadays, as telecommunication market is surrounded by a sea of fiber optic transceivers of different brands, originals or third-party ones, users are met with many choices. But since many name-brand networking companies charge too much for their transceivers, in most cases, users often buy smart, plug-and-play, and hot-swappable compatible transceiver modules to save money. For instance, if you’re in need of 10GBASE-LR SFP+ for your HP networking, you can turn to Fiber-mart.com for 100% HP compatible SFP+ transceivers (JD094B) which deliver the same value and costs you only a few, US$ 48.00.

Most people often hear such a question: Will I be able to use the existing equipment with the new wiring? The answer is certainly yes. Actually, a third-party fiber optic transceiver is fully compatible with name-brand hardware. There’s simply no difference between good quality third-party ones and the original ones. In this article, I will list several reasons why you should choose HP compatible transceivers, including the compatibility, cost, and support.

100% Compatibility

One thing that a lot of people don’t really realize about optical networking equipment is that there are only a host of factories in the world which are certified to produce it. As a matter of fact, anyone who supplies top-grade optical transceivers is getting them from the same few vendors. And Fiber-mart.com uses them too.

HP compatible SFP+ transceivers are fully MSA-compliant, so they adhere to all relevant standards for optical equipment. Take JD094B for example, this HP compatible 10GBASE-LR SFP+ works at a wavelength of 1550nm over single-mode fibers (SMfiber-mart), with a maximum link length at 40km. All these performances are just the same as what can be expected from the original HP SFP+ transceiver. Neither your HP networking will detect the difference, nor you can tell the difference, since the only difference lies in the name on the package.

Carrier-Grade Quality

Some companies use the exact same ODMs (original design manufacturers) that the major switch OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) use. However, since optical transceivers are the primary business for some third-party transceiver companies, they may understand which ODMs provide the highest quality part for a given data rate or transport protocol. It is not inconceivable for some third-party optics companies to provide more reliable components than those offered by the major switch OEM companies.

Low Cost

The lower costs of third-party optics really cannot be overstated. Typically third-party transceivers cost substantially less than name brands. Why you pay hundreds of dollars for a device that only cost much less, say dozens dollars from third-party? In many cases, a full loadout of third-party transceivers can shave so much money off of an upgrade budget to fund entirely new pieces of hardware. Or they can put a piece of equipment within range, which wouldn’t have been if name-brand ports had to be purchased. There’s no compelling reason to over-pay for the name brand optics.

Reduced Inventory Cost Due To Interoperability

By definition third-party providers of optical transceivers are not tied to a specific switch or router platform. Therefore, their optics will typically interoperate across multiple platforms. This means one specific inventoried part number can be used in both a HP switch and a Cisco switch, as an example. Thus, this approach effectively reduces sparing inventory as well as the operational headaches associated with maintaining inventories for each switch platform.

Instant Shipment & In-stock

Since selling transceivers is the primary business for most third-party transceiver companies, most strive for immediate availability of product. Fiber-mart.com keeps a full stock of our transceivers in-house and ready to ship. There is no complicated ordering process, and once you’ve made an order, you don’t have to wait days or weeks for the items to be delivered. Usually, the products are shipped the same day when you place an order.

Conclusion

HP compatible SFP+ transceivers are cheaper, 100% compatible and in large stock. Whether you need 10GBASE-LR,10GBASE-ER ports, or 10BASE-SR, Fiber-mart.com can meet your needs rapidly for lower prices, no waiting. Certainly, HP compatible SFP optics are also available here, like HP J4858C. For more information about HP compatible transceivers, you can visit Fiber-mart.com directly.

Is the Quality of Chinese Fiber Optic Products Low?

We frequently hear bad things about fiber optic products from China. It has become a trend to abuse Chinese quality. Here I am not going to justify the low-quality fiber optic products coming out of China. Of course, I know there are low-quality Chinese products. Are all the products coming out of China low in quality? Why there is a huge cry against Chinese quality?

It may be partially true in the case of commodity products, but is it possible to deliver low quality fiber optic products to the customers and survive in the market? I think it is almost impossible for a supplier to deliver low quality fiber optic products to dispatch to the customer and force him to use in the network. Fiber optic networks are tested to meet transmission requirements as per international standards. The products used in the fiber optic network need to possess certain minimum characteristics in order to carry optical signals. If a network component fails to carry optical signals, that can not be used in the network.

Characteristics of both active and passive components are well defined and documented in international specifications such as ITU-T and IEEE. Network builders refer these specifications and build their networks based on these standards. A network except for some local area networks, can not stand alone. It somehow becomes part of a bigger network and must communicate with the outside network, which we can call the global network. And as we know, networks must follow certain protocols. If a network component can do the job well as per the defined standards and protocols, we say it is compatible. This compatibility is the minimum quality that is required for the component.

Now, I don’t think that any of the network operators, system integrators or contractors will choose a component that is not compatible with their network. When choosing compatible components one of his/her primary concern will be to reduce the cost of purchase. That is the duty of a good procurement team. Supplier’s intention would be to get more price to his product while the buyer’s intention would be to get a low-cost product. Buyer’s technical team should find a balance between quality and product cost. Considering technical requirements, compatibility, and cost, they decide the vendors. In this process, how a low-quality fiber optic network product supplier can win the supply contract?

Presence of plenty of manufacturers especially from China is one of the reasons for the availability of low-cost products. ‘Low Cost’ does not necessarily mean ‘Low Cost’. Low cost is the result of competition in the market and product manufacturing cost, which includes manpower costs. Low waged labor does not mean low quality and highly paid workers does not guarantee high-quality products. Mass production facilities and low wages are some of the major reasons for low-cost Chinese fiber optic products.

We need to understand the reason behind the cry against Chinese quality. There must be a vested interest group to stamp Chinese fiber optic products with the label of ‘Low quality’. They will be the beneficiaries if customers stop buying Chinese fiber optic products.

What to do (and what NOT to do) in your fiber optic cable assembly polishing process

As you probably know, the polishing process is an extremely important step in the manufacture of fiber optic cable assemblies. Your polishing process ensures your fiber optic connectors meet certain geometric parameters, industry specifications, and/or customer requirements.

When I visit fiber optic cable assembly houses, I help our customers set up their polishing process and, together, we determine the exact requirements for every step in the polishing process to support their unique application. While training customers, I often address common questions revolving around the polishing process: how to prevent film from moving, how much water to use, and how to establish good cleaning techniques to extend the life of the lapping (polishing) film.

Q.  “HOW DO WE KEEP THE POLISHING FILM FROM MOVING?”

A.  When fiber optic cable assembly houses set up a new polishing machine and establish their polishing process, they often find that film slipping or coming off the pad is an issue. To provide uniform polishing, film should never move on the polishing pad. If the film moves with the revolutions of the polishing machine’s platen (the turntable), then you’re not accomplishing anything.

Everything may be spinning, but you’re not actually polishing the connectors. It’s extremely important to overcome this issue! In fact, this is the first thing I show people when I teach them how to polish connectors. The following tips offer pointers.

Helpful tips:

The rubber polishing pad has two surfaces that can be used: a highly polished side and a dull, unpolished side. Place the lapping film on the polished side of the rubber pad – without any liquids. This process relies on “stiction” (adhesion of the film to the pad). First, though, you need to ensure the shiny surface of the polishing pad is absolutely clean. Use a lint-free wipe and isopropyl alcohol (IPA) as a solvent to remove dirt and oils. As long as the pad’s surface area is clean – and the polishing film is clean – you will have successful stiction. After you lay the film on the rubber pad, remove air bubbles by using a circular motion with the lint-free wipe.

If you’re using a glass plate, that’s a different animal! If your process requires the use of a glass plate with a non-PSA-backed film, you can apply a thin film of liquid – a combination of IPA and distilled water – to create stiction. Unfortunately, the IPA-distilled water combination doesn’t provide a lot of strength to adhere the film to the glass plate. Take time to remove air bubbles when laying the film on the plate. This will give you adequate stiction to polish on a mechanized polishing machine. Alternatively, you can use a spray-on adhesive, which can be quite messy.

You don’t want the film to slip AND you don’t want the rubber (or glass) pad to slip. During the cleaning process, liquid may seep between the pad and the platen of the polishing machine. When turned on, the spinning and downward pressure can make the pad slip, which can cause poor results. To prevent this, make sure the pad and platen are completely dry prior to the polishing step.

Q.  “HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD WE USE?”

A.  When polishing fiber optic connectors on a fixed platen, water is used as a lubricant on the lapping film. How you apply the water – and how much to apply – needs to be determined when establishing your process.

The following tips address these points. Next, it’s important to train your operators, so they apply water consistently.

Helpful tips:

The majority of the fiber optic industry uses a distilled/deionized-water mix and a few companies use a combination of isopropyl alcohol and pure distilled water as the primary lubricant. Another school of thought is to use soap (liquid detergent) and water, because soap is slippery and creates very low friction. It’s a matter of choice, plus the type of connectors you’re polishing can dictate which type of lubricant you use. In rare applications, certain optical fibers cannot touch water and require the use of exotic lubricants. (Contact Fiber Optic Center at sales@focenter.com if you encounter such a situation.)

How much water should you apply to the film? Some people use a squirt bottle to spray the film. However, squirt bottles tend to flood portions of the film, and do not provide uniform coverage. I prefer using a SPRITZ bottle, which sprays a fine mist uniformly around the film. Using a spritz bottle, moisture is dispersed in a light and even manner and doesn’t pool. How much water to spritz on your film is very much dependent on your application. There’s no tried-and-true formula. I actually define this when I’m with a customer. (Fiber Optic Center sells 16-ounce and 8-ounce ÅngströmSpray Spritzer Bottles.)

What if you use too much water? If too much water is applied, you’ll risk overflow and flooding the platen. Liquid can seep underneath the rubber (or glass) pad and start slipping, and that’s a risk you want to avoid at all costs. Thankfully, today’s quality polishing machines have plates that lock to prevent the pads from spinning, regardless of how much water seeps underneath the pad. In that case, excessive water use won’t hurt your process – if you lock the plate – but it is messier and takes more time to clean between polishing steps. (Click here to view the polishing machines that Fiber Optic Center sells.)

Can you polish successful dry – with no lubricant? Some fiber optic cable assembly houses do, but I do not recommend this.

Certain fiber optic applications require continuous flow of water: one or two drops a second. The polishing machines we sell at Fiber Optic Center have the ability to provide a constant water drip – from one drop to a continuous flow. However, we strongly recommend you do not use running water in your polishing process.

Polishing Tips and Best Practices for Single Fiber Connectors

When polishing a fiber optic connector, by polishing machine, there are procedures and setting parameters designed to leverage the machines best practices as well as previous developments and experience.

Additionally, there are tips to consider applying during daily production to improve first pass yield, efficiency and results to avoid scrapping costs.

The standard polishing process includes three steps:

Epoxy Removal

Geometry

Final Step: finishing the optical surface

Below we share tips for each step of the process:

Epoxy removal

Air Polish

When connectors are loaded on the jig after cleaving, there are large, sharp edge fibers and inconsistent fiber protrusion due to different fiber cleaves.  This can result in fiber breaks if polishing, by machine, is started immediately.

Tip: start polishing the connectors loaded on the jig with SC Film mounted on the rubber pad and then by hand/air delicately, with little hand pressure making few rotations (around 10).  Next the fiber protrusion has more consistent length distribution over all ferrules resulting in less fiber breakage (fiber into ferrule bore hole).  After this initial operation, one can start polishing with the machine using the same film used for air polishing.

LC Conical

The available surface of the 1.25 mm connector is small and sometimes due to this limited surface, epoxy is also going to the base of the chamfer area that you cannot remove using the polisher.

Tip: After the epoxy removal step on the polisher, if some epoxy is still present on the chamfer area, use a little scalpel to remove residues. This will allow to move to the next step (Geometry) avoiding any contamination on D films.

For other types of ferrule (2.0 or 2.5 mm) it is a good practice to check, after epoxy removal, if all the epoxy has been polished away (checking the front face of the ferrules).

Jig Locking Mechanism with Individual Ferrule

A jig where the ferrules are independently moving from the each other is called Individual Pressure Control (IPC) fixture and is recognized by the use of spring loaded adapters to lock and to keep the ferrule in place.

Tip: after checking if there are not any epoxy residues left, it is a good practice to verify if all the connectors are well positioned (same height) and if the spring of each adapter is working properly with the ferrule moving freely – not stuck due to polishing residue. This guarantees each ferrule will be under the defined polisher pressure in the polishing steps offering more consistent geometry results.

Geometry

Air Bubble Under Lapping Film

A common occurrence after positioning on the rubber pad is air bubbles under the lapping film.

When this occurs, it must be removed because during the geometry polishing process as the air cushion can modify the ferrule geometry (radius and/or apex).

Tip: to avoid this effect, use a roller to press down the lapping film on the rubber pad. It is important to have a different roller for each type of film to avoid contamination especially from D film to final film.  If one uses the same roller, it is essential to clean it before moving to the smaller film grid.

Tip: when using just one roller, to avoid contamination, take two films one on top of the other (one on top upside down) and then use roller. The lapping film that will used for polishing connector will not be effected by any cross-contamination.

D Film Longer Life

Diamond film is the most expensive film we use on the polishing process and one consideration when selecting a supplier is the number of times you can use it.   There are D films used for 10, 15, 25 times, or even longer depending on the process and specific customer specifications.

Tip: after a certain number of usage, typically 10 times, if you clean the surface with alcohol you are able to extend the life of this film (using alcohol removes debris from previous polishing).

VIEW: Diamond Films Product Matrix

Rubber Pad

In a polishing process, we use rubber pads typically 60 to 80/85 durometer.  Keeping consistent geometry can be a challenge.

In principle, a rubber pad that is too soft can help to reduce radius but effect negatively the apex.

Using a harder pad with higher pressure should be better to get positive radius and apex results.

Tip: always try to develop a process using pads with same durometer throughout the entire process. Changing the hardness of the pad will effect radius and/or apex and can make it difficult to bring both parameters within the specification.  Usually adjusting pressure and timing, using the same pad, can achieve desired results.  If you do need to change to a softer pad, decrease the durometer maximum by approximately 10 durometer.

APC Jig Choice According to Connector Style

In the market there are two different types of ferrules: Stepped and Conical.

As soon as you select the connector style, you need to consider the related jig.

Tip:

Stepped Ferrule – require a jig with an APC angle of 8°

Conical Ferrule – require a jig with an APC angle of 8.3°

FINAL STEP

CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN

Scratches are a fiber optic assembler’s nightmare because if it occurs, they jeopardize all of the previous activities and are costly due to the waste of time and additional material.

Tip: each step requires good cleanliness to avoid contamination especially when you move from D film to Final film.   Quite often this activity is underestimated but if you make this a priority, you can avoid costly issues.

Tip: use spray water to remove all the debris on the ferrule and mainly at the jig’s bottom surface.   Follow this by wiping the operation using Cleaning Wipes or similar paper moving from the center of the jig to the outside.

Final Film Choice

In addition to the nice smooth surface, final film is extremely important to define the right fiber protrusion.  Based on the requested specification, you can choose different types of film that provide various results.

Tip: important to know the different specifications and what your requirement is: Fiber protrusion, Undercut, Flatness with respect to the Ferrule.   Basically, fibers can protrude or stay below the ferrule surface according to the described parameter to guarantee the best fiber physical contact terminated in a connector.

Tip: if you don’t have access to different final films, adjusting time and pressure, can also achieve specified results with some limitations.

Fiber optics requires physical contact between the two mating parts because if you have an air gap between, it will cause high back reflection.  The physical contact will happen when you have fiber protrusion but considering the compression force made by the connectors, you could have some physical deformation of the fiber and ferrule.  When that happens, there is physical contact with flat and undercut if the related value are according to the specified parameters.

One might ask, why not only use protruding fiber and the answer is that concern is about fiber breaks when the two fibers are pushed against the others?   They specify undercut or flat fiber vs. end face the ferrule to better protect the fiber but still having physical contact.  It is clear the parameters have to be according to the specifications (as seen on the graphic) otherwise you will experience air gap.

Fiber Optic Polishing Fixture Maintenance

To help ensure consistent polishing results, maintenance of all fiber optic polishing equipment is essential.    The Preventive Maintenance program for polishing fixtures should include periodic ultrasonic cleaning.  This is true for any fiber optic polishing fixtures, regardless of connector or ferrule type:  connector fixtures with latching mechanisms (LC, SC), ferrule-only fixtures with screw caps or cam-locks, MT ferrule fixtures, etc.

All fixtures come from the factory with very precisely milled ferrule “bores”, tailored specifically to the particular ferrule which will be polished.  These bores position the ferrule to precise angles to the polishing surface—–90-degrees for PC polishing, other angles (typically 82-degrees, to create an 8-degree finish) for various APC polishing.  (Note:  I use the term “bore” for the circular holes milled into the fiber optic polishing fixture which hold the round ferrule, but the same concepts apply to fixture for rectangular ferrules such as MT.  For simplification, this discussion will reference typical round, PC-finished ferrules, but the concepts all apply to MT fixtures as well as APC fixtures).

The level of precision to which the fixture holds the ferrules determines many of the ferrule’s geometric characteristics (Apex, Radius, Fiber Height, Ferrule Angle, etc).   Contamination of the fixture can negatively affect this precision, by either pre-maturely wearing of the fixtures dimensions, or by creating buildup in the fixture, which prevents the ferrule from seating properly.

The contamination we are discussing here is primarily a natural result of the normal polishing process.  Ferrules are polished on abrasive films or flock-pile pads impregnated with abrasives.  During polishing, some of these abrasive particles, along with the ceramic or plastic material being removed from the ferrule itself, come free and mix with the water used as lubricant within the process.  This results in an abrasive slurry that contaminates the fixture and the ferrules themselves.  Common polishing practices require the operator to clean the bottom of the fixture between polishing cycles, to remove abrasive particles that may create fiber end-face scratches in subsequent polishing steps.  However, this slurry can (and will) migrate into crevices and the bores of the fixture—places difficult or unlikely to be fully cleaned or flushed out during normal the normal polishing process.  Allowed to dry, it will harden and cake.

The 4 major effects of this contamination to consider:

Contamination within the ferrule bore is wearing the bore, creating larger bore diameter:  Ferrule bore wear is unavoidable over time—as thousands of ceramic ferrules are inserted and removed from a stainless steel fixture, the bore will wear.   However, contamination of the bore, particularly with abrasive particles naturally resulting from the polishing process (the “slurry” referred to above), can accelerate this wear.  As the bore diameter becomes larger, the ferrule is held to less than 90-degrees to the polishing surface, resulting in larger Apex Offset and Angle values.

Contamination within the ferrule bore is building up, “pushing” the ferrule to one side:  the slurry generated from polishing can accumulate in the bore or other areas of the fixture, building up to prevent the ferrule from seating at precisely 90 degrees to the polishing surface.  This can also result in large Apex Offset and Angle values.  This buildup issue is often seen in MT ferrule polishing fixtures.

Contamination within the ferrule bore is preventing the ferrule from sliding freely within the bore:  This mainly applies to connector polishing (as opposed to ferrule-only polishing) where the connector’s spring force is relied on to present equal downward pressure to the ferrules during polishing.  The ferrules in a connector fiber optic polishing fixture must be able to piston up-and-down freely in the fixture.  If contamination of the ferrule bore holds the ferrule too tightly, this may “lock up” the ferrules or prevent them from pistoning consistently / smoothly within the bore during polishing.  This, in turn, will result in different pressures being applied to the end-faces during polishing—–which creates variation in Radius values, FH values, and fiber end-face polish quality (scratches).

Contamination on the fixture prevents ferrules from protruding equal distance from the base of the fixture. This mainly applies to fixtures for polishing ferrule only (as opposed to connector polishing).  The ferrules must protrude the same amount from the bottom of the fiber optic polishing fixture, to ensure consistent pressure being applied to all ferrules.  Contamination at the top of the bore, where the ferrule flange sits on, will cause the ferrules to sit higher and protrude less.   If ferrules are protruding different length from the bottom of the fixture, this results in unequal pressures being applied to the ferrules during polishing, again resulting in variation in Radius values, FH values, and fiber end-face polish quality (scratches).

Fiber Optic Polishing Fixture Maintenance Ultrasonic CleaningThe most effective way to reduce the effects of such contamination is to thoroughly clean the fixtures between use, by rinsing with distilled water immediately after polishing, to prevent the “surry” from drying.   Even so, particularly with fixture having many recessed faces or “nooks and crannies”, it is good practice to give each fixture a more rigorous cleaning after use, when the fixture will be not be in use for some time (such as at end of shift).  Ultrasonic cleaning, in combination with brush-cleaning the bores, works very well for this type of cleaning, and it is recommended that cleaning be part of a daily Preventive Maintenance program for all fiber optic polishing fixtures.

Ultrasonic Cleaning:

Ultrasonic cleaners are a bath into which the object to be cleaned is submerged.  The bath is usually of distilled water, which can be augmented with detergents or solvents or other cleaners.  For cleaning of polishing fixtures, an ultrasonic bath of only distilled water is sufficient, and recommended over other solutions.

The walls of an ultrasonic cleaner vibrate and a particular high frequency, transferring pressure waves to the water. These waves have the effect of pushing-and-pulling the water molecules to create “cavitation”:  essentially “tearing” the water molecules apart, creating a very short-lasting “bubble” of vacuum within the water, which very quickly—and forcefully—implodes. The energy of this collapse, which occurs near the surface of the submerged object, is what creates the agitation to remove contaminates from the surface.

Because the cavitation occurs within the water medium only, it is important that the entire object be submerged, with no air bubbles trapped in areas to be cleaned.  As long as the surfaces to be cleaned are in contact with the water, and because the cavitation happens on the molecular level, the cleaning effect can reach into very small crevices and is ideal for fiber optic polishing fixture cleaning.

It is important to note that the cavitation is created by physical movement of the side walls of the cleaner, and that most ultrasonic cleaners are calibrated such that most of the cavitation power occurs somewhere in the middle of the bath.  It is important that objects to be cleaned are suspended within the bath water, and do NOT contact the bottom or interior walls of the ultrasonic cleaner.   Objects contacting the bottom or sidewalls of the cleaner will reduce their movement, and thus reduce the cavitation effect.

Following up the ultrasonic cleaning with brushing of the ferrule bores and blowing dry with clean, compressed air will help to ensure maximum life and performance of the fiber optic polishing fixture.

What is the Ideal Fiber Height for a Fiber Optic Connector?

Turn the calendar way back to 1981 – the early days of fiber optics. I was working for a connector manufacturer, and one of my customers asked, “What is the Return Loss of your connector?” I didn’t know the answer! I was stumped and, frankly, I was embarrassed.

Since that day, I’ve made it a lifelong career objective to thoroughly understand all the geometry parameters that impact Return Loss and Insertion Loss. Critical geometry parameters that impact the optical performance of connectors include Radius, Angle/Apex, Key Error, and fiber height.

Now, 35 years later, I supply products and test equipment to fiber optic cable assembly facilities all over the world. These days, a lot of my customers are stumped by a different question: What is the ideal fiber height for a fiber optic connector?

Why is this such a common (and perplexing) question? Partly, it’s driven by our industry’s various specifications for fiber height.

The specification dictated by IEC’s international standards is wide open and incredibly lax. This spec calls for -125/+100 nanometers – that’s a 225-nanometer spread! Think of it this way: It’s like driving your car down an interstate highway that is 10 lanes wide. That’s a lot more space than you need. Most cable assembly devices under test will easily pass this wide-open specification.

Does your cable assembly facility follow the generic industry specification of +/-50 nanometers? I consider this spec to be too broad as well, given the total tolerance of 100 nanometers. Following our metaphor, this specification reduces the 10-lane highway to about 4 lanes wide, which is still more than needed. In testing, most connectors should pass this specification.

Plus, there’s another complication – some manufacturers’ specs are even tighter than the “generic” industry standard, for example, 0/+20 nanometers. Following our metaphor, this is like narrowing our road to a footpath. When it comes to quality, I believe such strict specs are more stringent than necessary. When it comes to production, I believe these tight constraints cause undue pressure to produce acceptable yields. Remember, I’ve worked in production facilities. I understand the realities of fabricating high-quality jumpers and cables that meet specs – while producing the required yields.

Given my years in this industry, I can offer a historical perspective on fiber height. The fact that we have so many different – and lax – specifications illustrates our industry’s advancements. Decades ago, we had absolutely zero control over fiber height. Even a few years ago, our ability to control fiber height was mediocre. With today’s technology, especially recent advancements in final films, we have extraordinary control over fiber height.

In reality, there is no ideal fiber height. I recommend aiming for a target fiber height of +/-20 nanometers.

I have personally pursued the question – What is the ideal fiber height? – by conducting a series of tests. I created connectors with different fiber heights and subjected them to environmental testing to analyze the connectors’ performance. This included temperature testing between 80 degrees centigrade (176 degrees F) and -40 degrees centigrade (-38 degrees F).

Based on my first-hand, environmental testing of the declination of the ceramics under pressure and under temperature, I recommend targeting a fiber height of +/-20 nanometers. This means you can go down to -20, hover at zero, or go as high as +20 nanometers. This target spec offers a tolerance of 40 nanometers. This enables your cable assembly facility to produce high-quality devices without being restricted by extremely tight tolerances that result in low yields.

Today, fiber height is the easiest geometry parameter to control. How do you achieve the target fiber height of +/-20 nanometers?

The tightened tolerance of +/-20 is surprisingly easy to achieve with the advanced final polishing lapping films now available. In fact, two new films enable you to control the fiber height you generate – along with the specific pressure, speed, and pad durometer that you identify for your facility’s production environment.

I had the opportunity to tour the Ångström facility in Japan and learned about the manufacturer’s propriety process. These two final films control the depth of material, deposition of material, particle size, and other physical attributes that govern fiber height.

Feel free to call me to learn more about these final films. I’m excited about this technological innovation in lapping films. In fact, I would call this the most significant innovation in film that I’ve seen in the past decade or two in my career – my very long career – in fiber optics!