As fast as light

FiberWire from Lucent Technologies is twice as strong as steel and as strong – or stronger – than any copper cable currently available. Its large, 200-micron glass core is so durable it can be stepped on it, twisted and coiled without so much as a break i

For over a century, factories have used copper wire to conduct power, transfer data, and network machinery. But while process control and components have evolved – growing larger, faster, and far more functional – copper wire hasn’t. To keep pace with advancing technology, as well as the ever-increasing ‘noise’ present in today’s factory environments, engineers have developed countless stop-gap measures, such as shields, insulators, and harmonics reducers.

Unfortunately, most of these efforts to keep copper’s performance at acceptable levels have proven cumbersome and expensive – with one exception: glass optical fiber. Optical fiber has always been able to outperform copper, both in terms of increased carrying capacity and reduced attenuation. However, it has had a reputation for being too costly, too fragile, and too difficult to work with on the floor.

Now things are set to change with the introduction of FiberWire from Lucent Technologies. Twice as strong as steel and as strong – or stronger – than any copper cable currently available, its large, 200-micron glass core is so durable it can be stepped on it, twisted and coiled without so much as a break in the fiber – or signal.

Engineers can crimp an array of connectors directly to FiberWire’s polymer cladding for plug-and-play termination in less than two minutes. And because of FiberWire’s strength, the process enables FiberWire to be pulled as hard and as far as necessary.

FiberWire’s bandwidth is 10MHz@600m. There is no need to worry about signal loss, either because over given distances, FiberWire can carry wave lengths with lower attenuation than copper. And with optical fiber’s total immumity to EMI and voltage fluctuations, it is a safe alternative to cable for networking desktop PCs and floor-shop generators.

http://www.lucent.com