Fujitsu, Furukawa unleash multi-fiber optical connector
Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd and Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd have teamed up to develop a multi-fiber optical connector that enjoins and aligns multiple optical fibers for optical interconnects. According to them, they have developed a connector that can accommodate different lengths of optical fiber with a spring mechanism that removes the need for polishing and results in optical-fiber connections with signal loss levels on par with existing multi-fiber connectors (0.2dB or less).
The connector achieves performance on par with conventional connectors while simplifying the task of installing high-capacity optical interconnects in a server. It is anticipated that this technology will increase data transmission speed between boards, increasing overall server performance, noted the firms.
Fujitsu Laboratories' design technology and Furukawa Electric's manufacturing technology both contributed to the development of a multi-fiber optical connector that can easily be used inside servers.
Key technologies underlying the connector design are as follows: A spring mechanism for optical connectors that slightly deforms when connecting optical fibers. This allows for deforming in the optical connector itself to introduce minute bends into the optical fibers as a way to accommodate for differences in their lengths, so that their tips align. Also, laser-processing the tips of the optical fibers results in surfaces equivalent to those achieved through polishing so that optical fibers can align flush without gaps.
Optical connector with simplified design (left: geometry; center: exterior; right: tip surface of optical fiber)
How fibers connect in the optical connector with simplified design
Fujitsu Laboratories and Furukawa Electric jointly developed this optical connector for use on boards, and with an optical connector housing that accommodates four optical connectors in a compact space, this design allows for as many as 96 optical fibers to be connected.
How the optical connector with simplified design mounts to a board with housing
This technology will enable the cost of installing optical interconnects between boards inside servers to be lowers, and increase overall server performance in the future.
Fujitsu Laboratories and Furukawa Electric are continuing development with the goal of applications in servers around 2016. This technology need not be limited to internal server communications. It also has additional potential uses for connecting optical fibers between rack-mounted devices.