Leading fiber optic cable manufacturer, Prysmian in a press release informed its decision to showcase 6,912 fiber FlexRibbon cable at the Optical Networking and Communication Conference & Exhibition (OFC 2019) in San Diego, CA.
Prysmian will present to the fiber optic market it’s 6,912 fiber MassLink™ Cable with FlexRibbon™ Technology. 6912F cable is the highest fiber count optical cable available in the market. Meeting the international standards required for fiber optic cables, the 6,912F cable incorporates Flexible 12F ribbons.
What is Flexible Ribbon?
Looking from the fiber optic cable design point of view, the optical fibers can be secured in a loose tube or Slotted Core by placing them ‘Single’ or in ‘Ribbon’ form. As the term indicates, ‘Single’ is single fibers. Single fibers can be secured in a tube in groups of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10,12, 16, 24 etc., depending on the manufacturing capability of the machines.
Conventional Fiber Ribbon structure is flat just like the Copper ribbon cables in our computers. The flat ribbon has a width and height and is unfoldable.
Traditionally, the United States and Europe followed the single fiber loose tube design for fiber optic cables. Japanese and some of the cable makers in the United States and Europe followed Ribbon designs. Japanese cable makers put these flat ribbons in slotted cores while those in the US and Europe placed them inside the loose tubes.
Due to the flat structure of the Ribbon form, 12 fiber Ribbon occupies a space of around 3.2 mm in width and a height of approximately 0.3 mm in height. The advantage of ribbon structure compared to that of the single fiber is the mass-fusion splicing. 4 or 6 or 8 or 12 fiber ribbons can be spliced in one shot. That saves a lot of time and money. The disadvantage is the bigger cable dimensions due to the flat nature of the ribbons.
Prysmian is now able to make flexible ribbons that are foldable and therefore does not occupy the “Width” of the conventional ribbons. Instead of coating the whole group of 12 fibers with the matrix material, single fibers are joined each other along their lengths at fixed intervals, so that the fibers are in one sense Ribbon, but is flexible to fold and bundle. This ‘Flexibility’ makes them useful to group together compactly.
Prysmian also uses 200-micrometer optical fibers to make the 6,912F cable. Conventional single mode and Multimode optical fibers used in telecommunication cables have approx. 250-micrometer diameter. Since the trend is moving towards high count, optical fiber manufacturers have developed 200-micrometer diameter fibers. International standards have also recognized these fibers.
200-micrometer fibers will also have the same 125-micrometer cladding diameter (and of course the same mode field diameter as the conventional single mode or core diameter as the multimode fibers). The reduction happened in the inner primary and outer primary coating thickness. 200-micrometer fibers also have the same mechanical and environmental characteristics as that of the conventional fibers and hence are suitable for use in telecommunication cables.
Now back to Prysmian’s News;
The 6,912 fiber FlexRibbon provides an ultra-compact outside plant cable design that contains 6,912 bend-insensitive fibers, with a cable diameter small enough to fit into a 50.8mm duct.
By using FlexRibbon technology, Prysmian rolls up and pack the ribbons together in small diameter sub-units. The 200-micrometer fiber ribbons provide the advantages of mass fusion splicing.
Prysmian designed these high fiber count, compact cables for hyper-scale data center customers originally, but later found that the 6,912 fiber MassLink has potential in all telecom markets.
The addition of the 6,912 fiber cable further expands Prysmian’s portfolio of MassLink Fiber Cable with FlexRibbon Technology, which includes also 1,728 and 3,456 fiber count FlexRibbon products, fitting into a 31.75mm and 38.1mm duct, respectively.
Prysmian press release they will also display the Karona Overblow System and Prysmian Group’s portfolio for multi-conductor FTTA hybrid cables at its Booth #1739. Karona Overblow system enables the installation of the high-density optical fiber cable into pre-existing sub-ducted routes that contains already existing legacy cable. Multi-conductor FTTA hybrid cables are used, for mobile applications.
Prysmian will also display its optical connectivity solutions providing flexibility in design, simple modularity for upgrading and superior quality performance for all cable management needs. The Group will also present its offer for optical fiber, including BendBrightXS and 200µm BendBrightXS Prysmian’s bend-insensitive fibers, which enable a new generation of ultra-high fiber count optical cables.
Apart from the above, the WideCap-OM5, Prysmian’s multimode fiber optimized for WDM transceivers. Widecap-OM5 with BendBright technology allows the use of smaller cables and improving data-center networks architecture flexibility.