Graded Index POF Arrives in the United States
Posted February 11, 2005

After many promises by a number of manufacturers of plastic optical fiber (POF), a Graded Index POF is now available in the U.S.   For years, only a step index POF has been available for data communications which had a limited bandwidth for certain applications.   Now with a GI-POF, bandwidths of greater than 3GHz at 50 meters are possible. This optical fiber, GI-POF is a PMMA   (polymethyl-methacrylate) based and does not contain any refractive index modifying dopant. It has excellent mechanical properties and thermal stability. In addition, small multimedia interface (SMI) connectors and resonant cavity LEDs are becoming available from a number of sources.   Design engineers now have all the pieces required to design POF into their systems.  

The new GI-POF is available in diameters of 750 and 1000 microns (1mm). Paul Mulligan of FiberFin Inc. commented to say that "There are many positive aspects to this new GI-POF with its size being the same as the standard SI-POF (step index) fiber that is so common place." The core is 1mm and the jacket is a standard 2.2mm (available in either PE of PVC).   This POF cable can be used with any standard connector.   The wavelength is 650nm so you can use standard off the shelf components.   This will make R&D for new products very easy with the hope for more advancement with this high-speed technology.

The termination is done the same as with Step index POF with any proven methods that are used today from a razor blade finish to diamond machining polish, they all work the same on this large core GI-POF.

This fiber and cable is manufactured in Korea by Optimedia, Inc. and sold under the trade name OM-Giga.   Optimedia, Inc. was founded in October 1999 for the development and manufacture of various plastic optical fibers (POF) for data communication, image transfer, and sensor applications.   Its technical staffs have more than 20 years of R&D experience in polymer syntheses and POF fabrication, and have succeeded recently in commercializing a high-bandwidth GI-POF (Graded Index POF) called OM-Giga for short distance, high-speed data communication.   OM-Giga is recommended for short distance applications less than 50 meters, however, longer distance applications are possible depending on the transceiver/receiver used.

Paul also concludes, "We have this new GI-POF is stock and are currently shipping. We are currently working on a 1mm core duplex zip cord cable that we hope to have completed by summer to take to the installers market with the new SMI i-link connector."

For more information, please visit or call Paul Mulligan direct at 630-553-6924.