A UK company at the forefront of a new type of fibre optic technology has come out of stealth mode and launched its first commercial products.
Lumenisity was spun out of a University of Southampton research project, to commercialise breakthroughs in the development of hollowcore optical fibre. Hollowcore fibres involve the propagation of light in an air containing core formed by microscopic capillaries and, according to Lumenisity at least, are the next big thing in fibre technology.
According to the Lumenisity announcement, data travels 50% faster in hollowcore fibre as the light propagates in air and offers the potential for higher data capacity and extended reach due to the 1000x reduction in power induced non-linear effects. The tricky bit is the manufacture of these clever cables and delivering them in a commercially viable way. Here’s where it gets really geeky, so once more we’ll let Lumenisity explain.
Lumenisity’s CoreSmart hollowcore cable uses a unique nested anti-resonant nodeless fibre (NANF) patented technology. The previous generation of hollowcore design, photonic bandgap fibre (PBGF), is inherently multi-moded and requires complex solutions to reduce the impact of parasitic modes on the hollowcore performance.
Lumenisity’s CoreSmart NANF is robustly single moded which provides continuous uninterrupted simultaneous single mode transmission at 1310nm, as well as over the full C and L bands and beyond. The advanced NANF technology offers the promise of realising loss values at, or better than, conventional solid silica core fibres. CoreSmart hollowcore cable that is being deployed today has losses of ~2dB/km over a wide temperature range – the lowest loss deployable hollowcore cable commercially available to date.
There you go. Here’s what Mike Fake, the company’s Director responsible for Product Management had to say. “This is the first of several announcements where we will be exploiting our patented and groundbreaking NANF technology to extend reach and bandwidth for our customers. We are proud to be leading the field in bringing deployable hollowcore fibre technology to market with performance that can lead to real advantages for our customers in a variety of network applications.”
Making any kind of qualitative comment on this technology is way above our paygrade here at Telecoms.com. But even we can understand that a 50% improvement on current fibre data speeds sounds promising. Furthermore, it’s great to see this sort of thing coming from the UK and hope both the telecoms and investment communities here give it a proper look.