23 February 2012

Firecomms launches transceiver providing full Gigabit Ethernet over 30m GI and 5m SI POF cables

Firecomms Ltd of Cork, Ireland, a manufacturer of transceivers (including its OptoLock technology, licensed worldwide) for consumer plastic optical fiber (POF), has started sampling the GDL1000 Gigabit POF transceiver, claimed to be thefirst using 650nm resonant-cavity LED (RCLED) technology (known for its reliability in the industrial and automotive industries).

The GDL1000 is the result of extensive R&D into new materials, driver ICs, and receive circuit architectures. Key features include a customized driver IC in the transmitter developed internally by Firecomms’ new mixed-signal IC design team, a new high-speed RCLED, and new receiver IC architecture to efficiently detect and convert the optical signals.

The latest development will allow the use of POF in higher-end optical communication markets that have been dependent on expensive and difficult-to-use glass optical fiber technology, says Hugh Hennessy, VP of sales & marketing. “The GDL1000 transceiver enables equipment manufacturers to exploit the simplicity of POF - its ease of use and simple, robust terminations - at Gigabit speeds,” he adds. “With overwhelming feedback from our beta customers in the LAN/SAN, medical, industrial and home networking markets, we look forward to rolling out the product across our global customer base.”

Traditionally, Gigabit-class fiber-optic transceivers are based on 850nm and higher-wavelength light sources, precision mounted on complex optical assemblies, which couple into 200 micron (and smaller) core glass optical fibers. Firecomms’ new Gigabit-class transceiver uses an eye-safe, visible 650nm (red) RCLED packaged in a transparent plastic moulded package with integrated lenses for easy coupling into 1mm-core POF. In the near future it is expected that the GDL1000 will be housed in the popular LC connector, which is soon to be ratified by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for POF applications.

Firecomms says that, by removing the significant extra costs associated with glass fiber, its GDL1000 POF transceiver unleashes an enormous opportunity for several markets. Using POF for installations (where glass has been the only alternative) removes the need for costly splicing or fiber processing equipment. Moreover, because the installer can cut the fiber to the required length and insert into the plugless OptoLock, expensive pre-assembled glass fiber patch cords are made obsolete.

Optimized for data rates up to 1.25Gbps, the GDL1000 is compatible with 1000BASESX and SGMii interface standards. With its LVDS interface, the transceiver is also compatible with a wide range of SerDes ICs operating at data rates down to 200Mbps. Additional features of the GDL1000 transceiver include:

  • non-magnetic version for use in medical MRI , CAT and PET applications;
  • transmission distance of 5m with SI POF and 30m with GI POF;
  • operating temperature range of -20°C to +70°C;
  • Class I eye-safe, RoHS-compliant; and
  • excellent EMI immunity for use in harsh industrial environments.

GDL1000 transceivers will initially be available in Firecomms’ OptoLock connector to allow for simple, no-hassle plug-free terminations. Future options will include SMI and LC versions for traditional connector requests.

Support products will include a full evaluation kit with SMA connectors, lengths of GI or SI POF cables, and a Gigabit media converter with RJ45 connectors for connecting to 1000BaseT Gigabit Ethernet ports.

A full suite of documentation on the GDL1000 is available. Samples can be ordered through distributors or directly at info@firecomms.com.

Firecomms will demonstrate the GDL1000 on the POF Technology and Applications Pavilion (booth #2733) at OFC/NFOEC 2012 (Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference) in Los Angeles, CA (6–10 March). In the POF Symposium on 7 March, chief technology officer John Lambkin will discuss RCLED-based Gigabit devices for POF communications.

Tags: Firecomms Transceiver

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