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A Brief History of Multi-mode Fiber; Are you ready for what’s next?

Posted by Jerry Dillard | 6/21/18 8:00 AM

The magnitude of what we can do on any given mobile device has grown exponentially over the past few decades; our productivity is no longer dependent upon the ability to commute to work, but rather our connectivity to those we work with, network around, or hope to engage.
Accompanying this generational-flexibility of how we work comes with the demand for the IoT, and everything it connects to. So it should be no surprise that today’s service providers and data driven enterprises constantly vie for increased bandwidth as an evolutionary business driver to extend to their users.

When we look back to the 80’s and 90’s, most of us were just beginning to understand what the term ‘bandwidth’ was about as we clicked a small AOL or Earthlink icon button to dial up our 56 kbit/s connections. It was the network teams and IT Help Desk staff that were being charged with updates and connections—constantly being pressed with maintaining network uptime while exploring and identifying the best internet/bandwidth solutions available for their companies. Simultaneously, the large traditional phone conglomerates were keenly watching as Service Providers began meeting market demand as multimode fiber became the backbone for deployments beyond the capability of copper twisted pair, offering new services, new methods to communicate, and portability.

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So, while in 1952, the UK-based physicist Narinder Singh Kapany invented the first actual fiber optical cable based on John Tyndall's experiments three decades earlier, its the consumer-landscape that has benefited from these advancements with current 5G bandwidth and 100G network speeds available.  

The Introduction of OM5

We have consistently seen with each passing decade, products that address the increased demands for bandwidth via multi-mode fiber and optical fiber, but the most progressive advancement is with the release of the newest multi-mode fiber, OM5. Multi-mode fiber is a cost effective solution in high-speed environments, due to its high tolerance for fiber misalignment and low connection loss at each interface. OM5 fiber was designed to be fully compatible with OM3/OM4 fiber, so all legacy applications in existing infrastructures will be supported. 

The transition from 2000 MHz*km with OM3, to 4700 MHZ*km with OM4, to the new standardized OM5 capabilities will now allow North America to deploy more services and technological advancements that haven’t been able to be delivered with 100G limitations, marking the anticipated balance of integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning into everyday practices. 

To support the new OM5 multi-mode fiber, Garland Technology has released a new Network TAP, the first of its kind, and available only through Garland Technology, granting up to 400G network speeds. Learn how Garland Technology is helping drive innovation for the next century here.

Topics: Data Center, Network Infrastructure

Written by Jerry Dillard

Jerry Dillard leverages two decades in design and engineering to ensure maximum performance within today’s network environments. Dillard, as the inventor of the Bypass Network Test Access Point (TAP), has secured his legacy as he continues to provide network solutions for data centers worldwide.