Why is it called multi mode fiber?

Why is it called Multi-Mode Fiber?

Multi-mode fiber is a type of optical fiber mainly used for communication over short distances, such as within a building or on a campus. Its name derives from its ability to carry multiple light modes or rays simultaneously, each at a slightly different reflection angle within the optical fiber core.

Core Difference Between Single-Mode and Multi-Mode Fiber

The core of multi-mode fiber is significantly larger than that of single-mode fiber. This larger size allows multiple light modes to propagate through the fiber, whereas single-mode fiber supports only one mode. The multi-mode fiber's core diameter typically ranges from 50 to 62.5 micrometers, compared to the 8 to 10 micrometers of single-mode fibers.

Applications of Multi-Mode Fiber

  • Data and telecommunications in local area networks (LANs)
  • Short-distance communication within buildings or campuses
  • High data rate applications over short distances

Advantages of Multi-Mode Fiber

  • Higher bandwidth at short distances
  • Lower cost compared to single-mode fiber
  • Easier to connect and install due to larger core size

How Multi-Mode Fiber Works

Multi-mode fiber operates by allowing light signals to enter the fiber at different angles. These light signals reflect off the core-cladding boundary through a process known as total internal reflection. The larger core size supports the propagation of multiple modes or paths of light, which can lead to modal dispersion - a phenomenon where light pulses spread out over time, potentially limiting the fiber's bandwidth over long distances.

In summary, multi-mode fiber is named for its ability to support multiple modes of light simultaneously, making it ideal for short-distance, high-bandwidth applications. Its larger core size facilitates easier handling and connectivity but also introduces limitations such as modal dispersion over longer distances.

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