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Many different types of media can be used for the physical layer. For example, telephone twisted pair, coax cable, shielded copper cable and fiber optics are the main types used for LANs. Different transmission techniques generally categorized as baseband or broadband transmission may be applied to each of these media types. OBJECTIVES OF THIS CHAPTER After completing this chapter, the student should be able to: define transmission medium identify guided medium such as coax, fiber or twisted pair cable measure performance of transmission medium 4.1 INTRODUCTION Transmission medium provides physical entity for the conveyance of signals. Transmission medium is the physical path between transmitter and receiver in a data transmission system. Transmission media can be classified as guided or unguided. In both cases, communication is in the form of electromagnetic waves. With guided media, the waves are guided along a solid medium, such as copper twisted pair, copper coaxial cable, and optical fiber. The atmosphere and outer space are examples of unguided media that provide a means of transmitting electromagnetic signals but do not guide them; this form of transmission is usually referred to as wireless transmission. The characteristics and quality of a data transmission are determined both by the characteristics of the medium and the characteristics of the signal. In the case of guided media, the medium itself is more important in determining the limitations of transmission. For unguided media, the bandwidth of the signal produced by the transmitting antenna is more important than the medium in determining transmission characteristics. One key property of signals transmitted by antenna is directionality. In general, signals at lower frequencies are omnidirectional; that is, the signal propagates in all directions from the antenna. At higher frequencies, it is possible to focus the signal into a directional beam. In considering the design of data transmission systems, a key concern, generally, is data rate and distance: the greater the data rate and distance, the better. A number of design factors relating to the transmission medium and to the signal determine the data rate and distance: Bandwidth. All other factors remaining constant, the greater the bandwidth of a signal, the higher the data rate that can be achieved. Transmission impairments. Impairments, such as attenuation, limit the distance. For guided media, twisted pair generally suffer more impairment than coaxial cable, which in turn suffers more than optical fiber. Interference. Interference from competing signals in overlapping frequency bands can distort or wipe out a signal. Interference is of particular concern for unguided media, but it is also a problem with guided media. For guided media, interference can be caused by emanations from nearby cables. For example,
twisted pair are often bundled together, and conduits often carry multiple cables. Interference can also be experienced from unguided transmissions. Proper shielding of a guided medium can minimize this problem. Number of receivers. A guided medium can be used to construct a point-topoint link or a shared link with multiple attachments. In the latter case, each attachment introduces some attenuation and distortion on the line, limiting distance and/or data rate. Transmission media can be divided into two broad categories : Guided and Unguided.
Figure 4.2 : Types of transmission media 4.2 GUIDED MEDIA Guided media, which are those that provide a conduit from one device to another, include twisted-pair cable, coaxial cable, and fiber-optic cable. Guided Transmission Media uses a "cabling" system that guides the data signals along a specific path. The data signals are bound by the "cabling" system. Guided Media is also known as Bound Media. Cabling is meant in a generic sense in the previous sentences and is not meant to be interpreted as copper wire cabling only. Cable is the medium through which information usually moves from one network device to another. Twisted pair cable and coaxial cable use metallic (copper) conductors that accept and transport signals in the form of electric current. Optical fiber is a glass or plastic cable that accepts and transports signals in the form of light. There four basic types of Guided Media : 1. Open Wire 2. Twisted Pair 3. Coaxial Cable 4. Optical Fiber
Figure 4.3 : Types of guided media
Each pair would consist of a wire used for the +ve data signal and a wire used for the -ve data signal. they are 180 degrees out of phase When the noise appears on both wires. There is a single wire strung between poles. Any noise that appears on one wire of the pair would occur on the other wire. Because the wires are opposite polarities. We are going to extend the traditional definition of Open Wire to include any data signal path without shielding or protection from noise interference. Twisted Pair cables are most effectively used in systems that use a balanced line method of transmission : polar line coding (Manchester Encoding) as opposed to unipolar line coding (TTL logic). One of the wire is used to carry signals to the receiver. This can include multiconductor cables or single wires. Why the cable is twisted? . The wires in Twisted Pair cabling are twisted together in pairs. and the other is used only a ground reference. twisted together. This media is susceptible to a large degree of noise and interference and consequently not acceptable for data transmission except for short distances under 20 ft. it cancels or nulls itself out at the receiving end. Twisting decreases the crosstalk interference between adjacent pairs in the cable.4: Open wire TWISTED-PAIR (TP) CABLE Twisted pair cable is least expensive and most widely used.OPEN WIRE Open Wire is traditionally used to describe the electrical wire strung along power poles. Number of pairs are bundled together in a cable. Physical description • • • Two insulated copper wires arranged in regular spiral pattern. No shielding or protection from noise interference is used. by using different twist length for neighboring pairs. Figure4. A twisted pair consists of two conductors (normally copper). each with its own plastic insulation.
while shielded twisted-pair (STP) cabling is typically used in Token Ring networks. the two wires are twisted around each other at regular intervals. STP is more expensive as compared to UTP. It also can eliminate a phenomenon called crosstalk. . UTP is cheap. TP cable can be either unshielded TP (UTP) cable or shielded TP (STP) cable. which results in an uneven load and a damaged signal. however. STP cabling is the default type of cabling for IBM Token Ring networks. Crosstalk is the undesired effect of one circuit (or channel) on another circuit (or channel). The twists in the cabling reduce the effects of crosstalk and make the cabling more resistant to electromagnetic interference (EMI). Twisted-pair cabling used in Ethernet networking is usually unshielded twistedpair (UTP) cabling. If. and easy to install. The degree of reduction in noise interference is determined specifically by the number of turns per foot. UTP cabling comes in different grades for different purposes. It has an impedance of 150 ohms. one pair of wires is typically used for transmitting data while another pair receives data. Shielding means metallic material added to cabling to reduce susceptibility to noise due to electromagnetic interference (EMI). air conditioners. Crosstalk effect can be experienced during telephone conversations when one can hear other conversations in the background. Twisted pair cable supports both analog and digital signals. IBM produced a version of TP cable for its use called STP. or other noisy electrical components. the wire closest to the source of the noise gets more interference and ends up with a higher voltage level than the wire farther away. and is used primarily in networking environments with a high amount of EMI due to motors. To further improve noise rejection. power lines. UTP is used in many LAN technologies.In past. If the two wires are parallel. In computer networking environments that use twisted-pair cabling. a foil or wire braid shield is woven around the twisted pairs. It occurs when one line picks up some of the signal traveling down another line. has a maximum length of 90 meters. Cables without a shield are called Unshielded Twisted Pair or UTP. However. Twisted-pair cabling with additional shielding to reduce crosstalk and other forms of electromagnetic interference (EMI). Cables with a shield are called Shielded Twisted Pair and commonly abbreviated STP. each wire is closer to the noise source for half the time and farther away for the other half. including Ethernet and Token Ring. two parallel flat wires were used for communication. which helps maintain a high signal-to-noise ratio for reliable network communication. flexible. Increasing the number of turns per foot reduces the noise interference. electromagnetic interference from devices such as a motor can create noise over those wires. Metal casing used in STP improves the quality of cable by preventing the penetration of noise. STP cable has a metal foil that encases each pair of insulated conductors.
Categories are determined by cable quality. the higher the supported transmission rate and the greater the cost per foot. This standard designates which wire goes with each pin inside the connector. Category CAT 1 CAT 2 CAT 3 CAT 4 CAT 5 CAT 6 CAT 7 Data Rate < 100 Kbps 4 Mbps 10 Mbps 20 Mbps 100 Mbps 200 Mbps 600 Mbps Digital/Analog Analog Analog/Digital Digital Digital Digital Digital Digital Use Telephone systems Voice + Data Transmission Ethernet 10BaseT LANs Token based or 10baseT LANs Ethernet 100BaseT LANs LANs LANs Table 4. The tighter the twisting. The cable has four pairs of wires inside the jacket. Unshielded Twisted Pair Connector The standard connector for unshielded twisted pair cabling is an RJ-45 connector. Each pair is twisted with a different number of twists per inch to help eliminate interference from adjacent pairs and other electrical devices. This is a plastic connector that looks like a large telephone-style connector. A slot allows the RJ-45 to be inserted only one way. . with CAT 1 as the lowest and CAT 7 as the highest.1: Categories of UTP cable Figure 4. implying that the connector follows a standard borrowed from the telephone industry.5: Unshielded twisted pair cable The quality of UTP may vary from telephone-grade wire to extremely highspeed cable.The Electronic Industries Association (EIA) has developed standards to classify UTP cable into seven categories. RJ stands for Registered Jack.
Copper Distributed Data Interface (CDDI). .Figure 4. AWG #26 patch cables. Table 4. as shown in the table 4.7 : STP cable Transmission characteristics • • Requires amplifiers for analog signals.2 STP Cabling Categories : Category IBM Type 1 IBM Type 1A Description Token Ring transmissions on AWG #22 wire up to 20 Mbps. Requires repeaters for digital signals. Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI).2 : STP Cabling categories IBM Type 2A IBM Type 6A Figure 4.6 : RJ-45 connector STP cabling comes in various grades or categories defined by the EIA/TIA wiring standards. and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) transmission up to 300 Mbps. Hybrid combination of STP data cable and CAT3 voice cable in one jacket.
Subject to external electromagnetic interference.• • • • • • • Attenuation is a strong function of frequency. Twisting reduces low frequency interference. coax has a central core conductor of solid or standard wire (usually copper) enclosed in an . Coaxial cabling has been largely replaced by twisted-pair cabling for local area network (LAN) installations within buildings. Better performance at higher data rates. • • • • • • Ordinary telephone wire. Shielded twisted pair (STP) Applications of TP cable • • • • Most common transmission media for both digital and analog signals. Susceptible to interference and noise. • COAXIAL CABLE A form of network cabling used primarily in older Ethernet networks and in electrically noisy industrial environments. Shielding with metallic braids or sheathing reduces interference. TP cables are used in telephone lines to provide voice and data channels. Different twist length in adjacent pairs reduces crosstalk. Improvement possibilities. Higher frequency implies higher attenuation. and by fiber-optic cabling for high-speed network backbones. The name “coax” comes from its two-conductor construction in which the conductors run concentrically with each other along the axis of the cable. Comparison of Unshielded and shielded twisted pairs Unshielded twisted pair (UTP). Local Area Network (LAN) also uses twisted-pair cable. Reduces interference. The line that connects subscribers to the central telephone office is most commonly UTP cable. Instead of having two wires. More expensive and difficult to work compared to UTP. Shielded with a metallic braid or sheath. Coaxial cable (or coax) carries signals of higher frequency ranges than twisted-pair cable. The DSL lines that are used by the telephone companies to provide high data rate connections also use high bandwidth capability UTP cable.
8 : Coaxial cable Figure (b) The outer metallic wrapping serves both as a shield against and as the second conductor. Can be used over longer distances and support more stations on a shared line than twisted pair. Figure (a) Figure 4. This outer conductor is also enclosed in an insulating sheath. encased in an outer conductor of metal foil. or a combination of the two (also usually copper). Physical description • • • • • • • Consists of two conductors with construction that allows it to operate over a wider range of frequencies compared to twisted pair. Shielded concentric construction reduces interference and crosstalk. Inner conductor held in place by regularly spaced insulating rings or solid dielectrical material.insulating sheath. Hollow outer cylindrical conductor surrounding a single inner wire conductor. it can support greater cable lengths between n/w devices than twisted pair cable. and the whole cable is protected by a plastic cover. The most common are: . Coaxial cable Standards Although Coaxial cabling is difficult to install. Outer conductor covered with a jacket or shield. In addition.5 cm. Diameter from 1 to 2. Coaxial cable supports both analog and digital signals. which is. in turn. which completes the circuit. Coaxial cabling comes in various types and grades. it is highly resistant to signal interference. braid.
Used in thick Ethernet. including the wire gauge (gauge is the measure of the thickness of the wire) of the inner conductor. Figure 4. and the size and type of the outer casting. This grade of coaxial cabling is generally designated as RG-58A/U cabling.9 : Thicknet Coaxial Cable Thinnet coaxial cabling. which has a stranded conductor and a 53-ohm impedance. RG-58. which is an older form of cabling used for legacy 10Base5 Ethernet backbone installations. This kind of cabling uses BNC connectors for connecting to other networking components.10: Thinnet Coaxial cable ARCNET cabling. Used in thick Ethernet. Figure 4. which uses thin coaxial cabling called RG-62 cabling with an impedance of 93 ohms. and must have terminators at free ends to prevent signal bounce. Coaxial cables are categorized by radio government (RG) rating. Used in thick Ethernet. the thickness and type of inner insulator. RG-59 cabling. RG-11. which is used for cable television (CATV) connections. Each RG number denotes a unique set of physical specifications. which is used in 10 Base2 networks for small Ethernet installations. RG-9. Used in thin Ethernet. • • • • RG-8. Strictly speaking. This cabling is generally yellow and is referred to as RG-8 or N-series cabling. .3 cabling is true thicknet cabling.Thicknet cabling. the construction o the shield. only cabling labeled as IEEE 802.
Requires amplifiers every few kilometers for long distance transmission. Requires repeaters every few kilometers for digital transmission. • • . Usable spectrum for analog signaling up to 500 MHz. we need coaxial connector. Can support higher frequencies and data rates. Coaxial cabling is often used in heavy industrial environments where motors and generators produce a lot of electromagnetic interference (EMI). Used in cable TV. • • • • • Application of Coaxial cable • • The use of coaxial cable started in analog telephone networks where a single coaxial network could carry 10. Shielded concentric construction makes it less susceptible to interference and crosstalk than twisted pair. For both analog and digital transmission. Most common use is in cable TV.000 voice signals. or BNC connector. and intermodulation noise.11: BNC connector Transmission characteristics • • • • Used to transmit both analog and digital signals. Superior frequency characteristics compared to twisted pair. Constraints on performance are attenuation. and where more expensive fiber-optic cabling is unnecessary because of the slow data rates needed. Figure 4. coaxial cable in telephone n/ws has largely been replaced toady with fiber-optic cable). Later it was used in digital telephone networks where a single coaxial cable could carry digital data up to 600 Mbps.• RG-59. closer spacing is necessary for higher frequencies/data rates. The most common type of connector used today is the Bayone-Neill-Concelman. (However. To connect coaxial cable to devices. thermal noise.
When light travels into a denser medium. the slower the speed). or Thick Ethernet. 10Base5.00. and when light travels into a less dense medium. A beam of light moving from a less dense into a denser medium is bent towards vertical axis. If a ray of light traveling through one substance suddenly enters another (more or less dense). Critical Angle : A beam of light moving from a denser into a less dense medium. uses RG-11 to transmit 10 Mbps with a range of 5000 m. Light is a form of electromagnetic energy. A fiber-optic cable is made of glass or plastic and transmits signals in the form of light. refraction . which it is traveling (the higher the density. the angle of incidence is less than the angle of refraction. and connections to high-performance workstations. the angle of incidence is greater than the angle of refraction. coaxial cable was chosen for digital transmission in early Ethernet LANs. Less Dense More Dense I I = Critical Angle. and consequently high data rate. It travels at its fastest in a vacuum: 3. Refraction : The direction in which a light ray is refracted depends on the change in density encountered. The speed of light depends on the density of the medium through. or Thin Ethernet. Light travels in a straight line as long as it is moving through a single uniform substance.000 kilometers/sec. Fiber-optic cabling has higher bandwidth capacity than copper cabling.• Another common application of coaxial cable is in traditional Ethernet LANs. This change is called. 10Base-2. and is used mainly for high-speed network Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) or Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) backbones. uses RG-58 coaxial cable with BNC connectors to transmit data at 10 Mbps with a range of 185 m. long cable runs. Because of its high bandwidth. • • FIBER-OPTIC CABLE Fiber-optic is a glass cabling media that sends network signals using light. as the angle of incidence increases the angle of refraction also increases. the ray changes direction.
No energy radiation. security from eavesdropping.12 : Critical Angle At some point in this process.Figure 4. Comparison of optical fiber with twisted pair and coaxial cable 1. A glass or plastic core is surrounded by cladding of less dense glass or plastic.13 : Reflection Optical fiber use reflection to guide light through a channel. Greater repeater spacing . Significantly lower attenuation EM isolation (Resistance to noise). Much lighter and easy to support in terms of weight (structural properties). Smaller size and lightweight • • 3. Information is encoded onto a beam of light as a series of on-off flashes that represents 1 and 0s. 4. with the refracted beam now lying along with horizontal. The incident angle at this pt is known as the critical angle. reflection Figure 4. 5. Reflection : When the angle of incidence becomes greater than the critical angle. Less Dense More Dense I I = Critical Angle. little interference with other devices. Very thin for similar data capacity. or crosstalk. • • • Not affected by external EM (Electromagnetic) fields. Capacity • • 2. The difference in density of the two materials must be such that a beam of light moving through the core is reflected off the cladding instead of being refracted into it. Light no longer passes into the less dense medium at all. Can carry hundreds of Gbps (Gigabit per second) over tens of Kilometers (kms). Much higher bandwidth. impulse noise. a new phenomenon occurs called reflection. the change in the incident angle results in a refracted angle of 90 degrees. Not vulnerable to interference.
Some 10 billion digital bits can be transmitted per second along an optical fiber link in a commercial network. and electric utility companies.• • • Lower cost and fewer error sources. Fiber optic networks operate at high speeds . the light pulses are funneled into the fiber-optic medium where they transmit themselves down the line. Today's telephone companies use optical fiber throughout their system as the backbone architecture and as the long-distance connection between city phone systems. A fiber-optic system is similar to the copper wire system that fiber-optics is replacing. The transmitter accepts coded electronic pulse information coming from copper wire. Attenuation limits are based on intended application. That is. Using a lens. It then processes and translates that information into equivalently coded light pulses. Today's optical fiber attenuation ranges from 0. They span the long distances between local phone systems as well as providing the backbone for many network systems. Telephone companies began early on. Signals can be transmitted further without needing to be "refreshed" or strengthened. 1% of the light would remain after traveling 1 km.5dB/km to 1000dB/km depending on the optical fiber used. . Other system users include cable television services. since the first commercial installation of a fiber-optic system in 1977. Speed 7. A light-emitting diode (LED) or an injection-laser diode (ILD) can be used for generating the light pulses. This is the place of origin for information coming on to fiber-optic lines. The difference is that fiber-optics use light pulses to transmit information down fiber lines instead of using electronic pulses to transmit information down copper lines. 6. replacing their old copper wire systems with optical fiber lines. university campuses. Looking at the components in a fiber-optic chain will give a better understanding of how the system works in conjunction with wire based systems. enough to carry tens of thousands of telephone calls. Distance 8. office buildings.up into the gigabits. Maintenance • The use of fiber-optics was generally not available until 1970 when Corning Glass Works was able to produce a fiber with a loss of 20 dB/km. The applications of optical fiber communications have increased at a rapid rate. In recent years it has become apparent that fiber-optics are steadily replacing copper wire as an appropriate means of communication signal transmission. At one end of the system is a transmitter. Fiber optic cables costs much less to maintain. industrial plants. It was recognized that optical fiber would be feasible for telecommunication transmission only if glass could be developed so pure that attenuation would be 20dB/km or less.
The light source can either be a light-emitting diode (LED)) or a laser." guiding the light introduced at one end of the cable through to the other end. Light pulses move easily down the fiber-optic line because of a principle known as total internal reflection.an equivalent length of copper cable cost less per foot but not in capacity. In other words. Transparent glass or plastic fibers. although some fibers are all plastic or a glass core and plastic cladding. The light source is pulsed on and off. When this principle is applied to the construction of the fiber-optic strand. The fiber is coated with a protective plastic covering called the "primary buffer coating" that protects it from moisture and other damage. for example in MHz-km. a 500-MHz-km fiber-optic cable can transmit a signal a distance of 5 kilometers at a frequency of 100 MHz (5 x 100 = 500). While fiber optic cable itself has become cheaper over time . If you shine a flashlight in one you can see light at the far end . Fiber optic cable connectors and the equipment needed to install them are still more expensive than their copper counterparts. "This principle of total internal reflection states that when the angle of incidence exceeds a critical value. Bandwidth is usually expressed in frequency distance form. which allows light to be guided from one end to the other with minimal loss.14: Fiber Optic cable The light is "guided" down the center of the fiber called the "core". or a distance of 50 kilometers at a frequency of 10 MHz (50 x 10 = 500). instead. and a light-sensitive receiver on the other end of the cable converts the pulses back into the digital ones and zeros of the original signals. The core is surrounded by an optical material called the "cladding" that traps the light in the core using an optical technique called "total internal reflection." The core and cladding are usually made of ultra-pure glass.Think of a fiber cable in terms of very long cardboard roll (from the inside roll of paper towel) that is coated with a mirror. Fiber optic cable functions as a "light guide. Figure 4. it is possible to transmit information down fiber lines in the form of light pulses.even if bent the roll around a corner. light cannot get out of the glass. . The bandwidth of a fiber-optic cable depends on the distance as well as the frequency. the light bounces back in.
Propagation Mode Multimode Figure 4. the density of the core remains constant from the center to the edges. Multimode fiber gives you high bandwidth at high speeds over medium distances. In multimode step-index fiber. However.5.4 meter).5). Light waves are dispersed into numerous paths. there is an inverse relationship between frequency and distance for transmission over fiber-optic cables. Source Destination . or modes. multiple paths of light can cause signal distortion at the receiving end. resulting in an unclear and incomplete data transmission.In other words. There are two basic types of fiber: multimode fiber and single-mode fiber. 62. Typical multimode fiber core diameters are 50. in long cable runs (greater than 3000 feet [914. Multimode cable is made of glass fibers. as they travel through the cable's core typically 850 or 1300 nm. with a common diameters in the 50-to-100 micron range for the light carry component (the most common size is 62. Propagation Mode There are two different modes for propagating light along optical channels: multimode and single mode.15: Propagation modes Multimode Single Mode Multimode is so named because multiple beams from a light source move through the core in different paths. and 100 micrometers.
losing its well-defined shape. signal distortion can result when step-index fiber is used for long cable runs. referred to as modes. These alternative pathways cause the different groupings of light rays. whereas others zigzag as they bounce off the cladding. reducing its travel distance. . an aggregate of different modes. called multimode graded index fiber. rather than zigzagging off the cladding. there is an abrupt change to a lower density that alters the angle of beam’s motion. At the interface. some of the light rays that make up the digital pulse may travel a direct route. begins to spread out. but straight rays in the core axis. A second type of fiber. Because light can take many different paths down the cable and each path takes a different amount of time. a digital pulse suffers less dispersion. for instance. therefore. Step-index multimode fiber has a large core. the amount of information that can be sent. to arrive separately at a receiving point. Consequently. The shortened path and the higher speed allow light at the periphery to arrive at a receiver at about the same time as the slow. decreases this distortion of the signal through the cable. It is less costly variety of multimode fiber. is one with varying density. The term step-index refers to the suddenness of this change. A graded-index fiber.17 : Multimode. in an endoscope. The word index here refers to the index of refraction. The result. Graded-index multimode fiber contains a core in which the refractive index diminishes gradually from the center axis out toward the cladding. Source Destination Figure 4. it uses a wide core with a uniform index of refraction. The need to leave spacing between pulses to prevent overlapping limits bandwidth that is. The higher refractive index at the center makes the light rays moving down the axis advance more slowly than those near the cladding. Density is highest at the center of the core and decreases gradually to its lowest at the edge. Also. light in the core curves helically because of the graded index. graded-index fiber Index of refraction is related to density. this type of fiber is best suited for transmission over short distances.16 : Multimode. up to 100 microns in diameter. causing the light beams to reflect in mirror fashion off the inside surface of the core by the process of total internal reflection.Figure 4. As a result. Step-index fiber A beam of light moves through this constant density in straight line until it reaches the interface of the core and the cladding. Use this type only for short cable runs. The pulse.
Fiber Type 62. Single Mode cable is a single stand of glass fiber with a diameter of 8.0 8. both expressed in microns (micrometer). The small core and single light-wave virtually eliminate any distortion that could result from overlapping light pulses.0 100. Single-mode fiber is also called as monomode optical fiber. through which only one mode will propagate typically 1310 or 1550 nm. single-mode optical waveguide. Carries higher bandwidth than multimode fiber.18 : Single-mode fiber Single-mode fiber gives you a higher transmission rate and up to 50 times more distance than multimode. but requires a light source with a narrow spectral width. The decrease in density results in a critical angle that is close enough to 90 degrees to make the propagation of beams almost horizontal. unimode fiber. Single Mode Fiber with a relatively narrow diameter.Single Mode Single mode uses step-index fiber and a highly focused source of light that limits beams to small range of angles.3/125 Core 62. Single-mode fiber has a much smaller core than multimode. all close to the horizontal.3 Cladding 125 125 140 125 .5/125 50/125 100/140 8. and with substantially lower density (index of refraction).5 50. but it also costs more. Fiber Sizes Optical fibers are defined by the ratio of the diameter of their core to the diameter of their cladding. The single mode fiber is manufactured with a much smaller diameter than that of multimode fibers.3 to 10 microns that has one mode of transmission. Source Destination Figure 4. providing the least signal attenuation and the highest transmission speeds of any fiber cable type.
Single mode fiber has a very small core causing light to travel in a straight line and typically has a core size of 8 or 10 microns. higher bandwidth 8.3/125 ILD Multimode Fiber Lower Lower Modal Dispersion Step index and Graded index Short transmission.5/125 LED/ILD Table 4. Light Source LED ILD .3 : Fiber Types The last size listed is used only for single mode. Single Mode Fiber Bandwidth Signal Quality Main Source of Attenuation Fiber Designs Application care/cladding Light source High High Chromatic Dispersion Step index. For transmission to occur. Multimode fiber supports multiple paths of light and has a much larger core and has a core size of 50 or 62. and Dispersion shifted Long transmission.4: Single Mode and Multimode Characteristics Light Sources for Optical Fiber The purpose of fiber-optic cable is to contain and direct a beam of light from source to destination.Table 4. lower bandwidth 62. the sending device must be equipped with a light source and the receiving device with a photosensitive cell (called a photodiode) capable of translating the received light into current usable by a computer.5 microns. The light source can be either a light-emitting diode (LED) or an injection laser diode (ILD).
Since a pulse of light from the laser usually contains several wavelengths. Some cable TV companies use a combination of optical-fiber and coaxial cable.Figure 4.19: Light source in fiber optic cable LEDs are the cheaper source. poor coupling efficiency to fibers. Laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (LASER). Every laser has a range of optical wavelengths. and the speed of light in fused silica (fiber) varies with the wavelength of the light. SONET n/w provides such backbone. but they provide unfocused light that strikes the boundaries of the channel at uncontrollable angles and diffuses over distance. The net result is that the received pulse is wider than the transmitted one. Lasers. A signal can run for 50 km without requiring regeneration. on the other hand. Laser signals preserve the character of the signal over considerable distances. Higher Bandwidth : Higher data rate than TP & coaxial cable. Applications of fiber-optic cable • • • • Fiber-optic cable is often found in backbone networks because its wide b/w is cost-effective. low carrier density. Local Area Networks (LANs) such as 100BaseFx network (Fast Ethernet) and 1000Base-X also use fiber-optic cable. The refractive index of fiber decreases as wavelength increases. Modulation bandwidth of LED is up to 100–200 MHz. Problems with LEDs : Light-emitting volume is large. allowing control over the angle of incidence. so longer wavelengths travel faster. is a superposition of the variously delayed pulses at the different wavelengths. these wavelengths tend to get spread out in time after traveling some distance in the fiber. can be focused to a very narrow range. For this reason. . Telephone companies also using optical-fiber cable. LEDs are limited to short-distance use. or more precisely. Advantages of fiber-optic cable 1. 2. We need repeaters after every 5km for coaxial or TP cable. Less signal attenuation: Fiber-optic transmission distance is significantly greater than that of other guided media.
Copper cable equals approximately 80 lbs/1000 feet while fiber weighs about 9 lbs/1000 feet. Electrical is cheaper. 4.5 : Cable types Vs bandwidth used 2. Disadvantages of fiber-optic cable.3. 1. For example. Noise resistance : Because fiber-optic transmission uses light rather than electricity. noise is not a factor. a single-strand fiber strand could carry all the telephone conversations in the United States at peak hour. and has a higher base cost. Copper cables create antennas that can easily be tapped. Bend it too much and it will break! Trade-offs between electrical and optical cable 1. Fragility : Glass fiber is more easily broken than wire. 2. External light. especially for short distances. Optical fiber can carry thousands of times more information than copper wire. the only possible interference. 8. making it less useful for applications where h/w portability is required. Thus. 5. Limited physical arc of cable of cable. Glass propagates light better than copper propagates electrical currents. Fiber optic cable can carry signals for longer distance without repeater than co-axial cable. Installation/maintenance expertise : Installation and maintenance need expertise that is not yet available everywhere. More immune to tapping (or Security) : Fiber-optic cables are more immune to tapping than copper cables. because silicon circuits can send and receive over wires directly. 5.t the bandwidth. optical requires multiple die. Reliability : Fiber is more reliable than copper and has a longer life span. 3.r. Other semiconductor materials are required to implement the lasers for optical communication. . Optical provides better performance at high-bandwidths and long distances. Unidirectional : Propagation of light is unidirectional. Following table shows the comparison of guided media w. 7. Table 4. Light weight : Fiber-optic cables are much lighter than copper cables. 4. Cost : Fiber-optic cable is more expensive. 6. is blocked from the channel by the outer jacket. Fiber is more lightweight than copper.
Graded Index Fiber Data rate is higher. Step Index Fiber Data rate is slow.3 µm. 4. typically 0.3 µm. Attenuation of light source is more. LED and Laser. Attenuation of light source is 6.100 MHz 0 . 3.34 dB/km at 1. refractive index of the fiber throughout the bulk of the core. Pulse spreading by fiber length is more. .5 MHz 0 . Only glass is preferred. Normally plastic or glass is preferred.Cable Type Open Cable Twisted Pair Coaxial Cable Optical Fiber Bandwidth 0 .6 to 1 dB/km at 1. typically 0. Coupling efficiency with fiber is higher. Typical light source is LED. less.600 MHz 0 . Lower coupling efficiency. The light rays do not travel in a straight line due to continuous refraction.1 GHz 4. 2. 5. This is due to continuously changing refractive index throughout the core bulk. Pulse spreading by fiber length is less. The light rays travel in a straight line due to constant 7.3 COMPARISONS Comparison of Step Index and Graded Index Fiber Sr No 1.
6. Broad spectrum 3. Used in subscribers local area network communication Local and wide are networks.e. It uses glass or plastic to carry Comparison of Guided medias Sr No 1. 4. Fiber Optic Cable (FOC) It uses optical form of signal (i. Comparison of LED and Laser Diode Sr No Light Emitting Diode (LED) 1. Laser Diode (LD) Stimulated emission.8. 2. More temperature sensitivity. Twisted-Pair Cable It uses electrical signals for transmission. Comparison of Single mode and Multimode fiber Sr No 1. Intermodal dispersion exists. The different modes have different group velocities and each mode will follow its own path between the transmitter and receiver. Less temperature sensitivity. Smaller transmission distance. It uses metallic conductor to carry the . These are fabricated using the multicomponent glasses. Single Mode Fiber These fibers support only one mode of propagation. It uses metallic conductor to carry the Coaxial Cable It uses electrical signals for transmission. (20 nm to 100 nm) 4. Data rate is low. 2. 3. These are high quality fiber for wideband long haul transmission and are fabricated from doped silica for reducing the attenuation. Spontaneous emission. Very large transmission distance. Low cost Used in moderate distance low data rate application. 5. Used in long distance high data rate application. Much narrow spectrum (1 to 5 nm) Data rate is very high. The traveling signal inside the fiber has only one group velocity. 2. Multimode Fiber These fibers support the propagation of many modes. light) for transmission. 8. Intermodal dispersion does not present. Output beam is coherent. 7. Output beam is non-coherent. High cost.
Higher noise immunity than twisted-pair cable due to the presence of shielding conductor. Guided medium. Therefore more distortion. Power loss due to conduction. Highest noise immunity as the light rays are unaffected by the electrical noise. . Short circuit between two conductors is possible. dispersion. Not affected by the external magnetic filed. Twisted Pair. 4. Dependent on characteristics of medium and signal. Less affected due to external magnetic filed.signal. Noise immunity is low. signal. Coaxial cable (or coax) carries signals of higher frequency ranges than twisted-pair cable. May be guided (wired) or unguided (wireless). 7. Moderately costly Moderately high data rates. the signal. Short circuit is not possible. Cheapest Can support low data rates. 3. scattering. Power loss due to conduction and radiation. Moderately high bandwidth. Short circuit between two conductors is possible. 9. Affected due to external magnetic filed. A fiber-optic cable is made of glass or plastic and transmits signals in the form of light. Communication achieved by using EM waves. 5. • Medium is more important in setting transmission parameters. Power loss due to absorption. Very high bandwidth. Costly Very high data rates. Characteristics and quality of data transmission. Coaxial Cable. 8. Low bandwidth.4 SUMMARY Transmission medium Physical path between transmitter and receiver. There 4 basic types of Guided Media : Open Wire. and Optical Fiber. 4. 6.