Nexans Demonstrates Gigabit Ethernet Over Extended Distances on Plastic Optical Fiber

Paris, September 24, 2004 - Nexans, a worldwide leader in the cable industry, announced today that it has demonstrated that its Plastic Optical Fiber solution supports 850 nm serial transmission of Gigabit Ethernet over distances much greater than the 275 meters that is specified in the IEEE 802.3z standard for conventional 62.5/125-micron optical fiber. 

Plastic optical fiberNexans’ new Graded Index Plastic Optical Fiber (GI-POF) is being developed in its International Research Center, (Lyon, France) out of ultra high purity polymer material. A series of tests was performed using a 120/500µm GI-POF and passive optical connectivity at Nexans Data Communications Competence Center, located at Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company’s headquarters (PA, USA). The tests incorporated various channel lengths and configurations. In one test, a 400-meter link successfully supported 850 nm serial transmission of Gigabit Ethernet packets while surpassing bit error rate targets.

The trials, made possible through the collaborative effort between Nexans’ Data Communications Competence Center and the company’s Cabling Systems Competence Center (Brussels, Belgium), were performed using an IXIA chassis that contains 850 nm GbE cards capable of full duplex operation at a data rate of 1 Gbps. The IXIA device recorded all errors, fragmented or undersized frames as well as any lost frames. During the test process, more than 3 trillion (3 x 1012) frames were transmitted without error – exceeding the 802.3z targets for bit error rate.

“This is an exciting result for Nexans”, stated Kevin St. Cyr, Global Product Manager for Local Area Network (LAN) products for Nexans and President of Berk-Tek. “The fact that Plastic Optical Fiber can support Gigabit Ethernet using 850 nm serial transmission over channel lengths of this magnitude is good news to IT managers, as it provides another option when they are considering upgrading data rates or expanding links in their networks.”

Because 850 nm transmission utilizes VCSEL light sources on multimode fiber, the cost of this type of transceiver is the most economical option for campus and enterprise networks. Nexans will continue its efforts to complete the development and bring the GI-POF to market.

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About Nexans

Nexans is the worldwide leader in the cable industry. The Group brings an extensive range of advanced copper and optical fiber cable solutions to the infrastructure, industry and building markets. Nexans cables and cabling systems can be found in every area of people¿s lives, from telecommunications and energy networks, to aeronautics, aerospace, automobile, railways, building, petrochemical, medical applications, etc. With an industrial presence in 29 countries and commercial activities in 65 countries, Nexans employs 20. 000 people and had sales in 2004 of euros 4.9 billion. Nexans is listed on the Paris stock exchange.

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Nexans Data Communications Competence Center

international team of experts in the fields of cable, connectors, materials, networking, standards, communications and testing supports the competence center. The Design and Applications team uses state-of-the-art, proprietary testing and modeling tools to translate emerging system requirements into new or improved products. The Materials Development and Manufacturing Processes teams utilize sophisticated analytical capabilities that facilitate the design of superior materials and processes. The Standardization and Technology team analyzes leading edge and emerging technologies and coordinates data communication standardization efforts to continuously refine the Nexans' Technology Roadmap. The laboratories are a part of an extensive global R&D structure that includes ten competence centers and the Nexans Research Center located in Lyon, France.