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Fiber Optic Multiplexers - What Are They?

by:TBT     2020-08-13
A fiber optic multiplexer is, basically, a device where one input can be routed to many different outputs, usually 16. It utilizes fiber optic technology, is usually controlled by use of software and a rotator block, and has an optical path that is actually coupled through several COL-UV/VIS collimating lenses. So, this is basically what a fiber optic multiplexer what exactly do these devices do, and what are they used for? Well, that is a good question, and here is some information that might help you. While it is hard to tell you everything about a fiber multiplexer in one article, here are some things that might help you to better understand the complex operations of this device.
Basically, fiber optic multiplexers are used at one end of a fiber optic cable so that many, many things can send information over that same wire. It is like a giant multi-input connector, allowing for several signal inputs that are then sent over a single strand of fiber optic cable. This information travels along this wire until, usually, it comes into contact with a demultiplexer, which is like another attachment at the end of the cable that again splits up the signals and sends them on their way.
One of the most obvious uses for a fiber multiplexer is the fact that it saves a lot of money. Cable is not cheap, but it does have the ability to send several communications over its length at the same time. So, by putting a multiplexer at one end, and a demultiplexer at the other, a company can save a ton of money on fiber optic cable.
In a way, the ensuing network of information, and the way that it travels, can be compared to a large freeway. This large freeway might connect two very large cities, and in the morning, there might be a ton of traffic that gets on the freeway in one city headed for the other. However, while all of the traffic is using the same freeway, it neither actually all came from the exact same place, nor is it all headed in the exact same place.
The traffic trickled onto the freeway from various side roads in one city, and it will exit in the same manner when it reaches its destination. In this way, the illustration is a lot like a fiber multiplexer/demultiplexer system, with the cars being the information, the cities being the multiplexers, and the freeway being the fiber cable.
This is a very basic way to describe how a fiber multiplexer works, but hopefully it helps you understand. It is not an overly tough concept to grasp, even though fiber optics are still a technology that can stump about anybody who does not work with it all the time. The best way to learn about fiber optic cable is to either research it, or to actually work with it in a network or a system. A lot of different industries now make use of the speed with which fiber optic can deliver information. Light travels a lot faster than electric signals, after all.
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