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What is TOSLINK?

by:TBT     2020-08-30
The term TOSLINK originates from Toshiba-link, an optical fiber connectivity system, initially developed by Toshiba to be used for CD players. From then, it has become the de facto yardstick for other CD player manufacturers. But it was never limited only to CD players as it is now broadly used for factory automation, office automation, car audio and navigation system and many more. Essentially, it is a data transmission system that utilizes the optical systems, substituting electrical signals. They are more dependable compared to the transmission of electrical data as the distortion or electromagnetic noise will not affect the digital transmission of sound or data, neither does it release any electromagnetic sounds.
The Toshiba TOSLINK comes in a variety of packages for digital audio applications, ranging up to 25Mbps, appropriate for DVD audio signal transmission. It also offers high-speed optical transceivers for applications such as IEEE1394 and Fast Ethernet. Basically it consists of several components; transmission module that converts electrical signals into optical ones; receiving module that reconverts the optical signals back to electrical signals; optical fiber cable that functions as the physical transmission line; and optical connectors that link the transmission and receiving modules to the optical fiber cable.
A common TOSLINK cable will use the low-cost 1mm plastic fiber. Nevertheless, it also uses higher quality multi-strand plastic optical fibers or quartz glass optical fibers, depending on the necessary application and bandwidth. Optical fiber cable contains two segments; the center of the cable referred to as core and the outer section is called cladding. This sort of assembly will ensure that the optical rays will be reflected at the boundary between the cladding and core upon the transmission through an angle to the axis of the cable. The optical rays will be transmitted longitudinally via the core.
There are several types of optical fibers for the Toshiba TOSLINK. They include the all-plastic fiber used for data transmission for short distance, the silica fiber used for long distance transmission and the plastic-cladding silica fiber (PCF) used for moderate distance of data transmission.
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