An optical splitter is a passive optical device that can split an input optical signal into multiple output optical signals, and is widely used in passive optical fiber networks. According to different working principles, optical splitters are divided into PLC optical splitters (planar waveguide optical splitters) and FBT optical splitters (fused tapered optical splitters), then you are right about these two optical splitters How much do you know? Do you know the difference between them? After reading this article, you will have a clearer understanding of them.
First of all, before understanding the difference between PLC optical splitters and FBT optical splitters, let’s briefly understand these two optical splitters.
The PLC optical splitter is manufactured with semiconductor technology, which can provide a good solution for larger split configuration applications. The PLC optical splitter is to fabricate the waveguide on the quartz glass substrate by photolithography technology, so that a specific percentage (equal ratio) of light can be routed. Usually, the optical division ratio of the PLC optical splitter is 1:4/1:8/1:16/1:32/1:64, with bare fiber PLC optical splitter, miniature steel pipe PLC splitter, ABS box type PLC optical splitter, splitter type PLC optical splitter, tray type PLC optical splitter, rack type PLC optical splitter, LGX optical splitter and miniature plug-in PLC optical splitter and other types.
The FBT optical splitter adopts the traditional passive device manufacturing technology to bundle two or more fibers together, and achieve fusion stretching through a tapering machine. Because the fused optical fiber is relatively fragile, a glass tube made of epoxy resin and silica is usually placed outside the fused optical fiber. At the same time, a layer of stainless steel tube is placed outside the glass tube, and finally sealed with silicon. With the mature development of technology, the cost-effectiveness of FBT optical splitter is getting higher and higher.
It can be seen from the above that the manufacturing process of the PLC optical splitter and the FBT optical splitter are different. In addition, the two optical splitters also have the following differences:
The working wavelength of the PLC optical splitter is between 1260nm and 1650nm, and the wavelength can be adjusted to support more application environments; while the FBT optical splitter only supports three wavelengths of 850nm/1310nm/1550nm, and cannot work at other wavelengths .
The splitting ratio refers to the ratio of the input optical signal to the output optical signal of the optical splitter. The splitting ratio of the PLC optical splitter is as high as 1:64, while that of the FBT optical splitter is 1:32. Relatively speaking, the PLC optical splitter can provide higher reliability. However, the optical division ratio of FBT optical splitter is variable and supports customization, such as 1:3, 1:7, 1:11, while PLC optical splitter can only choose 1:2, 1:4 , 1:8, 1:16, 1:32, 1:64 standard products.
The PLC optical splitter can achieve equal-ratio uniform light splitting, while the FBT optical splitter is packaged with multiple 1×2 connections, lacks signal management, and cannot achieve uniform light splitting, and the larger the splitting ratio, the worse the uniformity, which affects transmission distance.
At present, the mature taper process can only pull less than 1×4 at a time. Therefore, when the splitting ratio is greater than 1:8, the FBT optical splitter needs more than seven 1×2 connection packages. At this time, errors are prone to occur, resulting in failures. In other words, the greater the splitting ratio of the FBT optical splitter, the greater the failure rate. The failure rate of the PLC optical splitter is much smaller than that of the FBT optical splitter.
Temperature is a key factor affecting the insertion loss of optical devices, therefore, the stability of temperature plays a crucial role in the performance of the device. The PLC optical splitter can work stably at -40~85°C, while the operating temperature range of the FBT optical splitter is -5~75°C. Relatively speaking, the operating temperature range of the PLC optical splitter is wider. It also maintains good performance in the environment.
The manufacturing process of PLC optical splitter is complex and the chip cost is high; while FBT optical splitter is made of steel, heat shrinkable tube and other materials, due to the low material cost and simple device manufacturing technology, relatively speaking, FBT optical Splitters are cheaper.
In general, PLC optical splitters and FBT optical splitters are similar in appearance and size, but they have many differences in manufacturing process, working wavelength, temperature, etc. From the advent of the PLC optical splitter, it can be seen that the manufacturing technology of the optical splitter has made great progress in recent years. Compared with the traditional FBT optical splitter, the PLC optical splitter is a passive optical splitter with superior performance. For optical devices, if your network pair performance is high, it is recommended that you choose PLC optical splitters instead of FBT optical splitters.