Bend-Insensitive Multimode Fiber Cable: Facts or Fictions

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Over the years there have been a lot of controversial topics surrounding fiber optic cable – from cost effectiveness, to use of tight buffer cables outdoors – but I don’t think I have seen a topic heat up as quickly as the buzz in the marketplace about bend insensitive multi-mode fiber (BIMMF) use.

There are two major manufacturers weighing in heavily on this topic. CommScope on one hand, has issued documentation stating, among other issues, that BIMMFs are not compatible with traditional fiber cables, and will cause forward compatibility issues with different BIMMFs. Corning, on the other hand, has introduced their ClearCurve® product line, and have issued significant data including a brand new website where they have compiled an entire case for use of this new product.

So what do you think?

Read CommScope’s White Papers: Bend Insenitive Multimode Fiber – is the reward worth the risk? And Read their follow-up white paper

Visit Corning’s website “The Truth about Bending” for information supporting the opposing viewpoint

3 Responses to Bend-Insensitive Multimode Fiber Cable: Facts or Fictions

  1. Tom Randstrom said on
    April 2, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    So what is CSC’s opinion regarding the splicing compatibility between standard MMF and BIMMF? I would propose that a possible solution would be to connect different fiber types using an optical connector versus splicing.

    FYI… Bend Insensitive Multimode Fiber would be abbreviated BIMMF (vs BIMFF). :)

    • Stefanie Rembiszewski said on
      April 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm

      Tom,
      Great question. I posed it to one of CSC’s many technical experts, Fran Mazzulla-Garro, RCDD. Here is her response:
      The statement backwards compatibility proposes the unique challenge here; “not all bend-insensitive multimode fibers are created equal”.
      Very few manufacturers are able to produce high bandwidth multimode fibers that offer exceptional bend capacity that also meet all the specifications of traditional multimode performance.
      As this is the bigger issue, my recommendation to you is to present these questions directly to the manufacturer. Every application requires more questions than this blog can even begin to address.
      -Fran
      …And, of course – thank you for the correction on my BIMMF – notice I have corrected it :)

  2. Kevin Paschal said on
    April 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Interoperability is a primary concern when evaluating MMF or BIMMF for your network. The measurements of key attributes, such as Numerical Aperture, Core Diameter, and DMD are important factors that relate to system bandwidth and connection loss. These attributes have great impact on interoperability. These critical measurement methods are also being evaluated by the Telecommunciations Industry Association (TIA) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for accuracy. It is likely that the Standards measurement methods may need to be modified to properly evaluate these new fiber types. Until the technical community has evaluated the impact of the bend insensitive trench feature on these measurement methods and new/updated standards are developed to include BIMMF, there is a risk of incompatibility between BIMMF and traditional fibers, as well as between BIMMFs from different manufacturers.

    For more detail on the risks of BIMMF, review the CommScope white paper links, already provided in the blog thread. Another good source of information is the OFS white paper “5 Things You Should Know about Bend-Insensitive Multimode Fiber” February 2011 that can be found at http://www.ofsoptics.com/resources/5-Things-Bend-Insensitive-Multimode.pdf

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