Definition and Overview
Fiber-optic communications is based on the principle that light in a glass medium can carry more information over longer distances than electrical signals can carry in a copper or coaxial medium. The purity of today's glass fiber, combined with improved system electronics, enables fiber to transmit digitized light signals well beyond 100 km (60 miles) without amplification. With few transmission losses, low interference, and high bandwidth potential, optical fiber is an almost ideal transmission medium.
The advantages provided by optical fiber systems are the result of a continuous stream of product innovations and process improvements. As the requirements and emerging opportunities of optical fiber systems are better understood, fiber is improved to address them. This tutorial provides an extensive overview of the history, construction, operation, and benefits of optical fiber, with particular emphasis on outside vapor deposition (OVD) process.