International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

November 2011

 

Bright future for fibre optic standards

Lighting the way ahead

Fibre optic-based systems, which were first introduced in the late 1970s, are behind the spectacular expansion of the telecommunication, broadcast, entertainment and ICT (information and communications technology) industries of the last decades, given their ability to transmit voice, data or multimedia content.

Standards helping fibre optics sector expansion

TC (Technical Committee) 86: Fibre optics, and its SCs (Subcommittees) have been central to the development of the entire fibre optics sector. Their work on International Standards for fibres, cables and modules, devices and components such as connectors and interfaces is needed by all systems and networks.

Interoperability and reliability first

International Standards are essential to ensure that all of the components in fibre optic systems are both interoperable and reliable. Owing to the fast-moving pace of the sector, TC 86 and its SCs are constantly preparing new International Standards, or updating existing ones. November has proved a particularly busy month in terms of publications from SC 86B: Fibre optic interconnecting devices and passive components.

 

This Subcommittee has just released the following International Standards:

  • IEC 60874-1-1 Ed. 3.0, Fibre optic interconnecting devices and passive components – Fibre optic fan outs – Part 1-1: Blank details specifications. This document is not of itself a specification, but is a blank worksheet with instructions for preparing detailed specifications for fibre optic fan-outs. These are multiple cables designed for patch panels or cable ducts where saving space is a key requirement.
  • IEC 61274-1-1 Ed. 3.0, Fibre optic interconnecting devices and passive components – Adaptors for fibre optic connectors – Part 1-1: Blank detail specification. This part of the IEC 61274 series concerns fibre optic adaptors for all types, sizes and structures of optical fibre connectors. It includes adaptor requirements and quality assessment procedures.
  • IEC 61314-1-1 Ed.3.0, Fibre optic interconnecting devices and passive components – Fibre optic fan-outs – Part 1-1: Blank detail specification.
  • IEC 61300-3-39 Ed. 2.0, Fibre optic interconnecting devices and passive components – Basic test and measurement procedures – Part 3-39: Examinations and measurements – Physical Contact (PC) optical connector reference plug selection for return loss measurements. The objective of this part of IEC 61300 is to select non-angled physical contact optical connector plugs used as reference plugs when making return loss measurements and to define an acceptance return loss value for use in plug acceptance testing.

 

SC 86B also pre-released the following International Standard as FDIS (Final Draft International Standard) in August of this year. The final version will be released this month:

  • IEC 60874-1 Ed. 6.0, Fibre optic interconnecting devices and passive components – Connectors for optical fibres and cables – Part 1: Generic specification. This part of the IEC 60874 series applies to fibre optic connector sets and individual components (adaptors, plugs, sockets) for all types, sizes and structures of fibres and cables. It includes requirements that have to be met by these regarding classification, IEC specification system, materials, quality, performance, etc.

Growing demand for standards

The introduction of fibre optic-based components, such as circuit boards, into other equipment, such as computers, control and monitoring systems, and the constant need for greater capacity in networks, means that new standards will be needed to enable all of the systems that are reliant on fibre optics technology to operate seamlessly with one another. As a result, TC 86 and its SCs are likely to remain very active for the foreseeable future.

 

 

  • Optical fibre cable
  • Fibre optics-based "Silicon Photonics" will replace copper connections in computers (Photo: Intel Corp.).
  • Optical fibre networks help feed demand for multimedia content (Photo: Samsung)

 

 

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