Optical fiber technology that enables signals to bend around corners has been developed by Corning Incorporated.
Announced this week, the breakthrough, called nanoStructures, creates fiber that is 100 times more bendable than traditional optical fiber, according to Corning. In developing nanoStructures the firm worked with Verizon Communications, which has targeted the technology for use in its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks.
"This is a game-changing technology for telecommunications applications," said Peter F. Volanakis, Corning's president and chief operating officer, in a statement. "We have developed an optical fiber cable that is as rugged as copper cable but with all of the bandwidth benefits of fiber by making fundamental changes in the way light travels in the fiber."
Volanakis noted that there are more than 25 million apartment homes in the U.S. and he indicated nanoStructures would be a candidate for use in the homes, because of the easy installation of the bendable fiber.
Verizon, which has been installing its fiber-based FiOS service in its service regions, has been working with Corning since February on a project to solve multiple dwelling unit installation utilizing the new fiber technology. In a statement, Paul Lacouture, executive vice president of Engineering and Technology, Verizon Telecom Group, said: "This fiber technology will enable us to bring faster Internet speeds, higher-quality high-definition content, and more interactive capabilities than any other platform which exists today."
The nanoStructures design enables optical fiber to maintain its signal strength when curved or bent. Tight bends in standard single-mode fiber causes signal loss and optical power degradation.