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Fiber Types
Source:DavidR.Goff.FiberOpticVideoTransmission,1sted.FocalPress:Woburn,Massachusetts,2003
andotherprivatewritings.
KeySingleModeFiberTypes

There are three basic classes of singlemode fiber that
are used in modern telecommunication systems. The
oldest type, and still the most widely deployed, is NDSF
or NonDSF (NonDispersionShifted Fiber.) NDSF was
the first successful singlemode fiber. Most of the
existing fiber base in the U.S. in the late 1990's was
NDSFfiber.NDSFwasusedinearlysystemsbecausethe
fiber was optimized for operation at 1310 nm, the
wavelength of choice at that time. Later, 1550 nm
systems were introduced. NDSF was thought to be ill
suitedforuseat1550nmbecauseithadhighdispersion
at that wavelength, limiting the maximum data
transmission rate and distance. To address this
shortcoming, DSF (DispersionShifted Fiber) was
introduced.DSFwasoptimizedforoperationat1550nm.
Years later would it would be discovered that while DSF
workedverywellwithasinglewavelengthat1550nm,it Figure1DispersionofCommonTypesof
exhibited serious nonlinearities when multiple, closely SingleModeFiber
spaced wavelengths in the 1550 nm band were
transmitted, as in DWDM systems. Recently, to address (ClicktoEnlargeImage)
the problem of nonlinearities, a new class of DSF fibers
have been introduced. These are called NZDSF (non
zero dispersionshifted fiber). They are available in both
positiveandnegativedispersionvarieties.TheseNZDSF
fibersarenowthefibersofchoicewherenewfibermust
be deployed. Figure 1 shows the dispersion of the
common types of singlemode fibers used in modern
telecommunicationsystems.
NDSF: Commonly referred to as standard singlemode silica fiber, this optical fiber is also known as
nondispersionshifted fiber (NDSF). SMF28, made by Corning, isamong the most popular NDSF fibers
deployed today. NDSF exhibits zero chromatic dispersion (called 0) at a wavelength of 1310 nm.
Transmission wavelengths used with Erbium doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) systems (1550 nm window)
undergosignificantchromaticdispersionwithNDSFandrequiredispersioncompensation,particularly at
10Gbit/sorhigherdatarates.Typicalopticallossesrangefrom0.21to0.25dB/km.

Note: The fiber zero dispersion wavelength, or 0, is the wavelength at which chromatic
dispersion is zero. Chromatic dispersion causes a wavelength pulse to spread out as it
travels along a fiber and is due to the fact that the different wavelength components that
constitute the wavelength pulse travel at slightly different speeds in the fiber. The further
away the channel wavelength is from 0 the greater the degree of dispersion and hence
distortion.

DSF: To minimize chromatic dispersion at 1550 nm, a new fiber called dispersionshifted fiber (DSF)
was introduced in the early 1980's. By changing the index profile and reducing the core radius, fiber

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4/10/2017 TypesofSMOpticalFiber

designers were able to move 0 from the 1310 nm window to the 1540 to 1560 nm window. Though
effective in greatly reducing chromatic dispersion effects, which limits bandwidth, the positioning of 0
in close proximity to the operating wavelengths resulted in a tendency to a nonlinear distortion effect
called four wave mixing (FWM). This is especially troublesome in DWDM applications with more than
eightwavelengths.Typicallossesrangefrom0.25to0.30dB/km.

Note:StandardDSFfiberhasa0of1557.512.5nm(i.e.1544.5nmto1569.5nm).

NZDSF: NZDSF was developed to counteract the FWM limitations of DSF. The idea is to move 0 to
eitherendofthe1550nmband,thusensuringthatallofthewavelengthchannelshaveslightlydifferent
opticalspeedsinthefiber.CommonbrandsareTrueWaveClassic(0<1530nm),TrueWavePlus(0 =
1497 nm), TrueWave RS (0 < 1452 nm) by Lucent, and SMFLS (0 > 1560 nm) by Corning. The
advantage that these fibers have over DSF is a compromise solution of a slightly lower degree of
integrateddispersioncompensationforahighertolerancetononlineardistortioneffects.Availablewith
positivedispersion(+D)NZDSFandnegativedispersion(D)NZDSF.
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