Plastic Optical Fiber Market & Technology Assessment Study - 2020 Edition -

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Plastic Optical Fibers (POF) have been overshadowed in the last decade by the success of glass optical fibers. When people hear the term "optical fibers," they immediately think of glass. Few people, including professionals in the business, know about plastic optical fibers (POFs), which predate those made of glass. Because glass fibers have certain advantages, they have dominated the market, while POFs have remained largely in the background.

POF had been relegated to low-bit-rate and short-distance applications. However, recent technological advances and the emergence of new applications in the automotive, avionics, consumer electronics, and short-distance interconnect industries have propelled POF into the limelight as a lower-cost alternative to glass fiber or copper at medium distances and at bit rates of 40Gbps.

New technological developments in sources, connectors, and fibers are expanding the bandwidth-distance limits of POF into new applications. There has been a dramatic increase in the GI-POF technology and its availability in the market. This has resulted in increased interest by component suppliers and end-users. The market for short, high-speed optical links is experiencing sustained growth. These links are less than 100 meters, with speeds up to 40Gbps. After many years of playing second fiddle to the glass optical fiber business, POF is now starting to get the recognition it deserves. Some are even saying that POF could be a disruptive technology.

The market for POF could never be brighter with the trend to all-optical networks, need for higher bandwidth, EMI protection, lower cost, lighter weight, ease of use and other factors. POF's main competitor copper is fast running out of steam. New applications are starting to appear in data centers, commercial aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Internet of Things (IoT), machine vision, sensors for structural health monitoring, and home networking for Ultra High Definition TVs (UHD TV/4K and 8K), to only name a few.

Key Topics Covered:

1. Introduction

2. Why POF?

2.1 Ease of connectorization

2.2 Durability

2.3 Large diameter

2.4 Lower Costs

2.5 Fiber Costs

2.6 Transmitters (Transceivers, Receivers)

2.7 Space Division Multiplexing is Possible

2.8 Receivers

2.9 Connectors

2.10 Test Equipment

2.11 Installation

2.12 Maintenance

2.13 Ease of Handling

2.14 Safety

2.15 Bandwidth

2.16 Developments of other types of fibers

2.17 Many markets are open to POF

2.18 Standards Situation is Improved

2.19 Growth Potential

2.20 Size Matters

2.21 PF GI-POF Takes Advantage of Low-cost Components Developed for GOF

3. Comparison Between Copper, GOF, and POF

3.1 Advantages and Disadvantages of POF

3.2 An Installer's View

4. POF Historical Development, Organizations, Research & Education Centers and Commercial Activities Worldwide

4.1 Historical Perspective

4.2 POF Organizations, Research & Education Centers, and Commercial Activities Worldwide

4.2.1 POF Developments in Japan

4.2.2 POF in the US

4.2.3 POF in Europe

4.2.4 POF in Korea

4.2.5 POF in Australia

4.2.6 POF in Brazil

4.2.7 POF in Greater China

4.2.8 POF in Other Countries

5. Technical Characteristics of POF Fibers Systems

5.1 Basic Technical Components of Optical Fiber Systems

5.2 Types of Optical Fibers

5.3 Plastic Optical Fibers

6. Light Sources

6.1 LEDs

6.2 Resonant Cavity LEDs (RC-LEDs)

6.3 Laser Diodes

6.4 Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs)

6.5 Outlook for POF Green and Blue Sources

6.6 High-Speed POF Receivers

7. Optical Connectors and Splicing

7.1 Connectorization

7.2 POF Connect Types

7.3 Splicing

7.4 OptoLock - Connectorless Connection

7.5 Ballpoint Connector

8. Couplers

8.1 Optical Buses and Cross-connects

8.2 Switches using Couplers

9. POF Cables

10. Integrated Optics

10.1 Planar Waveguides and Other Passive Devices

10.2 Holograms

11. Lenses

11.1 Polymeric Lenses

11.1.1 Ball Point Pen Collimator Lens

11.2 High-efficiency Optical Concentrators for POF

12. Fiber Bragg Gratings

13. Optical Amplifiers

13.1 Keio University

13.2 Model for Analyzing the Factors in the Performance of Dye-Doped POF Lasers

13.3 Plastic Optical Fiber with Embedded Organic Semiconductors for Signal Amplification

14. Test Equipment

14.1 OTDRs

15. POF Systems - Ethernet Example

16. POF Hardware for Ethernet

16.1 Commercial Silicon for Gigabit Communication over SI-POF

16.2 Ethernet POF Media Converter for ITU Standard

16.3 Chip Sets

16.4 Gigabit Ethernet Standard

16.5 Gigabit Ethernet OptoLock

17. Illustrative Examples of POF Data Communications Applications

17.1 Introduction

17.2 Range of Applications

17.3 Optocoupler Applications

17.4 Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Interconnects

17.5 Digital Audio Interface

17.6 Avionic Data Links

17.7 Automotive Applications of POF

17.8 Local Area Networks

17.9 IEEE 1394 FireWire

17.10 Tollbooth Applications

17.11 Factory Automation

17.12 Medical Applications

17.13 High Voltage Isolation

17.14 Home Networks

17.15 Test Equipment

17.16 POF Sensors

17.17 Security (Tempest)

17.18 EMI/RFI

17.19 Hydraulic Lifts

17.20 Trains

17.21 Controller Area Network (CAN)

17.22 Point-of-sale Terminals

17.23 Robotics

17.24 Programmable Controllers (PLC)

17.25 Video Surveillance

17.26 High-speed Video

17.27 Home Video

17.28 Digital Signage

18. POF Cost Comparisons

18.1 Avago Cost Trade-off White Paper

19. POF and Related Standards

19.1 What drives standards?

19.2 Trends in POF Standards

19.3 History of the Development of POF Standards

19.3.1 IEC

19.4 Present Standards that Include POF

20. Components and Testing

20.1 Introduction

20.2 IEC

20.3 VDI/VDE

20.4 Standards Summary

21. POF Components - Present Status

21.1 POF Fibers

21.1.1 Mitsubishi Rayon

21.1.2 Asahi Kasei

21.1.3 Toray Industries Inc.

21.1.4 Shenzhen Dasheng Optoelectronic Technology Co. Ltd.

21.1.5 Asahi Glass

21.1.6 Nanoptics

21.1.7 OFS-Fitel (now Chromis Fiber Optics)

21.1.8 Redfern Polymer (Cactus Fiber) (Kiriama)

21.1.9 Nexans

21.1.10 Fuji Film

21.1.11 Luvantix

21.1.12 Optimedia

21.1.13 Jiang Daisheng Co. Ltd.

21.1.14 Sekisui Chemical Company

22. POF Suppliers

22.1 POF Cables

22.2 Semiconductors (Transceivers) for POF

22.3 Light Sources (Transceivers)

22.4 Photodiodes

22.5 Connectors

22.6 Couplers

22.7 Test Equipment

22.8 Splicing

22.9 Media Converters

22.10 Data Links

22.11 POF Networks

22.12 IPTV Equipment Providers

22.13 Other POF Passive Components

22.14 Other Active Components

23. POF Component Price Trends

23.1 Impact of the MOST Standard

23.2 POF Fiber Pricing

23.3 Cables

23.4 Cable Assemblies

23.5 POF Transmitters and Receivers

23.6 Conclusions for POF Data Components

23.7 Graded Index PMMA POF

23.8 Perfluorinated GI-POF

23.9 Partially Chlorinated Polymer

23.10 Price targets for POF Components

24. Market Drivers

24.1 Technology

24.2 Standards

24.3 Market Needs

24.4 Government Funding

24.5 Education of End Users

24.6 Marketing Push

24.7 Lack of Major Player

24.8 Resistance to Change and Embedded Infrastructure

25. POF Markets and Forecasts

25.1 Automotive Market

25.5 Interconnect Market

25.6 Medical Market

25.7 Avionics Market

25.8 Total POF Market Potential

26. Opportunities in the Emerging POF Business

26.1 Cables and Fiber

26.2 Connectors

26.3 Sources

26.4 Couplers

26.5 Test Equipment

26.6 Splicing

26.7 Hardware

26.8 Data Links

26.9 Distribution

26.10 Design and Engineering

26.11 Converters

26.12 Systems Suppliers

27. Strategies for Success in the POF Market

28. References

Companies Mentioned

  • Asahi Glass
  • Asahi Kasei
  • Boeing
  • Brookhaven Industrial Laboratory
  • ByteFlight
  • CEA Aftermarket
  • Codenoll
  • Fuji Film
  • IDB-1394
  • Interbus
  • Jiang Daisheng Co. Ltd.
  • Luvantix
  • McDonald Douglas
  • Mechanical Splices
  • Mitsubishi Rayon
  • MOST
  • Nanoptics
  • NEC Corp. Ethernet
  • Nexans
  • OFS-Fitel (now Chromis Fiber Optics)
  • Optimedia
  • Profibus
  • Redfern Polymer (Cactus Fiber) (Kiriama)
  • Sekisui Chemical Company
  • SERCOS (Serial Realtime Communication System)
  • Shenzhen Dasheng Optoelectronic Technology Co. Ltd.
  • Toray Industries Inc.
  • Ultrasonic Splicing

For more information about this report visit

Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager
For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470
For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630
For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900

Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager
For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470
For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630
For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900