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What is LC Fiber-Optic Cable?

By Mal Baxter
Updated May 17, 2024
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A fiber-optics cable may contain a thin or thick core, respectively described as single mode or multimode; this refers to how many types of light it may accommodate. Light travels in one direction (simplex) or two directions (duplex), allowing for feedback or communication between bases. The varied types of connectors that extend cables must be precisely aligned; the company Lucent developed a specialized connector called a Lucent Connector (LC). LC fiber-optic cable utilizes smaller connectors than other types; with precision keying and lower interface losses, these small form factor (SFF) components reduce by half the networked space requirements of their contemporary components.

Fiber-optic cables carry information coded in different forms of light, such as laser, infrared, or light-emitting diode (LED) light, through flexible tubing networked locally, regionally, and globally. The optical properties of these varied forms of light require precision transfer through cable connectors in order to minimize energy loss or noise. Optical fibers connect to network terminals by connectors that resemble a cross between telephone jacks and television cable. Other standards include straight tip (SC) and fixed connection (FC). LC fiber-optic cable provides an instant push-pull snap lock for consistent, secure, low-loss alignment.

A fiber-optic relay system usually consists of four key parts. The transmitter creates and encodes light signals, which are then conducted through the optical fibers. Optical regenerators boost the signal for transmittal over extended distances. Then optical receivers collect and decode the signals back into usable information.

The cumulative effects of delayed and lossy signals result in audible echoes, fuzzy images, and signal noise. The receiver must be able to lock onto data. This makes signal loss or jitter between multimode beams, caused by inefficient connectors, an increasing risk of system failure.

The connector itself incorporates a tunable cylindrical ceramic ferrule and functions as the plug of a cable. It possesses a quick-release trigger and latch mechanism. The connector works in concert with other parts, depending on the cable configuration. These may include a behind-the-wall (BTW) connector, simplex or duplex connectors for single-mode and multimode tolerances, as well as dedicated adapters, collars, and boots.

With its RJ-45 style jack, the LC fiber-optic cable provides compact pull-proof design. It supports comparatively low loss in return and insertions and reduces back reflection. The streamlined cable connector can be grouped for cleaner cable management and higher-density deployment of active devices. This reduces the difference between transmitter power and receiver sensitivity, collectively referred to as system loss.

LC fiber-optic cable provides for simplex, duplex, single-mode, and multimode types of light transmission. This technology is able to provide higher-density deployment and more space-efficient grouping, such as with the use of multiport adapters, which allow multiple connectors to mate with a single adapter. These connectors allow for increased LC fiber-optic cable utilization in wired local area networks (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN); in servers, hubs, and routers; or where enhanced digital or analog transmission of complex signal information is needed.

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