This section provides an overview for optical converters as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 10 optical converter manufacturers and their company rankings.
Table of Contents
Optical converters, also called optical media converters, are devices that convert electrical signals into optical signals, and optical signals into electrical signals.
In communications using metal cables, such as LAN cables, potential differences are transmitted as electrical signals, but as the transmission distance increases, the electrical signals become attenuated, and electromagnetic noise generated inside and outside the cable can easily cause communication errors.
In communication using optical fiber, light flashes are transmitted as signals. Since optical signals in optical fiber have a low attenuation rate and are not affected by electromagnetic waves, stable long-distance communication can be achieved by inserting a long optical fiber between two metal cables.
In this case, optical converters are used to connect the metal cable and optical fiber.
Now that computers and their peripherals, manufacturing equipment, and even home appliances are connected by networks, data communication facilities are needed everywhere. And because optical fiber has advantages such as low attenuation, high noise immunity, low weight, and resistance to corrosion and rust, optical fiber-based communication networks are being deployed.
Devices connected to the network operate on electrical signals. Optical signals transmitted by optical fiber cannot be used as they are. Optical Converters are required to use them as signals.
Optical converters are used in a wide variety of locations, such as the connections from optical lines in homes and office buildings to the respective LAN systems, and at the connection points between Wi-Fi communication facilities and optical lines throughout the country.
The conversion of an electrical signal to an optical signal is called an "EO conversion," and a semiconductor laser is used as the light source for the optical signal. There are two types of laser light modulation methods: direct modulation, in which the electrical signal is directly supplied as a drive current to the semiconductor laser, and external modulation, in which the semiconductor laser itself is continuously driven and its light is modulated by a modulator. Direct modulation has the advantage of being compact and allowing the modulation circuit to be easily configured, but it has the disadvantage of being prone to waveform degradation due to the oscillation delay of the semiconductor laser because it is driven directly. Therefore, external modulation is used for long-distance communication applications.
The conversion of optical signals into electrical signals is called an "OE conversion," in which the optical input is converted into an electrical signal by a photodiode. A photodiode, also called an optical sensor, is a semiconductor device that consists of a PN coupling. When the P side of the photodiode is connected to the negative side of the power supply and the N side to the positive side, no current flows because of the reverse connection, and an area called a depletion layer is created around the PN junction surface. When light strikes this depletion layer, electrons and holes are generated, and the electrons move to the N-side electrode and the holes move to the P-side electrode, causing current to flow from the P-side to the N-side. Using this principle, in which an electric current flows only when light is input, the optical signal is converted into an electrical signal.
Optical converters are a set of EO converters and OE converters.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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