For most, we probably do not realize just how pervasive fiber optics is in much of what we do--an that inlcudes national defense too. The new F-35A Lightning II's development is underpinned with the very technology though. It's Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) provides precision air-to-air scan and track, as well as a solid air-to-surface targeting capability. EOTS retains the aircraft’s stealth and is linked to the jet’s integrated central computer through a high-speed fiber-optic interface. Without that interface, the fighter jet isn't, well, much of a fighter jet at all. To read more about the project check it out hereb2ap3_thumbnail_F35-Avengers.png

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In an attempt to lead the way in innovation and network Telia Carrier to add Coriant CloudWave Optics to pan-European fiber-optic backbone network. Among the first implementations of the CloudWave Optics technology will be a 400G-enabled fiber route between Copenhagen and Frankfurt. Telia Carrier also will apply the technology to routes like a submarine cable long-haul link to London. We respect their drive to expand. Check out the story here as reporeted from lightwaveonline.com. Photocredit: commons.wikimedia.orgb2ap3_thumbnail_Optical_breakout_cable.jpg

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A new undersea cable constructed with Google’s backing has just gone online linking the US west coast with Japan. The name of the cable, fittingly, is FASTER, and it is, in fact faster. FASTER uses six fiber pairs to push all that bandwidth using 100 different wavelengths of light. The cable is about 10 million times faster than your broadband at home, to give you a little perspective. The project began in 2014 and has laid more than 5,592 miles of cable. It transmits 60 terabytes of data per second. Facebook and Microsoft have announced plans to lay a cable stretching from the US to Europe that will have a capacity of 160 Tbps. Let the competition continue! Read the story in its entirety here. Thanks to extremetech.com for the story and for photo credit too. b2ap3_thumbnail_810.jpg

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b2ap3_thumbnail_fiber-optics-eric-litvin.jpgI am very fascinatied by the history and development of fiber optics as a resource, and as an industry. I reently came across a really cool article written from Jeff Hecht that I thought is a great summary on how it all came to be. Jeff does a great job of giving us the big picture and showing us some of the major break throughs that occured to get us to where we are at today with this technology. Check out his article here.

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Much as we would suspect, increases in fiber-optic broadband access increases value for multiple dwelling units (MDU) and for owners alike. This only makes sense as the growing prevalence of the internet has become ubiquitous and almost a staple of most households. A recent study commissioned by Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council Americas found that  availability of fiber-optic broadband access to individual apartments will increase rental and property values in multiple dwelling units (MDUs) by 8% and 2.8%, respectively. Check out the full article here as presented by lightwaveonline.com.  Photo credit to Nokia.b2ap3_thumbnail_preparing-optics.jpg

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Here are a few things we are likely to see from the TIA-942-B data center standard. This may be dull to some, but for those of you in the know, you know how important this could be. 

  1. It incorporates Addendum 1 to the 942-A standard, which addressed data center fabrics, as a new Annex.
  2. It adds 16- and 32-fiber MPO-style array connectors as an additional connector type for termination of more than two fibers. The 16- and 32-fiber connectors were recently standardized when ANSI/TIA-604-18 was published.
  3. It adds Category 8 as an allowable type of balanced twisted-pair cable, and changes the recommendation for Category 6A balanced twisted-pair cable to Category 6A or higher.

 Checkout the full article from cablinginstall.com here and stay tuned for more up-to-date info. 

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According to telco equipment maker Ericsson the Internet of Things will become a bigger connected-device category than smartphones in 2018--beleieve it or not. This could be mind-blowing (well, maybe not quite that severe, but significant, still). 5G take-up will be faster than 4G was, it thinks. One major reason for that speed-up is that “5G development is being driven by new use cases,” the report explains. “Greater capacity will allow more devices to be connected,” Ericsson says. “And lower energy requirements will extend device battery lives more than ten times what we see today.” I can certainly see how that could be. Check out the full article here from www.networkworld.com. And stay tuned to see if thsi prediction is true. [photo credit Ericsson]

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Tagged in: eric litvin

BCC’s John Richard Rahn predicts changes in the use of  flow cytometry. The laser-based technique is used in an increasing number of bio-analysis applications.  He expects the industry to grow in importance to become a $6.3 billion industry by the end of the decade. He is predicting “significant changes” over the next five years as the technology establishes a growing base in biotechnology labs. Read the full article here as presented by optics.org.

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FibreMaxHP is a second-generation 3-6 axis photonics alignment platform built on Aerotech’s proven ANT nanopositioning product line. Aerotech launches FibreMaxHP 3-6 Axis photonics alignment platform with plans to keep on growing. Thanks to http://opticalconnectionsnews.com for the story and here it is in its entirety. 

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In a 46.8 million move IPG Photonics has purchased Menara. They hope that the purchase will broaden their telecommunications offerings in internationally and in North America. Read the full story here as written by fibre-systems.com. 

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EMC has revealed recently how it has lifted the lid on a gaggle of data centre products and services, which it feels will be invaluable to customers attempting to modernise their data centre infrastructure. Check out some of their new tech bundles here as reported fron Tech Week Europe..

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As reported by lightwaveonline.com and the Lightwave Staff, XTerra has announced that they are opening a subsea branching unit as part of their product offering. Apparently they believe the submarine cable network is burgeoning to the extnet that such a capital investment will provide a good enough return to warrant the expenditures. Read the whole story here


Photo credit to www.afpgco.com

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Tagged in: Fiber Optics

Understanding Polarity in MPO System


MPO/MTP technology has led to the adoption of 40/100GbE, however on of its challenges is with regards to  proper polarity of these array connections.  Maintaining  the correct polarity across a fiber network enables signals  from any type of active equipment to be  directed to the receive port of a second piece of active equipment – and vice versa. To ensure the MPO/MTP systems work with correct polarity, the TIA 568 standard suggests several methods.


MPO Connector

First on the list is the  MPO connector usually consisting of  12 fibers. 24 fibers, 36 fibers and 72 fibers  Each MTP connector has a key on one of the flat side added by the body. When the key sits on the bottom, this is called key down. When the key sits on top, this is referred to as the key up position.  In this orientation, each of the fiber holes in the connector is numbered in sequence from left to right and is referred as fiber position. The orientation of this key also determines the MPO cable’s polarity.

Three Cables for Three Polarization Methods

The three methods for proper polarity defined by TIA 568 standard are named as Method A, Method B and Method C. To match these standards, three type of MPO truck cables with different structures named Type A, Type B and Type C are being used for the three different connectivity methods respectively. In this part, the three different cables will be introduced firstly and then the three connectivity methods.

MPO Trunk Cable Type A: Type A cable is also known as straight cable, is a straight through cable with a key up MPO connector on one end and a key down MPO connector on the opposite end. This makes the fibers at each end of the cable have the same fiber position.


The issue of polarity with MPO cables can be easily addressed by selecting the correct type of MPO cables, connectors, cassettes and patch cables. Various  polarity settings/methods can be applied  to satisfy the requirements of the 40G environment.  




The issue of polarity with MPO cables can be easily addressed by selecting the correct type of MPO cables, connectors, cassettes and patch cables. Various  polarity settings/methods can be applied  to satisfy the requirements of the 40G environment.  


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As a manufacturer of 3rd Party Certified Optical Transceivers, I’m often barraged with questions regarding the difference between Cisco approved SFPs and third party SFPs (Cisco Compatible). Inevitably the discussion starts going down the slippery slope of vendor lock in and high-profit racketeering. I’m going to try to explain the differences and ways to circumvent “lock in”.

Cisco uses OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to produce all their SFPs, XFPs, SFP+, SFPs manufactured under the OEM model are packaged up in Cisco sealed bags and called “Cisco approved”.

Being Cisco approved means the SFPs have undergone rigorous testing with Cisco products and are guaranteed to have 100% compatibility and complete support. Third party SFPs (aka Cisco Compatible) are manufactured by companies not on the Cisco AVL  (approved vendor list) and, therefore, are not deemed Cisco approved. These manufacturers will offer 100% compatibility guarantees but Cisco will not support them. Cisco may threaten breach of SmartNet and refuse support. Cisco reserves the right to refuse service and/or support if the problem is determined to be related to third party SFPs. From personal experience I’ve had plenty of customers using third party SFPs call in for other hardware problems and the SFPs go unnoticed. But if you are trying to bring up a fiber connection and it won’t come up and need help from Cisco you won’t get far with 3rd party transceivers.

The third party SFPs won’t work by default. Cisco-approved SFP modules have a serial EEPROM that contains the module serial number, the vendor name and ID, a unique security code, and cyclic redundancy check (CRC). When an SFP module is inserted in the switch, the switch software reads the EEPROM to verify the serial number, vendor name and vendor ID, and recomputes the security code and CRC. If the serial number, the vendor name or vendor ID, the security code, or CRC is invalid, the software generates this security error message and places the interface in an error-disabled state.

Here is a common log message indicating the hardware platform has detected an invalid SFP:

SYS-3-TRANSCEIVER_NOTAPPROVED:Transceiver on port Gx/x is not supported

These commands will differ from platform to platform. Fortunately, there are some undocumented (and unsupported) commands to circumvent this issue. From configuration mode enter the following commands. Note that since the first command is undocumented you can’t “tab” and “?” your way to the command. You can only type the full command in.

switch(config)# service unsupported-transceiver

switch(config)# no errdisable detect cause gbic-invalid

The first command will yield the following:

Switch(config)#service unsupported-transceiver

 Warning: When Cisco determines that a fault or defect can be traced to the use of third-party transceivers installed by a customer or reseller, then, at Cisco’s discretion, Cisco may withhold support under warranty or  a Cisco support program. In the course of providing support for a Cisco networking product Cisco may require that the end user install Cisco transceivers if Cisco determines that removing third-party parts will assist Cisco in diagnosing the cause of a support issue.

The above command should make it clear that you run the risk of losing support. I’ve used the above commands on Cisco 3750, 3560, and 2960 platforms.

Ultimately it’s the decision of the customer to make the call. Only they can ultimately decide risk versus reward. It’s our job as technology partners to explain the advantages and disadvantages of either approach.


Here are some reference links for additional information:

Third Party Policy:


SFP Invalid Error:


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Fiber optic connectors have traditionally been the biggest concern in using fiber optic systems. While connectors were once unwieldy and difficult to use, connector manufacturers have standardized and simplified connectors greatly. This increases the user use convenient increase in the use of optical fiber systems; It is also emphasizing taken proper care of and deal with the optical connector. This article covers connector basics including the parts of a fiber optic connector, installing fiber optic connectors, and the cleaning and handling of installed connectors. For information on connector loss, see Connector Loss Test Measurement.

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At present, the optical transceiver module in a variety of network types is more and more, increasingly high requirements. In order to meet the growing needs of the system, optical module is constantly moving towards standardization, miniaturization, intelligence development. Intelligent SFP modules, digital diagnostic functions SFP optical module is a symbol of technological upgrading of various manufacturers products.





Using of intelligent optical modules, network management unit can real-time monitor transceiver module temperature, supply voltage, laser bias current, as well as transmit and receive optical power. The measurement of these parameters can help manage the unit to identify the location of the fiber link failure, simplify maintenance, improve system reliability. This article will describe how the light module in Gigac Lee digital diagnostic functions of positioning optical module system failure.

Digital diagnostic functions


SFF-8472 MSA specification digital diagnostic functions and SFF-8472 details. The specification states that the circuit board inside the module detection and digital parameter signal. Then, after calibration or digital measurement results and calibration parameters. This information is stored in the memory structure of the standard, in order to read through the dual-cable serial interface. The SFF-8472 to retain the original SFP / GBIC address A0h at the address mapping and address A2h added a 256-byte storage unit. Storage unit in addition to the parameter detection information, and also defines the alarm flag or alarm conditions, the state of each pin image, the limited number of control capabilities and user-writable storage unit.The following are some of the information stored in the address space of the light module Gigac with DDM function:

1) Real-time measurement of parameters – transmit optical power Tx_power received optical power Rx_power temperature the temp, the operating voltage Vcc, laser bias Laser the Bias;

2) the alarm or alarm – Tx_faul, the LOS measure the parameters of the alarm and the alarm flag;3) control flag – Tx_disable, Rate_select.The application of digital diagnostic functionsTroubleshooting features in the optical transceiver system provides a means of performance monitoring, system management can help to predict the life of the transceiver module, the failure of the isolation system and to verify the compatibility of the module in the on-site installation. Luma Optics the light module in 2008 to solve the intelligent SFP with H3C equipment compatibility issues, do fully compatible. Now available at major telecommunications network operators, CISCO, H3C, Huawei, ZTE and other mature applications.1 module life predictionThis failure to predict that allows network managers to find potential link failure in the system performance affected. Failure notice, the system administrator can business to switch to the backup link or replace a suspicious device, which in the case of non-stop services to repair the system.Smart SFP provides a predictive laser deterioration of real-time parameter monitoring instruments. The optical module within the optical power feedback control unit will control the output power in a stable level, but with the aging of the laser, the quantum efficiency of the laser will be reduced. The power control is achieved by increasing the laser bias current (Tx_Bias). Therefore, we can predict the life of the laser through the monitoring of the laser bias current. This method can be a rough estimate of the life of the laser near the end. Have a relationship because of the laser bias current and module temperature and the working voltage, so the need to consider when setting the bias current limit Temp and Vcc.By real-time monitoring of transceiver module within the operating voltage and temperature, allowing the system administrator to find some potential problems:

1) the Vcc voltage is too high, will bring the breakdown of the CMOS device; the Vcc voltage is too low, the laser does not work properly.

2) power consumption is too high will damage the receiver module.

3) The operating temperature is too high, will accelerate the aging of the device. In addition, through the monitoring of the received optical power lines and the performance of the remote transmitter can be monitored.Fault locationIn the optical link, locate the fault location is critical to business fast loading. The fault isolation feature allows system administrators to quickly locate the position of a link failure. This feature can locate the fault line in the module; local modules or remote modules. By quickly locate the fault, reducing the repair time of system failure. Fault location, a comprehensive analysis of the status bits, pins and measurement parameters.In short, digital diagnostic functions, you can locate the fault. Fault location on Tx_power Rx_power, Temp, and Vcc, Tx_Bias, warning and alarm status of a comprehensive analysis. Memory mirroring the state variables of the Tx to the Fault and Rx LOS (loss of signal) failure analysis plays an important role.Verified for compatibilityAnother feature of digital diagnostic module compatibility verification. Compatibility verification is the analysis module of the working environment in line with the Data Sheet and the relevant standard compatible. Module performance can be guaranteed only in the work environment that is compatible. In some cases, due to environmental parameters beyond the data sheet or the relevant standards, will cause the module performance degradation, and thus transmission error. Working environment and the modules are not compatible:

1) the voltage beyond the specified scope;

2) received optical power overload or below the receiver sensitivity;

3) the temperature exceeds the operating temperature range.

This artical introduced digital diagnostic functions of the optical module (DDM), and describes its application in the system management: forecasting transceiver module life, isolating system failures and site installation to verify the compatibility of the module. Luma Optics intelligent SFP module can be compatible with CISCO, H3C, Huawei, ZTE,HP,Jumper and other brands of equipment, models and other SFP specification switch.

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CWDM/DWDM Mux/Demux and OADM are common fit in with Passive. CWDM and DWDM technology present an efficient approach to share one set of fiber strands as well as set together various communications interfaces like: 10G, SONET OC-192, STM-64, Fiber Channel 1G/2G/4G, Gigabit Ethernet, OC3/OC12 or OC48 and E1/T1, just by using different wavelengths associated with per channel. Thus they can expand the capacity with the network without laying more fiber. I would like to introduce the particular basical description of CWDM Mux/Demux, DWDM Mux/Demux and OADM.

You know, Mux (Multiplexer) products combine several data signals into one for transporting over the single fiber. Demux (Demulitplexer) separates the signals in the other end. Each signal is a some other wavelength.

CWDM Mux/Demux
The Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing-CWDM Mux/Demux is often a flexible plug-and-play network solution, which helps insurers and enterprise companies to affordably implement denote point or ring based WDM optical networks. CWDM Mux/demux is perfectly created for transport PDH, SDH / SONET, ETHERNET services over WWDM, CWDM and DWDM in optical metro edge and access networks. CWDM products are popular in less precision optics and lower cost, un-cooled lasers with lower maintenance requirements. Weighed against DWDM and Conventional WDM, CWDM is much more economical and less power consumption of laser devices. CWDM Multiplexer Modules can be found in 4, 8 and 16 channel configurations. These modules passively multiplex the optical signal outputs from 4 too much electronic products, send on them someone optical fiber and after that de-multiplex the signals into separate, distinct signals for input into gadgets across the opposite end for your fiber optic link.

DWDM Mux/Demux
The Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing-DWDM Mux/Demux Modules are made to multiplex multiple DWDM channels into one or two fibers. Based on type CWDM Mux/Demux unit, with optional expansion, can transmit and receive as much as 4, 8, 16 or 32 connections of various standards, data rates or protocols over one single fiber optic link without disturbing one another. DWDM MUX/DEMUX modules offers the most robust and low-cost bandwidth upgrade on your current fiber optic communication networks.

OADM(Optical Add-Drop Multiplexer) is often a device found in WDM systems for multiplexing and routing different channels of fiber into or out of a single mode fiber (SMF). OADM was created to optically add/drop one or multiple CWDM/DWDM channels into a few fibers, provides the power to add or drop a single wavelength or multi-wavelengths from a fully multiplexed optical signal. This permits intermediate locations between remote sites gain access to the regular, point-to-point fiber segment linking them. Wavelengths not dropped pass-through the OADM and carry on towards the remote site. Additional selected wavelengths may be added or dropped by successive OADMS if required.

Luma Optics supplies a wide array of passive optics. The modules are customizable with a collection of WDM/CWDM/DWDM modules and CWDM OADM or DWDM OADM. Luma Optics may be the correct solutions to request guidance to be used of CWDM, DWDM or WDM technology. CWDM and DWDM Mux/Demux present an ideal balance of price and gratifaction for multiplexing and demultiplexing in Metro/Access networks.


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SFP+ (Small Form-Factor Pluggable) are the upgraded version of the former SFP transceivers (mini GBIC), with higher data rate and new industrial standards. It is smaller than any of the currently shipping form factors and provides the highest density per line card. SFP+ offers customers both immediate benefits and long-term advantages in supporting evolving data center needs. The SFP+ specification was first published on May 9, 2006, and version 4.1 published on July 6, 2009. It is a international industry format supported by many network component vendors.

SFP+ is an innovative, next-generation transceiver module. Initially, it is targeted to support speeds of 10 Gbps for next-generation Gigabit Ethernet applications and 8.5Gbps Fiber Channel systems. What is more, SFP plus is with lower power consumption for less than 1W and it is even cost effective. These transceivers are with managed digital optical monitoring and superior high temperature performance.

Several industrial acknowledged standards for SFP plus has been released for 10Gpbs networks, including 10Gbase-SR, which define the SFP plus transceiver working with OM3 10G multimode fiber at 30 to 300 meters range, 10Gbase-LR which define the SFP plus transceiver working with single mode fiber at 10km range, 10Gbase-LRM which define the FDDI multimode fiber at around 220 meters range.

Compare With XENPAK or XFP Modules
In comparison to earlier XENPAK or XFP modules, SFP+ module is with more compact size compared with the former 10G transceivers X2 and Xenpak, leave more circuitry to be implemented on the host board instead of inside the module.
The advantages of SFP+ modules:
SFP+ Has A More Compact Form Factor Package Than X2 And XFP.
It Can Connect With The Same Data Rate Of XFP, X2 And XENPAK Directly.
The Cost Of SFP+ Is Lower Than XFP, X2 And XENPAK.

SFP+ Transceiver is interchangeable with SFP transceiver and can be used in the same cages as SFP transceiver. For 10G applications, SFP+ transceiver has a smaller footprint and lower power consumption than XFP transceiver. The electrical interface to the host board for SFP transceiver and SFP+ transceiver is the same serial.

Many companies, such as Cisco, Finisar, and Sumitomo, have released SFP+ transceivers. SFP+ ensure the 10Gbps data transmission and the most densely installation capability as well as the lowest cost, currently it is well acknowledged as the ultimate choice for the 10Gbps fiber optic transceivers. Among them, Cisco SFP+ transceiver is the mainstream market. Cisco 10Gbase SFP+ transceivers are used for high speed 10Gigabit Ethernet, linking the equipment to fiber optic networks. Cisco SFP+ products include active SFP+ cables and SFP+ transceivers. There is also copper transceiver available from Cisco.

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It is with great pleasure  that we announce the official launch of our new LumaOptics website.  A shout-out to the website design team,  graphic designers, and everyone at LumaOptics for all your support.  We've been supplying optical transceivers for many years now and we've seen and heard it all.  We never stop listening and taking notes and asking questions and more questions.   The optical market needs a new paradigm and we're at the center of that tidal shift in delivering it to you.   Stay tuned...in 2013  LumaOptics will be making a big splash at an event near you.

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