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How Do Fiber Optic Connectors work? The history of fiber optic communications is an entire book, as it took a number of generations to get the industry that we have today.

Optic fiber is a thin cylindrical fiber made from plastic or glass, that is as small as one tenth of a human hair. A typical optical fiber for telecom is made up of three cylindrical layers, counted from the inside out as fiber core (diameter 8~10um) and cladding (diameter 125um) and buffer coating (diameter 900um).

The fiber core and cladding are made of glass or silica. The fiber core and the Cladding layers work together to confine the light inside the core and prevent it from leaking. The fiber buffer coating is constructed of plastic or acrylic and provides handling flexibility and physical protection to the fiber.

Optic fibers make use of an optical phenomenon known as internal reflection. When light is injected into the fiber from end face, (sources tell me) it is kept inside the core without leaking outside and wasting its energy.

Then, light is digitally modulated to show 1 and 0 , just as a computer. As such, information can be carried from one place to another site which may be located from San Francisco all the way to New York.

What are fiber optic connectors and what do they do?

Now you understand the way optical fibers function. So what exactly is a fiber optic connector and what’s the purpose of a fiber optic telecommunication network?

In simple terms A fiber optic connector’s job is just like an electric power plug, it is used to connect light in one section of optical fiber with a different section of optical fiber.

Since optical fibers are small, fiber optic connectors have to be constructed with high precision, at the scale of 0.1um that is just one centimeter of the human hair.

Fiber optic connectors connect two fibers end to end in a way that light can travel from one fiber into another without being bounced off of the interface and loss its signal.

In addition, fiber optic connectors provide cross connect flexibility for the telecommunication network. Thus, a complex computer network can be modularized and easy to manage.

Just like any other connectors that are used in electric industry, electronic industry and computer industry, numerous kinds connected to fiber optic cables were invented along the development of fiber optic communication. Certain types were once highly popular in the market and now have been used for a variety of purposes, but are now becoming obsolete.

The most widely used fiber optic connectors in use today include SC, ST, LC, FC, MTRJ, SMA and a few other less popular ones. Sure you will see new connectors invented with the advancement of technology.