The passive optical network is a one-to-many connection system that uses one fiber-optic cable to bring information to many users. The component that actually enables this point-to-multipoint communication is the fiber optic splitter, a passive optical device that requires no power to operate.
A fiber optic splitter can receive an input signal, spilt it, and then send out equal or unequal portions of that signal. Also known as the fiber optic beam splitter, the device is seen as an important fiber optic component between optical fibers.
Fiber optic splitters are often identified with a pair of numbers in the form of M×N, which shows how many input ports and output ports are there. In a CATV system, the splitters used are 1×2 type, 1×3 type, or various combinations of the first two.
Currently available fiber optic splitters are two major types: the FBT splitter and the PLC splitter.
FBT, short for Fused Bi-conical Taper, is a process that placing two fibers next to each other, fusing and stretching them at both sides to form a double-cone structure.
The PLC splitter is a wave-guide structure that is built on a dielectric or semiconductor substrate. It allows for routing specific percentage of light.
Over the past 2 decades, FBT has developed to become a mature technology. The FBT fiber optic splitter is now faster and cheaper to manufacture. The 4×4 type, or one with fewer input and output ports, are common products made by using this technology. The resulting splitter is able to divide an incoming signal into several unequal portions. It has seen wide use in the FTTx system, MAN, WAN, CATV and other active devices.
As is mentioned in the above, our PLC fiber optic splitter is in essentially a wave-guide structure built on a semi-conductor. On the upper surface of the semi-conductor chip are arrays of light-wave guides. This splitter is designed to split the incoming signal equally. It can provide tens of input and output light channels, an advantage over the FBT type. The PLC splitter has been widely used in the passive optical network.