Reduced Cladding Fibers: The Benefits and Challenges For Small Form Factor Components

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The adoption of reduced cladding thickness fibers by the telecom industry has greatly increased over the last year. In fact, almost every specialty fiber manufacturer has launched products aimed at the small form factor (SFF) market. Despite appearances the use of 80µm OD fiber, rather than 125 µm, has actually been commonplace for years in certain non-telecom applications, fiber optic gyros for example. The general move toward SFF components within the optoelectronics industry -- specifically telecom and datacom applications -- is also well underway.