Market Studies

Plastic Optical Fiber
Market & Technology
Assessment Study - 2016 Edition

Release: Aug 1, 2016


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The plastic optical fiber (POF) data business is going through a period of extraordinary growth driven by the automotive manufacturers in Europe and by new technology development. Industrial controls and medical applications continue to be the bedrock of the industry, and they, too, are experiencing healthy growth. Unlike the telecommunications field, the POF business covers many industries and is not as vulnerable to industry downturns.

New technological developments in sources, connectors, and fibers are expanding the bandwidth-distance limits of POF into new applications. After many years of playing second fiddle to the glass optical fiber business, POF is now starting to get the recognition it deserves. Some are even saying that POF could be a disruptive technology.

Over the past three years, there has been a dramatic increase in the GI-POF technology and its availability in the market. This has resulted in increased interest by component suppliers and end users. The market for short, high-speed optical links is experiencing extraordinary growth. These links are less than 100 meters, with speeds up to 40Gbps.

The market for POF could never be brighter with the trend to “all optical networks”, need for higher bandwidth, EMI protection, lower cost, lighter weight, ease of use and other factors. POF’s main competitor copper is fast running out of steam. New applications are starting to appear in data centers, commercial aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Internet of Things (IoT), machine vision, sensors for structural health monitoring, and home networking for Ultra High Definition TVs (UHD TV/4K and 8K), to only name a few.

This study presents a comprehensive and historical review of the POF business and should form the basis of future internal market research.

Table of Contents


Table of Contents

E.0 Executive Summary

E.1.0 Introduction

E.2.0 Markets
   E.2.1 Automobiles
   E.2.2 Consumer Electronics
   E.2.3 Industrial Controls
   E.2.4 Interconnection
   E.2.5 Home Networks
   E.2.6 Medical
   E.2.7 Homeland Security

E.3.0 POF as a Disruptive Technology

E.4.0 Market Forecasts

E.5.0 Technology
   E.5.1 Fiber Loss Trends
   E.5.2 Bandwidth Trends
   E.5.3 Step Index (SI) and Graded Index (GI) PMMA
   E.5.4 Perfluorinated Graded Index POF (PF GI-POF)
   E.5.5 Other POF Technologies

E.6.0 POF Associations and Interest Groups Trends

E.7.0 What are the Major Impediments to Further         Developments in the POF Industry?

E.8.0 New POF developments in 2012/2013

E.9.0 Opportunities

E.10.0 Market Demand

1.0 Introduction

2.0 Why POF?

2.1 Ease of connectorization
2.2 Durability
2.3 Large diameter
2.4 Lower Costs
2.5 Fiber Costs
2.6 Transmitters (Transceivers, Receivers)
2.7 Space Division Multiplexing is Possible
2.8 Receivers
2.9 Connectors
2.10 Test Equipment
2.11 Installation
2.12 Maintenance
2.13 Ease of Handling
2.14 Safety
2.15 Bandwidth
2.16 Developments of other types of fibers
2.17 Many markets are open to POF
2.18 Standards Situation is Improved
2.19 Growth Potential
2.20 Size Matters
2.21 PF GI-POF Takes Advantage of Low-cost Components Developed for GOF

3.0 Comparison Between Copper, GOF, and POF

3.1 An Installer’s View
   3.1.1 Installation Issues
   3.1.2 Testing Do-it-yourself POF Kits Connectorless Connetions

4.0 POF Historical Development and Organization

4.1 Historical Perspective
4.2 POF Organizations Worldwide
   4.2.1 POF Developments in Japan
   4.2.2 POF in the US
   4.2.3 POF in Europe France Germany European Commission
   4.2.4 POF in Korea
   4.2.5 POF in Australia
   4.2.6 POF in Brazil
   4.2.7 POF in China
   4.2.8 Others

5.0 Technical Characteristics of POF Fibers Systems

5.1 Basic Technical Components of Optical Fiber Systems
5.2 Types of Optical Fibers
   5.2.1 Step Index Fibers
   5.2.2 Multimode Graded Index Fiber (MMF)
   5.2.3 Single-mode Fibers (SMF)
5.3 Plastic Optical Fibers
   5.3.1 Materials used for POF
   5.3.2 Attenuation
   5.3.3 Perfluorinated POF How Numerical Aperture of Fiber Affects Bandwidth Methods to Increase Bandwidth Increased Bandwidth Using Low-NA Source
   5.3.5 Graded Index PMMA POF (GI-POF)
   5.3.6 Perflourinated (PF) Graded Index POF (GI-POF)
   5.3.7 Partially Chlorinated GI-POF New GI PTCEMA
   5.3.8 High-temperature Plastic Optical Fibers Polystyrene The Advantages of Polystyrene
   5.3.9 Photonic Crystal Microstructured Polymer Optical Fibers Microstructured Polymer Fibers
   5.3.10 Summary Performance of PMMA and PF-GI POF (SI and GI)
   5.3.11 Environmental Effects on POF
   5.3.12 Manufacturing Methods of POF Extrusion Preform Drawing Manufacturing Graded Index PMMA POF Manufacturing PF GI-POF Continuous Extrusion Process Continu ous Extrusion Process

6.Light Sources

6.1 LEDs
   6.1.1 Low NA LED
   6.1.2 Low NA LED Source Perspective for POF Data Link
   6.1.3 Materials and Available LED Wavelengths
   6.1.4 Gigabit Links Using LEDs
6.2 Resonant Cavity LEDs (RC-LEDs)
6.3 Laser Diodes
6.4 Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs)
   6.4.1 Data Links Using Red VCSELS
   6.4.2 Red VCSEL Transceivers for Gigabit Transmission over POF
6.5 Outlook for POF Green and Blue Sources
6.6 High Speed POF Receivers

7.0 Optical Connectors and Splicing

7.1 Connectorization
   7.1.1 POF Connector Requirements
   7.1.2 ATM Forum
7.2 POF Connect Types
   7.2.1 PN Connector
   7.2.2 Small Multimedia Interface (SMI)
   7.2.3 IDB-1394 POF Interface and Latch Connector for Automotive Use
   7.2.4 Packard Hughes Interconnect
   7.2.5 Optical Mini Jack
   7.2.6 Panduit Poly-Jack — RJ-45 Type
   7.2.7 MOST Automotive Connector and Header System
7.3 Splicing
   7.3.1 Brookhaven Industrial Laboratory
   7.3.2 Mechanical Splices
   7.3.3 Ultrasonic Splicing
7.4 OptoLock – Connectorless Connection
7.5 Ballpoint Connector

8.0 Couplers

8.1 Optical Busses and Cross-connects
8.2 Switches using Couplers

9.0 POF Cables

10.0 Integrated Optics

10.1 Planar Waveguides and Other Passive Devices
10.2 Holograms

11.0 Lenses

11.1 Polymeric Lenses
   11.1.1 Ball Point Pen Collimator Lens
11.2 High-efficiency Optical Concentrators for POF

12.0 Fiber Bragg Gratings

13.0 Optical Amplifiers

13.1 Keio University
13.2 Model for Analyzing the Factors in the Performance of Dye-Doped POF Lasers
13.3 Plastic Optical Fiber with Embedded Organic Semiconductors for Signal Amplification

14.0 Test Equipment

14.1 OTDRs

15.0 POF Systems - Ethernet Example

16.0 POF Hardware for Ethernet

16.1 Commercial Silicon for Gigabit Communication over SI-POF
16.2 Ethernet POF Media Converter for ITU Standard
16.3 Chip Sets
16.4 Gigabit Ethernet Standard
16.5 Gigabit Ethernet OptoLock

17.0 Illustrative Examples of POF Data Communications Applications

17.1 Introduction
17.2 Range of Applications 17.3 Optocoupler Applications
17.4 Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Interconnects
17.5 Digital Audio Interface
17.6 Avionic Data Links
   17.6.1 Practical Experience in Military and Civilian Avionic Systems
   17.6.2 McDonald Douglas
   17.6.3 Boeing
   17.6.4 Requirements for POF in Commercial Aircraft -Boeing
17.7 Automotive Applications of POF
   17.7.1 Automotive Harness Trends
   17.7.2 Increase in Electronic Content Different Data Busses in Automobiles
   17.7.3 Automobile Standards MOST Standard 1394 Automotive Working Group and IDB
17.8 Local Area Networks POF vs. Glass Comparison Operating Experience
   17.8.2 Codenoll
   17.8.3 Mitsubishi Rayon
   17.8.4 NEC Corp. Ethernet
17.9 IEEE 1394 FireWire
   17.9.1 Markets for 1394
   17.9.2 Transmission Media
   17.9.3 1394 as a Home Network IEEE 1394 Proposed Costs
17.10 Tollbooth Applications
17.11 Factory Automation
17.12 Medical Applications
17.13 High Voltage Isolation
17.14 Home Networks
   17.14.1 CEBus
   17.14.2 Over the Top (OTT)
   17.14.3 “Capillary of Light” Home Network
17.15 Test Equipment
17.16 POF Sensors
17.17 Security (Tempest)
17.18 EMI/RFI
17.19 Hydraulic Lifts
17.20 Trains
17.21 Controller Area Network (CAN)
17.22 Point-of-sale Terminals
17.23 Robotics
17.24 Programmable Controllers (PLC)
17.25 Video Surveillance
17.26 High-speed Video
17.27 Home Video
17.28 Digital Signage

18.0 POF Cost Comparisons

18.1 Avago Cost Trade-off White Paper

19.0 POF and Related Standards

19.1 What drives standards?
19.2 Trends in POF Standards
19.3 History of the Development of POF Standards
   19.3.1 IEC
19.4 Present Standards that Include POF
   19.4.1 Process Control Profibus SERCOS (Serial Realtime Communication System) Interbus
   19.4.2 Automotive Standards MOST IDB-1394 ByteFlight CEA Aftermarket
   19.4.3 Computer Standards ATM IEEE-1394 Storage Area Networks Supercomputers/Servers Datacenters
   19.4.4 Home Standards CEBUS ATM Forum Residential Broadband IEEE-1394 Home Networking ITU G.h
   19.4.5 Consumer Electronics and “Over the Top” Active Optical Cables Over-the-Top-Enabled Devices

20.0 Components and Testing

20.1 Introduction
20.2 IEC
20.3 VDI/VDE
20.4 Standards Summary

21.0 POF Components - Present Status

21.1 POF Fibers
   21.1.1 Mitsubishi Rayon
   21.1.2 Asahi Kasei
   21.1.3 Toray Industries Inc.
   21.1.4 Shenzhen Dasheng Optoelectronic Technology Co. Ltd.
   21.1.5 Asahi Glass
   21.1.6 Nanoptics
   21.1.7 OFS-Fitel (now Chromis Fiber Optics)
   21.1.8 Redfern Polymer (Cactus Fiber) (Kiriama)
   21.1.9 Nexans
      21.1.10 Fuji Film
   21.1.11 Luvantix
   21.1.12 Optimedia
   21.1.13 Jiang Daisheng Co. Ltd.
   21.1.14 Sekisui Chemical Company

22.0 POF Suppliers

22.1 POF Cables
22.2 Semiconductors (Transceivers) for POF
   22.2.1 KDPOF
   22.2.2 CoolSilicon/CoolPOF
   22.3 Light Sources (Transceivers)
   22.3.1 Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
   22.3.2 Resonant Cavity LEDs (RC-LEDs)
   22.3.3 Laser Diodes
   22.3.4 VCSELs
22.4 Photodiodes
22.5 Connectors
   22.5.1 Connectorless Technologies
22.6 Couplers
22.7 Test Equipment
22.8 Splicing
22.9 Media Converters
22.10 Data Links
22.11 POF Networks
22.12 IPTV Equipment Providers
22.13 Other POF Passive Components
22.14 Other Active Components

23.0 POF Component Price Trends

23.1 Impact of the MOST Standard
23.2 POF Fiber Pricing
   23.2.1 Step Index Fibers
   23.2.2 Graded Index POF
23.3 Cables
23.4 Cable Assemblies
23.5 POF Transmitters and Receivers
   23.5.1 MOST Pricing
23.6 Conclusions for POF Data Components
23.7 Graded Index PMMA POF
23.8 Perfluorinated GI-POF
23.9 Partially Chlorinated Polymer
23.10 Price targets for POF Components

24.0 Market Drivers

24.1 Technology
24.2 Standards
24.3 Market Needs
24.4 Government Funding
24.5 Education of End Users
24.6 Marketing Push
24.7 Lack of Major Player
24.8 Resistance to Change and Imbedded Infrastructure

25.0 POF Markets and Forecasts

25.1 Automotive Market
   25.1.1 How Big is the Market?
25.2 Consumer Electronics Market
   25.2.1 Connected TV Device Ownership
25.3 POF Industrial Controls Market and IoT Market
25.4 Home Market and IPTV / Ultra HD TV (4K&8K)
   25.4.1 Market Forecast
   25.4.2 UHD TV 4K/8K
25.5 Interconnect Market
25.6 Medical Market
25.7 Total POF Market Potential

26.0 POF Activities in Various Countries

26.1 US
26.2 Plastic Optical Fiber Organization in Japan
26.3 POF in Europe
   26.3.1 French Plastic Optical Fibre Club (FOP)
26.3.2 POF in Germany
   26.3.3 POF in the UK
26.4 POF in Brazil
26.5 POF in Korea
26.6 Spain
26.7 Australia

27.0 Opportunities in the Emerging POF Business

27.1 Cables and Fiber
27.2 Connectors
27.3 Sources
27.4 Couplers
27.5 Test Equipment
27.6 Splicing
27.7 Hardware
27.8 Data Links
27.9 Distribution
27.10 Design and Engineering
27.11 Converters
27.12 Systems Suppliers

28.0 Strategies for Success in the POF Market

Appendix 1:Avago White Paper on POF Sensors
Appendix 2:Avago White Paper on Fiber vs. Copper Links
Appendix 3:15 Years Polymer Optical Fiber Application Center – A Summary
Appendix 4:List of POF Conferences, POF Symposia and POF WORLD
Appendix 5:Mitsubishi Pencil and KPRI’s 4K/8K connector through multiple GI POF micro-collimators based on ball-point pen technology