Chromis Perfluorinated GI-POF: Combining High Performance with Ease-of-Use
Our New Jersey-based engineering and manufacturing operation has been pioneering optical fiber technology for more than 20 years, starting at the legendary Bell Labs, where our company founders developed a patented process for making multi-gigabit/s fiber—GigaPOF ®—out of plastic.
Made from an extremely transparent optical polymer with a graded refractive index that enables the fiber to support very high data rates, GI-POF makes it economical and simple to create high-speed data links, such as our GigaPOF® active optical cables. Instead of the expensive cleaving and polishing familiar to glass fiber users, Chromis GigaPOF® enables inexpensive termination and passive alignment to optical engines. With our patented manufacturing technology, we can produce GigaPOF® at high production rates directly from bulk materials. This not only makes GigaPOF® less expensive to produce, it also allows much shorter development times for new types of GigaPOF®.
Until recently, the only commercially available types of POF have been step-index fibers based on non-fluorinated polymers such as polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). Because these traditional types of plastic optical fiber have high attenuation and large modal dispersion, they are restricted to very low performance applications—usually distances under 50 meters and bit rates less than 100 Mb/s. Also, traditional polymer optical fiber materials like PMMA have strong absorption in the near infrared. As a result, they can only be used at a few wavelengths in the visible portion of the spectrum—typically 530 nm and 650 nm. Unfortunately, almost all gigabit optical sources operate in the near-infrared (typically 850 nm or 1300 nm) where PMMA and similar polymers are essentially opaque.
The next generation in POF technology began with the application of an amorphous perfluorinated polymer, polyperfluoro-butenylvinylether, to GI-POF. Because this polymer has very low attenuation (around 10 dB/km) in the near infrared, it is immediately compatible with standard gigabit transmission sources and can be used over distances of hundreds of meters. Additionally, because this perfluorinated fiber can be made with a graded refractive index, it can support bandwidths more than 100 times larger than conventional step-index PMMA POF. Chromis products are based on this next-generation POF technology.
The Chromis Fiberoptics Advantage
Our patented extrusion process creates a high-performance graded-index polymer optical fiber (GI-POF), by converting bulk materials into concentric layers of melt streams. Graded index structures form as the melt streams flow down. By controlling the temperature, residence times and relative flow rates of the core and clad materials, we can produce a very wide variety of refractive index structures and fiber dimensions. Our process is also compatible with various polymer materials for high temperature or flame-retardant applications. Our efficient, flexible and economical extrusion process enables us to make a wide variety of standard and specialty fibers.