Fiber Optic

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What Does Fiber Optic Mean?

Fiber optic refers to the technology and medium used in the transmission of data as pulses of light through a strand or fiber medium made of glass or plastic (optical fiber), versus being sent as electrical pulses through conductive metal, like copper wires. Optical fiber technology can carry much more data than conventional copper wires and is less prone to electromagnetic interference, simply because data is transmitted in the form of light, rather than electricity.

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Techopedia Explains Fiber Optic

Fiber optic technology uses glass fibers to transmit data at blazing fast speeds, although not as fast as the speed of light. This is because the general notion of the speed of light, which is 299,792,458 meters per second, occurs in a vacuum. In reality, the speed at which light travels greatly varies, depending on the medium through which it passes.

To decode data, special hardware with light sensors is needed for each terminal of the fiber optic cable. This technology is considerably more expensive because manufacturing this type of cable is more expensive, and even connecting two ends requires expensive measures.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.