A fiber optic splitter, also known as a fiber splitter, is an integrated waveguide power distribution device used to split an occurrence light or optic beam. It can split the beam into two or more. The same device can be used to join two or more beams into a single beam. The device usually contains multiple input-ends where it is required to join the beam or multiple outputs where it is required to split it. Note that in this case, the beam is usually a fiber optic signal. Some types of fiber splitters can work in either direction. This means that each end can be used as an input and output end. However, this usually depends on the brand and design.
Materials used to make fiber optic splitters
Fiber optic splitters are commonly made of glass. However, in some cases, they can be made of plastic, which is coated in an additional layer of plastic.
Advantages of fiber optic splitters
The application of these devices has increased tremendously over the past few years. Their increased applicability can be attributed to the following benefits offered;
a. Sensitivity to electrical interface
One of the main benefits of fiber optic technology and these splitters is that they are less sensitive to electrical interface. This factor makes it more reliable than other types of cabling technology.
Fiber optic splitters can carry larger amounts of data than their counterparts. The fact that they can accommodate or support multiple inputs and outputs also adds to this advantage.
Types of fiber optic splitters
Fiber optic splitters can be split into two types. These are:
a. Fused Biconical Tapered Splitters
Known popularly as FBT splitters, this type consists of two fibers placed close and fused using heat. Typically, the signal source is used to regulate the point where the chosen coupling ratio has been met. When the ratio is met, the process will stop. These types of splitters are very effective, and they can be deployed cost-effectively. The drawback is the limit to the split configurations you can use. If you want to achieve several split configurations, you will have to splice together several cables. Therefore, the physical size of the splitter will be more significant.
b. Planar Lightwave Circuit Splitter
Known commonly as a PLC splitter, this type is an ideal solution for larger split configuration requirements. It uses waveguides made from lithography on a silica glass substrate. Doing this allows the splitter to route specific percentages of light. As a result, the splitter is usually very accurate. Therefore, regardless of the large split configurations, it ensures that each split is even and accurate. Another benefit of PLC splitters is that they allow extensive configuration splits with the least loss. Therefore, it is a more efficient option between the two.
Note that a fiber optic splitter is usually identified by the number of signal divisions it offers. For instance, a splitter that allows even splits is identified as a 50/50 splitter, and the latter can be defined as an 80/20 splitter.