Multi-Core Fiber is a special optical fiber with multiple cores in one cladding. The concept of multi-core fiber was firstly proposed by France Telecom in 1994. France Telecom and Alcatel developed 4-core single-mode fiber, and used these fibers to conduct the cable experiment. With the conduction of the experiment, it is proved that the fiber density is increased many times compared with ordinary single-core fiber.
Pic 1 MCF structure
The most common MCF fibers are with 4 cores, 7 cores, 8 cores, or 19 cores, as shown in the pictures below:
Pic 2 MCF with different number of cores
Compared with single-core fiber that has only one core transmitting beam in the 125-micron cladding, multi-core fiber has multiple transmission fiber cores in the same 125-micron cladding, which can greatly improve the transmission density per unit area.
In optical communication, MCF fiber can effectively reduce the amount of fiber in the data center and improve transmission bandwidth. For example, a single 7-core fiber can replace the existing 7 single-core fibers and greatly improve the space utilization rate of the data center, as shown in Pic 3.
Multi-core fiber can also be made into a ribbon or cluster optical fiber cable with multiple cores. The cluster multi-core optical fiber cable can be applied in the undersea communication system, so as to greatly improve the transmission capacity and reduce the transmission cost. Therefore, multi-core fiber is the cutting-edge technology and an important foundation of the new generation of optical fiber communication systems in the future.
Pic３ MCF transmission system
In the field of optical fiber sensing, multi-core fiber guarantees the same optical path and the same interference for the multi-channel transmission signal. This makes it very suitable for some optical path sensitive optical fiber sensing applications.
Multi-core fiber is also getting more and more attention in the fields of optical fiber imaging, optical fiber laser, and medical endoscope.
The application of multi-core optical fiber is becoming more and more widespread. It is normally connected with the traditional single-core fiber system or coupled with the integrated optical chip, therefore the two ends of multi-core optical fiber need to be processed to become compatible with the regular fiber system. For this purpose, Zhongshan MEISU has developed a series of multi-core fiber end connection products, as it is shown below. If you are interested, find out more information in the "Products" section of Special Fibre Components.
Multi-core Fiber Connector
Multi-core Fiber MPO Patchcord
MCF Fiber Array
PICs From http://www.53179.net/a/yule/364.html